Women's Bean Project, Denver from United States
Since 1989, the Women's Bean Project has been dedicated to helping women break the cycle of poverty and unemployment. The Women's Bean, as it's often fondly referred to in Denver, aims to teach workplace competencies through employment in on-site businesses to women who come from backgrounds of chronic unemployment or poverty. The organization helps women discover their talents and develop skills by offering job readiness training. With this stepping-stone toward success, the women will be able to support themselves and their families, and create stronger role models for future generations.
Jossy Eyre founded The Women's Bean Project as a result of her volunteer work at a day shelter for homeless women. Eyre saw that while the shelter kept women safe, it could not help them make lasting changes in their lives. Eyre bought $500 worth of beans and gave two homeless women work - the first step in building the social enterprise they are today. The training opportunities at the Women's Bean Project have expanded dramatically over the years and they now help many more women.
"I have been held back in the past by a negative attitude, low self-esteem, insecurity and feeling unloved. The Bean Project is helping me get to work, open up and talk about my feelings, find a place to live and is teaching me job skills."
"What I have learned in the time I have been at The Women's Bean Project is that you can always start over and be accepted regardless of your past. I've overcome the barriers to unemployment. I now have a means to provide for my two sons and am motivated to accomplish much more. I am learning the skills of being able to work effectively and communicate with others. I am learning to express myself and recognize how I behave affects my work as well as my life. I want to own my own business someday, and The Women's Bean Project is acting as a bridge to help me reach my goals as I accomplish the steps I need to get there and be successful."