Sustainable Social Enterprise IncubationProject led by Habitat for Humanity of Southeast Ohio
About the project.
The collaboration between Habitat for Humanity of Southeast Ohio and the Ohio University Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service benefits the community and the environment by growing local capacity and reusing local resources.
After much research to identify a new business model that was mission aligned and maximized revenue for Habitat, the partners are launching a construction social enterprise in Spring 2022 with the goal of providing construction services for non-profits and programs that serve low-income families and communities. The enterprise will also serve as a job training program and will eventually expand to provide market-rate construction services to vulnerable populations including seniors and the disabled.
In addition, the project strengthens diversion pathways for construction and demolition materials to be reused. For example, Habitat and Ohio University are working together to make great strides with on-campus waste diversion. In the summer of 2021, the team and countless volunteers salvaged three semi-trucks and 10 box trucks of office furniture and building materials before a university building was demolished. These materials, which otherwise would have gone to the landfill, then went to two area Habitat ReStore locations to be sold at a fraction of the retail price.
ReStore profits go toward building affordable homes and improving the quality of life for families in our region. Creating a regional circular economy through construction material reclamation, repair, retraining, and repurposing supports our Appalachian communities.
FAO staff comments.
Habitat for Humanity’s new construction social enterprise responds to needs Habitat saw in the region for additional construction services for nonprofits and other programs that serve those with the most acute needs in our region. This program will provide a new revenue stream for Habitat to put into is core mission while also meeting a significant need within the community.
Further, the new enterprise will provide a valuable job training program that will provide a meaningful career pathway for those it engages.
The new enterprise will also further waste diversion efforts happening in the region as products go to Habitat’s previous social enterprise, ReStore, and are reused in new construction projects it completes, moving us closer to a circular economy.