A Day in the Field

Posted by on Nov 26, 2013 in Events |  

KaymaOn the beautiful autumn morning of November 19th, 2013, a group of 20 IVN partners, board members and staff boarded a bus to see, first hand, three exceptional social businesses and the lives they are changing.

The first stop was Kayma, located just outside Jerusalem in Moshav Beit Zayit. Kayma was established in 2013 and aims to engage, train and empower marginalized youth no longer in the school system (ages 15-18) through a multi-faceted program of hands-on organic farming. Kayma seeks to provide employability skills and offer work experience and teach teamwork. The income of the venture comes from selling the farms products to the community. Kayma is not yet an IVN portfolio venture but is currently in the final stages of the due diligence process.

The next stop was Susan’s House, located in Jerusalem’s Talpiot area. Susan’s House joined IVN’s portfolio in May 2013 as part of the Social Venture Program and is supported by IVN and the Jewish Community Federation (JCF) of San Francisco, as part of the IVN-JCFSF Impact Grant Initiative Leadership Development Program.

Established in 2002 as a memorial to Susan Kaplansky, Susan’s House employs severely at-risk teens, ages 15 to 18 – disconnected youths out of school, out of work, and in other high-risk situations. The program is a combination of a classical vocational rehabilitation programming, focusing on the production and sale of unique glass, jewelry, art & crafts kits and housewares. The teens at Susan’s House, under the guidance and instruction of adults, social workers and volunteer artists, not only develop job skills, but also acquire life skills and develop self-esteem & confidence, communal values and interpersonal relationships.
The goals of the IVN-Susan’s House partnership are to develop and implement a plan, enabling Susan’s House to become financially sustainable, to increase the number of youth at risk working at the venture and to build a model that will enable the venture to be duplicated in other areas in Israel. As a first stage we are working on a plan to renovate the facilities and to create a proper visitors center that will enable them to increase the number of visiting groups from a group per week to 3-4 groups per week.

The indicators measured to determine both social and financial impact are as follows:

Number of Youth-at-Risk Employed
• 2012 – 28
• 2013 (projected) – 32
• 2014 (projected) – 40
Monthly Income Generated from Sales
• 2012 – NIS 15,000
• 2013 (projected) – NIS 20,000
• 2014 (projected) – NIS 40,000
Sales as a % of Total Budget
• 2012 – 15%
• 2013 (projected) – 18%
• 2014 (projected) – 28%

The final stop of the day was at Kol Ha’Isha’s Community Kitchen, also in Jerusalem, where we were treated to a delicious lunch. The venture affords a supportive environment to marginalized women in starting small businesses in the culinary field. The Community Kitchen provides broad practical experience, professional skills, business consultation and guidance, mentoring, personal empowerment, referrals for their catering businesses and the use of a fully-equipped kosher kitchen for their new businesses. At the Community Kitchen, these women not only acquire skills and tools, but also pride, self-confidence and self-esteem. Community Kitchen joined IVN’s portfolio in February 2012.
The goal of the IVN- Community Kitchen partnership is to turn the Community Kitchen into a profitable social business by providing mentoring, guidance and support in building a viable business model which will increase the number of portions per day prepared by the kitchen thereby allowing for many more women to join the program and be impacted by it.

The indicators measured to determine both social and financial impact are as follows:

Number of Women Participating
• 2012 – 18
• 2013 (projected) – 25
• 2014 (projected) – 100
Self-generated Income
• 2012 – NIS 600,562
• 2013 (projected) – NIS 434,581
• 2014 (projected) – NIS 900,000

The day was a wonderful opportunity to get a much closer look at the ventures and hear and see first-hand the positive impact the partnership with and involvement of IVN is having on the future of these enterprises and lives they are transforming.

To see pictures, click here.

To read more about other ventures in IVN’s portfolio, click here.