Holborn Community Cooks! is a social enterprise with a vision to use world food as a tool for local economic regeneration. We serve delicious food and are deeply embedded in the community, and contributing to its development. Our project is designed to address isolation, economic dependence and social exclusion among local women through training, job creation and encouragement of new entrepreneurs, while raising funds for community services.
Our unique selling points are, firstly, the quality of its wholesome and diverse food, and secondly, its social model, which specifically targets vulnerable communities in Holborn. Although many hospitality businesses flourish in Holborn, few are directly intended to support the most marginalised groups in the community. As such, we are unique in the area!
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
The original idea for the project came from the Asian women’s social group.The sessions were originally free, enabling women to enjoy socialising outside of their home. Following funding cuts, they were asked to contribute a small fee of 50p. They revealed that they were unable to come anymore as they either did not have the means or permission from their family. Together with HCA staff, they developed the idea of contributing their cooking skills to a catering social enterprise which would be managed by HCA. The income would fund the social services at HCA , while the hospitality work itself would enable local women to become more business-savvy, employable, and therefore more independent.Our project encourages women to enjoy the experience of self-sufficiency, which will have a significant impact on their family life as well as community life. With activities taking place at private events, pop-ups and festivals, we intend to provide training opportunities and employ local women.
Steps to get it done:
Holborn Community Cooks! next step is to become a financially self-sustaining project, raising income through trading as a corporate caterer and at London markets and festivals throughout the year. This will then provide the foundation for our next set of training courses, including one focussed more on enterprise. Holborn Community Association will continue host the project until turnover warrants an independent subsidiary company being set up, with generated profits committed to local community development. Our research will also help establish quite how big the level of need is for a project like this so we can develop both our training and our support for helping into women into enterprise further. We are looking to establish a regular presence outside of our centres and are exploring possible partnerships for this. There is long term potential for franchising via selected community partners, but our focus is very much on making our success based on the people in Holborn
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