Social Good, Startups

Deaf Can! Coffee: 10 ways to launch a successful social enterprise in Jamaica

Deaf Can! Coffee’s Fabian Jackson, Carlyle Gabbidon, Tashi & Blake Widmer

Maybe you’ve seen them wearing their branded t-shirts serving coffee at events around Jamaica. There are now three full-time and 25 part-time baristas working with Deaf Can! Coffee, just two years since the social enterprise launched. In that short time, founders Blake and Tashi Widmer have learned quite a lot about how to make a social enterprise work in Jamaica. Continue reading

NGOs, Startups

SEBI: purpose plus profit = transforming Jamaica

Saffrey Brown JN, Foundation General Manager SEBI

Saffrey Brown, JN Foundation General Manager

My wife was looking to buy flowers recently for someone struck down by a life-threatening illness when she found a friendly face and the right gift, a cactus, in Petals n’ Roots, a concession inside the HiLo supermarket in Ligunea, St Andrew. On the face of it this was an average transaction, but Petals n’ Roots is anything but your average business – as your purchase helps provide employment opportunities to persons suffering mental illness and donates to MENSANA, a non-profit founded to meet the needs of such persons and their families. Continue reading


Branson Centre entrepreneur turning pig s*** into social good

CaribShare biogas jamaica agriculture

Carol with Lascelles Gabbidon, vice-principal of Westwood High School, a farm participating in the CaribShare project. (Photo: Contributed)

One freezing Toronto February day in 2012, Jamaican Carol Lue was learning about how a company called Zooshare was collecting organic waste from supermarkets and yes, the local zoo, to produce biogas. Fast forward four years and through her social enterprise, CaribShare Biogas, Carol is collecting waste from pig farms and hotels to produce organic fertiliser and clean energy. Continue reading