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The Three Values that Drive Social Enterprises

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Value in Products, Value in Relationships and Valued People

Very often we see ourselves and believe others see us as a person with skills. Just as often, our value is determined by the skills we have mastered and display. And almost always, those skills are related to work.

It would then follow that individuals perceived with lesser skills are lower on the value ladder and have limited access to work. There are many groups that face these misconceptions, one group being individuals with disabilities. These individuals are at the very heart of MDI's mission. The reality is that people with disabilities are just as likely to have valued and desirable skills as the general population. In fact, many have superior skills, a very positive attitude toward work and, like everyone, want to work.

A Social Enterprise provides an environment that cultivates both the values of work and the development of skills for people with and without disabilities. Based on the dual bottom line of workforce development and positive cash flow, the Social Enterprise model is in the unique position of adding economic value and generating a return-on-investment in the communities where they exist.  

As baby boomers retire there is a skilled worker shortage looming. People with disabilities are under employed in the community and are an overlooked resource of qualified workers. MDI as a successful, inclusive Social Enterprise is living proof that many people with disabilities can and are productive members of the community and not a financial burden. They are self-sufficient and contribute to the economic and social life of their communities. The intangibles of this personal growth provide an individual with a sense of his|her own value. As their skills continue to develop, their understanding of the world of work is positively reinforced as part of the nature and practice of a Social Enterprise.

An individual with a disability that is working advances the common good of the community, economic and social. And it all begins with a job.

To learn more about the benefits of employment for those with disabilities there are some articles worth reading:
Forbes and The Huffington Post

Learn more about MDI and our Social Enterprise Model here