With Laurinda Lee-Retter, Founder of the Kind Karma Company, we talked about supporting at-risk and homeless youth and uncovered insights into creating a synergy between social impact and business.
About Kind Karma
Kind Karma is a social enterprise that employs at-risk and homeless youth in Toronto to handcraft fine jewellery. This amazing company returns proceeds to support the youth's individual goals such as funding, education, housing, courses, among others.
Laurinda could not finish her university degree because she had mental health challenges during her third year. As she was recovering from mental illness, it was very challenging to find work.
Looking back, she thought about "how challenging it must be for youth in vulnerable situations. They grew up in environments where survival had to be their primary focus, and they might not have the wherewithal to get a degree or go to university." So, she wanted to create employment options that helped them find purpose and success differently.
Today, Kind Karma has created a safe and welcoming space for youth, where they feel better and can hold on to their job longer than they had in the past. For Laurinda, "knowing that [she] has created a little bit of a difference in someone's life [...] means more than anything physical or any accolades".
Moving forward, she would love to expand her company's footprint to help more youth across Canada. To support Kind Karma, you can purchase their products at kindkarmaco.com and follow them on their social platforms.
Insights Into Creating a Synergy Between Social Impact and Business
Kind Karma is a perfect example of symbiosis between social impact and business. Laurinda's primary goal is to support more youth, and she is doing it by further developing her business. Both endeavours reinforce each other.
To achieve this outcome, Laurinda realised that if her youth had a healthy lifestyle, they would be able to commit better to their jobs, reducing turnover within the company. She, therefore, implemented the following initiatives:
- A point system where youth are rewarded for creating healthy lifestyles.
- A mentorship program to help her youth get answers and support in areas they want to grow.
- A safe space where they can not only work but also enjoy life.
As a result, Laurinda noticed that her employees felt happy at work and did not want to leave her company. Also, her youth are already looking for ways to give back and support their community.
Inspiration to Go!
We are all in one world, we are all working together to make it a better place, and we should all support each other regardless of what we are doing and be kind to each other.
Thanks so much for reading this post!
If you are a social entrepreneur and would like to share your story, reach out to me via LinkedIn. I am looking forward to it!