ShopAbilities was founded in 2018 as an extension of the Abilities Community Inclusion Program, which has been supporting adults with developmental disabilities in Victoria B.C. since 1998. Our vision is to give people with developmental disabilities the opportunity to gain meaningful employment and increasing community connections. This vision is complemented by our mission to help adults with developmental disabilities live a good life, so why do we do what we do?
Mission – The Good Life
Living The Good Life means living a life that sets you free. A life that satisfies and fulfills you, adds happiness, and a sense of purpose to your life. It also means to live a life that makes a contribution.
Our ultimate goal is to:
- Provide employment and training opportunities for people with developmental disabilities
- Increase access to the community through our sales and delivery process
- Promote environmental practices
At ShopAbilities, we recognize that all businesses must make profits, but we also strive to have a positive impact on the community by creating jobs in this fragile sector of the economy. Social entrepreneurship is the practice of pursuing innovative ventures that address societal problems. We designed ShopAbilities by following the example of social enterprise pioneer, Muhammad Yunus who started the Grameen Bank (I will write a separate article about him in future posts). Unlike traditional business structures, a social enterprise model allows us to integrate social goals and objectives into our plans. In our case, we are focused on providing employment and social inclusion for people with developmental disabilities, while promoting ethical and environmental practices.
If you have ever heard the term, social enterprise and wondered how it works, here’s what you need to know. By selling products or services, social enterprises create a market for their chosen sector or local community. All profits will be used and donated to projects, ideas and initiatives that bring about positive social change in communities.
In the future ShopAbilities will focus on:
- Increasing our sales with targets that are focused on offering paid employment opportunities for people with developmental disabilities
- Selling other donated items on our e-commerce site
If you are interested in community inclusion and supporting people with developmental disabilities, visit the ShopAbilities Store and follow our motto, Give-Buy-Feel Good.
Thanks for reading.