The socially responsible organisation offers employment in an ordinary environment to those normally excluded from the job market
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Spotted: In France, 700,000 people are on the autism spectrum and 65,000 are diagnosed with Down syndrome. Many of those living with these disabilities find it very difficult to break into the job market. For example, according to the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS), only 22 per cent of autistic adults are in any kind of employment.
Socially responsible business Café Joyeux is tackling this issue. Founded in 2017, the organisation began by operating restaurants that provide training and employment for people with cognitive disabilities. Following an initial assessment, candidates receive training from a multi-disciplinary team of HR, management, and cooking professionals, as well as special needs educators. At the end of the training process, candidates are employed by Café Joyeux – which is run as an ordinary business. Working at Café Joyeux allows employees to gain confidence and experience in the workplace within a supportive environment. The business currently has eight cafés in major cities across France.
Following the initial success of its chain of restaurants, Café Joyeux launched its own brand of coffee to be sold to individuals and businesses. In addition to being fair trade, the coffee is packaged by 30 workers with disabilities, providing further employment opportunities to those often excluded from the workplace. Furthermore, all of the profits from sales of the coffee are re-invested in the opening of Café Joyeux coffee-shops.
Further innovations spotted by Springwise that support those living with disabilities include a social enterprise that sells accessories made by people with disabilities, and a social enterprise that raises awareness of disabled workers.
Written By: Matthew Hempstead