HCA Healthcare Foundation - January 16, 2015
by Leah Lomotey-Nakon

In The HCA Foundation Forums' April blog, Dan Surface, CEO of Dismas, Inc., and Lisa Stetar, Executive Director of Crossroads Campus, named Nashville “a destination for social innovation.”

Nashville social enterprises have had some great accomplishments in the past couple of months.

The Humpreys Street Coffee Company, a social enterprise of Harvest Hands dedicated to providing jobs and mentoring for youth in South Nashville, provided its first college scholarship to one young man who has earned the title of Head Roaster.

Thistle Farms, a social enterprise of Magdalene, recently hit the million dollar mark allowing it to increase its program capacity for women who have survived lives of prostitution, trafficking, addiction and life on the streets.  It currently employs about 60 Magdalene residents and graduates.  This growth will allow Thistle Farms to hire 15 additional employees.

Nashville social enterprises are becoming leaders in the national and international community.  As Executive Director of Magdalene, Cary Rayson, says “If you act globally, then you will impact women locally.”

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Thistle Farms sources essential oils for its natural beauty products from NGOs in Central Africa. It has also created a new initiative, Shared Trade, to share best practices, marketing strategies, and e-commerce tools with nonprofit organizations focused on "building economic freedom in the lives of marginalized women around the world".

The Humphreys Street Coffee Company also impacts the global community by selecting fairly traded and organic coffees that provide fair wages and sustainable farming practices.

Humphreys Street Coffee is sold at both the Thistle Stop Café or The Humphreys Street Coffee Company.  Sipping coffee at either location is connected to a larger movement of improving lives in Nashville and beyond.

Many social enterprises in Middle Tennessee have allowed nonprofit organizations to increase their impact and grow their capacity.  HCA will be hosting a gift market this holiday season with products from local social enterprises.  If you would like your social enterprise to be represented, tell us about your social enterprise in the comments below.