The NESsT Empowers Portfolio is growing! We're excited to welcome Dalba and The Being Together Foundation to our portfolio in Poland. Dalba Social Brewery from Puck leads the first cooperative brewery in Poland and the sixth in the world, in which people with intellectual disabilities find employment. The Being Together Foundation from Cieszyn offers people at risk of marginalization vocational training and work in laundering services, carpentry, and the culinary arts.
NESsT Empowers supports and invests in social enterprises that train people from marginalized groups to work in high-growth industries. Thanks to vocational training in developing their soft skills and professional qualifications, these people open up to their environments and gain self-confidence, and are subsequently able to function better in society and in the labor market.
NESsT received over 20 applications from very different social businesses from all across Poland. The social enterprises ranged from businesses that expanded flower meadows, traditional cheeses, a foundation developing bicycle courier services, a programming school or a barbershop. These businesses include among their employees and trainees people with disabilities, young people at risk of marginalization, former prisoners and many other groups encountering particular difficulties in accessing decent jobs.
Our team interviewed all applicants and conducted site visits. We were looking at the business development stage, investment readiness, historical and forecasted financial results, the company's management team, and the social impact generated.
The highest rated Social Cooperative Dalba and the Being Together Foundation, which at the end of June received an invitation to the NESsT portfolio, employ in total 42 people from groups at risk of marginalization, and only last year they provided vocational training to 80 people.
The beers produced by Dalba, which are gaining recognition at international festivals, are sold under the brand of Browar Spółdzielczy (social brewery) in wholesalers, stores and pubs specializing in craft beer. One of these places is run by the Cooperative Pub in Gdańsk, where people with disabilities find vocational training and employment. Agnieszka Dejna and Janusz Golisowicz, who are behind the success of this social enterprise, are also enthusiastic divers and have introduced immersion therapy, i.e. rehabilitation and therapeutic diving, to a permanent work program with their beneficiaries.
Foundation for the Development of Social Entrepreneurship “Being Together” also strives to adapt educational programs and create jobs for the needs of people from marginalized groups to the highest possible degree. The multifaceted nature of the company — which runs a woodwork workshop that produces wooden Well Done wonders among other things, a laundry service provided to numerous hotels and spas in the region, and a Bistro on Wałowa — give beneficiaries the opportunity to gain a variety of professional qualifications.
Of all the great applicants, NESsT additionally distinguished the Warsaw café Życie jest fajne (Life is Cool) in particular. In this unique place, adults with autism gain employment and are prepared to enter the open labor market. NESsT together with Fossil plans to implement a series of trainings for café employees to strengthen the team's soft skills.
NESsT is excited to start cooperation with these social enterprises and support their development as part of the NESsT Empowers program. The implementation of the initiative in Poland is possible thanks to our partners, including J.P. Morgan, Credit Suisse, BNY Mellon, PwC, Fossil and Sage.
More information about social enterprises and our cooperation can be found on Facebook and soon on our website.