While the pandemic slowed us down, forced us to pivot, and gave us the clarity and courage to strive for growth as a social enterprise, the truth is that change and evolution has always been essential to the DNA of MAKE Projects. From the very first cohort of Project CHOP cutting locally-sourced carrot sticks for Cajon Valley Union School District (great partners, not so good of a business model) to striking a new partnership with St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in 2017 and carrying over 30 raised beds (soil and all) from our original FarmWorks location on Fairmount Avenue in City Heights…MAKE Projects has been perpetually reaching for a better way to run our programs and scale up our impact.
We're headed in the same direction as the day we started: becoming a self-sustaining social enterprise that seeks to make a lasting impact for refugees and immigrants to live a better life. Spinning off of the IRC provides us some great responsibilities but also the chance to actually attain our dream of becoming a business-oriented, sales revenue-dependent organization. Ironically, we are going to need quite some philanthropic revenue in the next few years to get to our dream of being 75% sales dependent. However, we now have the financial mechanics and organizational infrastructure to make that vision a reality.
And as we set our sights to business growth, we can also walk with greater confidence in our social mission to provide high-impact job readiness training to our refugee and immigrant clients. Every customer interaction, every cup of coffee and every hour working together as a team – every bit of our business operations instills tremendous confidence in our clients and their ability to succeed in America. And all our MAKE Projects supporters – reading this magazine, spreading our message on social media, enjoying the sun at the café and eating the freshest CSA in San Diego – should give us all hope and confidence in an America that is still a place of refuge, a source of innovation and a model of inclusivity to the world.
Humbly and happily yours,