The Print Shop at Eva's Phoenix: “Training Youth for Life”

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Eve Smith was the founder of Eve’s Phoenix Print shop, located in Toronto area is a socially and environmentally responsible commercial print shop that helps homeless and at risk youth to achieve self-reliance. Company mission is to work hard and find the solutions that create opportunities for homeless and at-risk youth to build healthy and productive futures that enable them to dismount the street life. There is a high demand for workers in the printing industry but very few Business initiatives that encourage young people to consider printing as a career choice. At the Eve’s Print Shop youths are receives: life skills training and counseling; on-the-job print shop training in graphic design and career development assistance. Eva’s Phoenix offers this advantage to the industry as well as providing guidance to homeless and at risk youth by giving them structure, education and a path to self-improvement. Eve Phoenix mission is well recognized by its staff, partners and stakeholders.

The General Environment segment:

Demographic segment: The homeless community in Toronto has reached critical levels. It is estimated that 10,000 young people between age 16 to 24 are currently 'living' in poverty on Toronto streets .Eva’s Phoenix Print shop provides long term solutions by offering positive and collaborative programs and services that respond directly to the needs of homeless and at-risk youth in the community. Each year Print shop provides housing for 50 homeless street youth who are between 16 to 24 years, and one year, to participate in its employment and pre-apprenticeship programs. With these opportunity youth are able to develop life skills, build careers and live independently.

Economic segment: The rising instability in the labor market is increasing the risk of political and social turmoil. Currently, in Canada the official unemployment rate for persons aged 15 to 24 is 15.1 percent. The social crisis and the consequent crisis in education are the inevitable result of the capitalist economic system. Eve’s Print Shop, assisting other social entrepreneurs to assess the challenges and opportunities associated with social enterprise. These changes came as a result of learning how to optimize the blend of social, commercial and environmental value. Youth living at Eva's Phoenix must be involved in a training or employment program. With the help of partner employers and private funders, Print shop provides pre employment support and work experience placements in the printing industry.

The political segment: To established social enterprise to involve with Political partners such as city councilors, provincial and federal members of parliament can be a key to moving a project along, and use their influence to bring other partners on board. Eva’s Phoenix has strong support from all their local representatives, and Toronto City Council. The Board members played an important role in helping the agency identify and manage the risks associated with a project. Municipal government staff is the key people within the city because they know how to work with the system, facilitate partnerships at all levels of government, and deal with necessary details such as building permits and approvals.

The social segment: Eva’s Phoenix print shop is a charitable organization in the Canadian business. The Print Shop launched as a social enterprise. Social enterprises are real businesses that work to achieve the social goals. This learning program allowed business leaders to visit three not-for-profit groups in Toronto to get a first-hand view of the challenges and successes faced by people who are homeless, and the effective work being done by organizations to address complex social issues. Executive Director Maria Crawford developed the idea of social enterprises which allow the social entrepreneurs are to limit and maximize their economic return on investment. The idea was rise that a print...
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