Social Entrepreneurship: Ridgeview Place’s Special Sauce

Working at Ridgeview Place

Ridgeview Place is a bunch of things.  It is a home for special needs adults.  It is an inclusive place, that invites interaction between the community and its resident owners.  It is a place where residents experience and benefit from both home ownership and owning their own business.  A unique style of Social Entrepreneurship weaves the residential and employment experience together in a very unique way.

It’s easy to be busy.  Busy isn’t enough to assure a financially sustainable life.  Most of the opportunities in our area for adults that are neurologically atypical involve menial work and menial reward.  We simply rejected the premise that these hard working adults should be so limited.

Therefore, the business at Ridgeview had to make good sense as a profit making business, period.  Busy work wouldn’t cut it; we sought actual, productive business, a profitable, commercial enterprise. That is an unusual requirement for businesses set up to benefit adults with special needs.  But that is exactly the requirement that allows for pretty much unlimited opportunity for the resident owners at Ridgeview.  The only limit on the opportunities, and incomes, of the owners at Ridgeview is the imagination and motivation of the people involved.

And yes, business is a team sport.  The business has lots of things to do for the resident owners as well as their families and supporters.  Of course, we chose an initial business that has a fun, social work environment.  The work involves all skill levels, so we have things that people of all skill levels can be successful doing.

But it is entrepreneurial at its core.  We identified a commercial opportunity and organized a venture to implement it.  And, we will do that again and again as we grow.

It is truly a beautiful thing.  Those who come to see it tell me there is nothing else like it.  If a group of social entrepreneurs is the type of team you want to be involved with, don’t hesitate to check it out.  We only have a few spots available.