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.




5 thoughts on “Social Entrepreneurship: Ridgeview Place’s Special Sauce”

  1. Hi,

    My name is Jill Button, I live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area of Texas and I have a son who is living at home with me, a soon to be 20 year old with autism. I have been on a mission to try and find a community type of setting with supports in place to help him transition, get a job, etc. and haven’t found much. I am very interested in how you are running this business at a profit while helping these kids/adults. This is something I am passionate about and if there is a way I can get involved or learn what it is you are doing in Washington that might be able to be replicated here in Texas (or another state, we aren’t opposed to moving) I would love know.

    Any information would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,

    Jill Button

    1. Jill,

      Please email me and I would be happy to chat with you. And, we do not run Ridgeview at a profit. It is actually owned by the residents. Each resident also gets 25% of the company we operate there as well. Hope to hear from you!

  2. I am seeking to have my son involved in some entrepreneurial position with or without others. I would love to learn more about specifically what business opportunities you have chosen for the individuals there and what has worked well or what hasn’t. The idea of blending the housing experience with social entrepreneurship for the residents is intriguing to me. Perhaps one day my son would be ready for something like this. Thank you for sharing!

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