Cemal is the founder of Change Please - a social enterprise partnership between Old Spike Roastery and The Big Issue that trains people who are homeless to be baristas. They pay each individual they employ the London Living Wage, provide extensive barista training, and provide housing, bank accounts, therapy support and then work to help them into onward employment. 10 days after starting with them their staff are no longer homeless.
They started with a few coffee carts in London and have expanded rapidly to include fixed sites, opened sites outside the capital, taken the concept to the US and now have their coffee sold in major national supermarkets across the UK too.
In this episode Cemal explains:
- how he is working to make Change Please the UK’s fourth-biggest coffee chain
- how the Change Please concept works internationally
- why the concept scales so well
- the experience that led him to walk away from a successful career to start this venture
- how it got off the ground in the first place
- how someone thinking of starting a business themselves can have a real social impact
- the organisations that can help a would-be social entrepreneur
There are a few links mentioned in the conversation that you can check out it you want to look into this further: