Offering supported employment to shoe valeters involves a dedicated team leader and the reliability of a steady wage for people that want to build a stronger future. Start-up costs including equipment, liability insurance and web designed were helped hugely by an award from UnLtd, which supports social entrepreneurs. Grant funding was not available to cover the cost of employing the shoe valeters nor a team leader to support and nurture them. Our shoe valeters arrive at work with their smart uniforms, interacting with a wide range of people, gaining customer service training, work experience and hopefully stable jobs within the social enterprise, or help to find work elsewhere. Shoe valeters may have a conviction, have been socially isolated, a disability, or have encountered multiple barriers. Our main purpose is to support them to show the world their positive work ethic, when so many other doors appear closed.
As with any new business, it takes time to build a client base before becoming profitable. It takes time to build a track record of reliability, professionalism and making a real difference to the lives of people who have been out of work. There has been huge public enthusiasm for what we are achieving, yet our business is not sustainable without extra support, as we have no shareholders and no parent company to ensure that salaries are paid until we are profitable.
Perhaps a few large benefactors, some of the many members of the public who have voiced support for what we are doing, or a combination of both, will see the tangible benefits of this social enterprise and want it to continue. Donations can be processed through PayPal, although an account is not necessary if you have a credit or debit card. Alternatively cheques, made payable to “StepUp Shoeshine CIC”, can be sent to StepUp Shoeshine CIC, c/o Senscot Legal, 43 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 1HW.
Thank you for your encouragement and support in transforming the lives of people who have been out of work.