Margaret McKee, Ethan Pancer, Chantal Hervieux and Maxwell Poole (2016), “Hope Blooms: Marketing a Social Enterprise after Dragons’ Den” Ivey Publishing.

Case Study

Hope Blooms was a social enterprise based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia, that grew its own garden produce and manufactured and sold a line of herb dressings. For a small social enterprise, it was remarkably successful. Hope Blooms had appeared on CBC’s Dragons’ Den and was constantly selling out of its products in local markets. In addition, it had secured placement in a national grocery retailer and was continuing to fulfill its social mission of empowering marginalized youth by providing education on food, sustainability, and entrepreneurship issues. These successes started to create a series of problems associated with production and capacity shortfalls associated with using a youth volunteer workforce, stock outs, and potential mission drift. As the executive director of Hope Blooms prepared for the final board of directors’ meeting in 2015, she wondered how to solve two of the organization’s fundamental problems: How could the retail operations provide stable employment for its youth members? How could Hope Blooms increase its profits to continue to expand its activities?

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