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Apiculture/Natural Cosmetics Social Enterprise

Establishing a social enterprise on bee-products and bee-product based cosmetics has already proven highly successful in several contexts. Most comparable to the aims of this venture is Sweet Beginnings LLC in Chicago, who produce their own cosmetic line, Beeline. Sweet Beginnings provide transitional employment for those with significant barriers to employment, including those who have served prison sentences, who work in the production, manufacturing and sales of Beeline cosmetics which contain honey produced at their own apiary. The company has trained approximately 200 people since 2007. The skills acquired through this employment have allowed employees to move on to roles in diverse industries including manufacturing, food service, distribution, warehousing, hospitality and customer service. The reoffending rate of the employees is lower than 4%, an impressive contrast to the US national average of 65%.

Such social enterprises are highly suitable for developing a wide range of transferable skills and specific employment experience. Beekeeping and bee-product harvesting are sustainable, practical activities which do not require prior educational attainment but provide a stimulating working environment. With the predicted growth of the Brazilian honey market, beekeeping is likely to be a skill which will be in significant demand. The production of natural cosmetics will also require vocational training. This can include the science of cosmetic formulation and compounding as well as the development of specialist knowledge of the benefits of a range of natural products. Further opportunities for professional training and development include:

• Product Design
• Branding and Marketing
• PR and Social Media
• Web Design and Editing
• Event Management
• Sales and Customer Services
• Packaging and Distribution
• Human Resources
• Facilities and Office Management
• Bookkeeping and Financial Administration

These and other opportunities provided by such an enterprise are wide-ranging and can be tailored to the professional interests and goals of the individuals involved as well as providing experience in two of Brazil’s significant industries.