Based in Denver, Colorado, Women’s Bean Project is a social enterprise that aims to help unemployed and impoverished women to get on the path toward self-sufficiency. Founded in 1989 by Jossy Eyre, who was inspired by her volunteer work at homeless women’s shelter, Women’s Bean Project teaches skills that prepares the women for entry-level jobs in the on-site businesses that the project themselves own: handmade jewelry manufacturing and gourmet food production.
Most of the women at Women’s Bean Project do not have a high school diploma, are single mothers and are aided by some sort of public assistance. Some have been in prison and/or suffered from substance abuse. The Women’s Bean Project is not only a community, but a network, as most new participants have been referred by current or former women in the program. Women’s Bean Project does everything it can to arrange services and trainings, for example computer literacy classes and/or GED testing, in order to ensure that all the women are able to increase their employability.
In terms of products, Women’s Bean Project has a wide variety of ready-made gourmet food products including bean soup mix, dip mix, cornbread mix, cookie mix, brownie mix, salsa mix, fajita marinade, spice rubs, organic fair trade coffee, candy and instant tea. On the jewelry side of the business, which is a collaboration with female jewelry designers, Women’s Bean Project offers artsy beaded and metal necklaces and earrings at reasonable prices ranging from $15.00 to $55.00.
It’s important to note that Women’s Bean Project is meant to be temporary, about six months long. Women’s Bean Project is a transitional job that allows women to gain an income, and learn job skills, interpersonal skills and life skills in order to one day gain and maintain employment.
Women’s Bean Project Website
3201 Curtis St.