Skip to main content

How New Moms and Bright Endeavors are “In the Business of Change”

“When it comes to the multiplier effect of job creation and its impact on the sustainability of our cities, newer social enterprises like Chicago’s Bright Endeavors are carving strong footholds as leaders too. Based in West Garfield Park, a neighborhood on the west side of Chicago, Bright Endeavors hires young mothers aged 18 to 24 to make soy candles that are sold in a variety of stores… The mission – intimately connected as it is to employment – is also what makes them so determined to keep much of their production handmade, despite the fact that machines help achieve efficiency. ‘It’s messy, but that’s the beauty of social enterprise,’ says CEO Laura Zumdahl, adding that, so long as intergenerational poverty is being addressed, they’re meeting their goals.”

We’re pleased that a recent book highlighting the growing role of social entrepreneurs recognizes the work of New Moms and our social enterprise Bright Endeavors. “In the Business of Change: How Social Entrepreneurs are Disrupting Business as Usual is a powerful rallying cry in support of social entrepreneurialism and its growing influence on job creation and sustainability within our cities.

At New Moms, young mothers and their children find safe and stable housing, a path to employment, and the tools they need to learn and develop strong parenting skills. Our social enterprise, Bright Endeavors, offers these same women – many of whom have experienced multigenerational poverty and homelessness – a life-changing opportunity to gain employment and job-skills training at our Chicago-based soy candle manufacturing facility.

As part of their experience, they receive coaching in effective teamwork, quality control, professional conduct, and the next steps to further their education. Over time, this training can translate into secure permanent employment elsewhere in positions that enable them to provide their children a secure future, working to break the cycle of poverty. Our moms receive support from staff members who help them in their search for a job after completing the program and support them throughout that transition and into their employment.

Since acquiring Bright Endeavors in 2010, we’ve supported more than 650 young mothers while at the same time building a thriving enterprise, whose products have received national acclaim. The young women who work at Bright Endeavors experience a strong boost to their confidence levels, which lights their path to a brighter future.

New Moms and Bright Endeavors will continue working to assist young mothers in transforming their lives. We celebrate every milestone and moment of triumph that these young women undergo throughout this program, whether it’s earning their GED, getting accepted into college, or receiving a job offer. This process is transformative and empowers these women to untap their own potential and strengthen their families.

Shop spring gift sets from Bright Endeavors here and stay tuned for their new fragrance, Sugared Grapefruit, launching mid-April.