Haskayne students launch social enterprise to help low-income mothers
Sales of baby swaddle blankets will go towards donating diapers to Calgarian mothers in need
By Kristina Lyngberg
On Nov. 16, three third-year Haskayne business students launch their crowdfunding campaign for a new social enterprise, Bundles of Hope, to help low-income Calgarian mothers through ATB BoostR.
The three co-founders, Miranda Mantey, Willis Tat, and Justin Wood, met in their Entrepreneurship 317 class after being assigned together based on their results from a Strengths Finder survey. Right away, they knew they wanted to use their business to create social change and One World Blankets was born.
The group explains that the inspiration behind shifting their social enterprise from combating international social issues with One World Blankets to addressing a more local social issue with Bundles of Hope stemmed from learning about the pressures that single mothers face.
“We learned that there is a high correlation between a mother’s ability to afford diapers and her ability to work,” says Mantey. “Daycares require parents to provide a days’ worth of disposal diapers. If a mother can’t afford diapers, she can’t put her child into daycare and if she can’t put her child in childcare, then she can’t work.”
To address both issues, Bundles of Hope aims to sell baby swaddle blankets created by low-income Calgarian mothers. In addition, the co-founders state that each baby swaddle blanket sold will go toward donating a days’ worth of biodegradable diapers to a mother in need.
The students’ creative approach with One World Blankets landed them in the finals of RBC’s Fast Pitch Competition, winning the Viewer’s Choice Award, and receiving in-kind services from Market Grade ($10,000) and PwC ($10,000) due to the second place team choosing not to pursue their business.
Bundles of Hope already has numerous accomplishments under its belt, including an invitation to be a part of the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation’s incubator program starting in January 2016. The centre is designed to connect the students with more resources to help propel expansion of their social enterprise. In addition, the team was awarded third place at the Lion’s Den Social Innovation Challenge receiving $3,000 worth of prizes.
The co-founders hope to raise $2,000 through their crowdfunding campaign; with every donation, individuals will have the choice of between receiving either a baby swaddle blanket or contributing a diaper donation.
On Nov. 20, ATB BoostR will announce the top five to six groups pitching on Dec. 2 on the BoostR Stage which connects Alberta startups to a live audience, enabling them to receive additional funding and publicity.
Find out more about Bundles of Hope.