APPLYExpress your interest and select the time you would like to schedule a conference call with the nonprofit.
PREPAREFamiliarize yourself with the nonprofit. Do some quick research and skim through anything you can find such as their website and/or social media.
STARTYou'll have an 1 hour call to help a nonprofit leader navigate their challenge.
Tips for getting the most out of your sessionFamiliarize yourself with the nonprofit. Do some quick research and skim through anything you can find such as their website and/or social media.
Make a list of questions you have to clarify your understanding of their challenge.
Have the mindset of keeping the call focused on an issue that can be addressed in a 1-hour consultation, and steer the nonprofit to tangible next steps.
Our business model relies on volunteers. Given the pandemic and other logistical challenges, we need to re-think the sustainability of our volunteer only business model.
We have helped over 300 refugee clients since 2011, and we now have 8 core refugee clients who have are proficient with sewing. We must adopt a wholesale sales model vs. today’s piece meal model. We no longer have volunteers to help teach sewing skills or coordinate the execution of wholesale projects.
Sew REDI has moved to the Canisius College campus for me to manage as the Enactus program advisor, but we are at risk of closing without a new, sustainable business model that continues to provide our refugee clients with 100% of the product profits, which has historically equaled ~$15/hour.
SewREDI Buffalo is a Refugee Economic Development Initiative in Buffalo, NY. We use sewing to teach economic empowerment and provide opportunities for self-sufficiency to members of Buffalo's refugee community. The people we teach gain marketable skills as well as a place to come together and share the experience of making something from start to finish. We are staffed entirely by community volunteer sewing instructors and people with business skills, and we supply all of the materials for projects so that the folks who come to sew with us do not have to take risk to make products for sale. As each refugee learns to sew, they take a test to earn their own brand new sewing machine so they can sew for their families.
SewREDI was founded in 2011 by Patricia Hutton, a Canisius College professor and the advisor of Canisius Enactus. SewREDI Buffalo's volunteers come from all over the WNY community. We are a 501(c)(3) non profit, all-volunteer organization