Fountain House developed social cooperatives to encourage entrepreneurship on the part of members and provide them with advisory, administrative and financial support to their small business building efforts. Members often lack the traditional qualifications - education, work and credit histories - needed to receive small business loans and support through the Small Business Administration and Chambers of Commerce.
Yet this is the perfect constituency for "economic intervention." For a small capital investment, social cooperatives have a high Social Return on Investment (SROI). They can help people transition from lives of dependency on government benefits to self-sufficieny. Businesses developed as social cooperatives are member run and owned.
Two examples of social cooperatives are:
Phoenix Collective was created to incubate and provide ongoing advisory support to other for-profit partnerships. The Collective, located in office space provided by Fountain House, provides an array of support services that include front and back office support, such as administrative, accounting, and information management
La Luna Enterprises offers janitorial services for government parks, such as Jackson Parks Alliance and non-profit organizations, including Fountain Gallery.