Social enterprise offers business ownership for people with disabilities

Jessica Satherley
Social enterprise offers business ownership for people with disabilities
Adrian Coysh (pictured with his daughter) created Drink My Coffee late last year

Despite the current economic downturn caused by Covid-19, Drink My Coffee is one social enterprise that is actively recruiting new talent. 

Adrian Coysh created Drink My Coffee late last year to enable people with disabilities to create their own business. 

The enterprise is already working with people like Jeremy in the Bay of Plenty, who has cerebral palsy and had been looking for a job for eight years before he got involved with the enterprise. 

How does the business model work? 

Drink My Coffee supplies imported coffee beans to the distributors - people like Jeremy - who then sell the coffee to local clientele.   

This gives the disabled person the opportunity to work for themselves and become financially independent without being an employee. 

Drink My Coffee also employs people with disabilities in its manufacturing process. 

Jeremy pays Drink My Coffee a wholesale price on the beans, which are imported from Colombia and Papua New Guinea, after making profit from his sales. 

“Having cerebral palsy has made it difficult for me to gain employment, so to satisfy my longing to be a valued working member of society, the solution was to setup my own business,” Jeremy says. 

“I am a people’s person and love coffee so Drink My Coffee is the perfect business. 

“It’s great to be selling this quality product to people who enjoy excellent coffee,” he says. 

Coysh has been in talks with others who are interested in joining the team, ranging from talented people with autism, dwarfism and Down syndrome. 

“The person you’re dealing with at Drink My Coffee will have some kind of disability but that might not be visible, it might be a mental health issue and they might not want to share that,” Coysh says. 

“Therefore, there is no big interview process and the distributors can make their business be as big or small as they like, it could be part time or full time,” he says. 

For Coysh, opportunities for people experiencing a disability is close to home – three of his four children are severely vision impaired. 

“When one of my daughters was applying to universities, she was told not to bother studying a science degree because it would be too hard to have a career in that field. 

“But after meeting someone with a blind daughter who had become a scientist working in cancer research, she convinced my daughter to go ahead with the science degree and now she’s doing her PHD in Leukemia research. 

“There's nothing like being told you’re not good enough 100 times for you to start thinking you’re not good enough.  

“But I want to instill in people the confidence to follow their dreams,” he says. 

“Perhaps working with Drink My Coffee will be an opportunity for somebody for two or three years and then other doors will open,” he says. 

Drink My Coffee is also in talks with other social enterprises such as The Cookie Project and Will and Able about possible collaborations. 

For more information on working with Drink My Coffee go to https://www.drinkmycoffee.co.nz/ 

 

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