Howard Industries: A Social Enterprise Worth Continuing?

Case Solution

Kyleen Myrah, Kerry Rempel, Dean Warner
North American Case Research Association (NACRA) ()

Barbara Levesque was preparing for her monthly board meeting on January 18, 2016. Five years ago, the John Howard Society of North Okanagan (JHSNOK) made a strategic decision to pursue social entrepreneurship. Its main objective was to better support the growth and development of its clients. A second driver was the search for additional opportunities to diversify its sources of financing in order to achieve greater independence and financial stability. Social enterprises were identified as a means to increase their impact, better fulfill their mission, and contribute to long-term corporate finance. In 2010, Howard Industries was founded and two social enterprises were established: Uncle Howie’s Kitchen provided inexpensive catering services, and Clean Sweep provided minor renovations, painting and cleaning jobs primarily serving the community and public sector. By 2015, Howard Industries’ investment was beginning to pay off, and to date, its social enterprises had donated $ 4,500 to its parent organization. The management team estimated that approximately 18 JHSNOK clients worked full-time at the two companies during the four-year period from 2011 to 2015, and significant changes had occurred for some of these men. Howard Industries was at a crucial point in development. The market provided an opportunity to maintain and expand existing contracts, increase their profitability, and promote their clients to managerial positions in the business. To grow, additional management time should be allocated to support. His board of directors had asked Levesque to report on Howard Industries’ achievements in 2015 and to make recommendations for future direction. When the five-year social enterprise pilot drew to a close, Levesque had to decide whether it was worth continuing with Howard Industries and, if so, how he would convince the board of directors to renew their commitment to this social enterprise.

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