Amplifying impact is the goal of a new, expanded partnership between coworking and community space COhatch and social enterprise Eleventh Candle co.
The candle company that seeks to redeem, restore, empower and equip those vulnerable to human trafficking, abuse, exploitation and addiction through employment opportunities is one of the occupants of The Madery – Makers and Market at COhatch’s library location in Worthington at 752 N. High St. The Madery offers local, socially-conscious businesses a space to incubate and interact with customers, while also tapping into the expertise accessible through its coworking community.
Through the partnership, COhatch will provide Eleventh Candle CO. and its Founder & CEO Amber Runyon funding, production space and a plan to greatly expand the candle company’s retail presence over the next handful of years.
“One candle can make a difference,” says Runyon. “Each candle made provides our women with trauma informed counseling and a living wage above minimum wage. Now with support from COhatch, we can accelerate our mission to help more at-risk victims and better educate the public on this rapidly escalating social issue.”
COhatch Founder Matt Davis says working with Runyon and the other social ventures at The Madery, he sees that social enterprise leaders’ hearts are often bigger than their balance sheets. They need an infusion of different skill sets to help their enterprises grow and have more impact.
Davis says that Runyon’s talent and skill set made Eleventh the perfect fit for COhatch to partner with to increase the company’s scale. That scale includes opening five to 10 Eleventh Candle Co. retail locations across the Midwest over the next few years.
An announcement will be made soon about the first storefront which is slated for a high-traffic area in Central Ohio. By bringing Eleventh to a location where more people will naturally interact with the brand, Runyon is excited to build more awareness not just about their candles, but the bigger issues it seeks to tackle.
“I just think its fascinating that we can help Amber not only deploy her concept, but help it evolve into something that’s more impactful,” Davis says, especially considering that high-foot traffic areas can be the exact locations where human trafficking incidents occur.
The new partnership will also help Runyon fulfill a personal mission to create the greatest amount of impact with her life. She will take on a larger role within COhatch’s corporate structure to counsel, grow and scale additional social enterprises. Runyon calls it a dream job to help create more business like Eleventh by leveraging her skill sets to help social enterprises tell their story and define their impact.
With The Madery, Runyon has an available pool of social enterprises to start her work, but Davis says their helping hand won’t be limited to just those businesses. He wants to see more social enterprises that are instantly recognizable, building familiarly for the industry as a whole.