Heca is a social business that supports people who often have difficulty accessing job opportunities.
Poland produces large amounts of waste materials that could be reused to create goods, such as furniture and accessories. At the same time, the large share of fossil fuel-driven cars in goods delivery systems heavily pollute the air in Polish cities. Many jobs could be created by tackling these environmental challenges. That way, people from vulnerable groups could get a stable income.
This is precisely what social enterprise Heca has set out to do. It supports people with physical or mental disabilities and young people who are homeless to access training and quality jobs in waste material reuse.
One of Heca’s lines of business is Patentu, producer of hand-crafted quality furniture from recycled materials such as plastic waste, which is collected from corporate partners. Patentu furniture is designed for accessibility, built with universal design principles that accommodate the needs of children, the elderly and people with disabilities.
Heca contributes to curbing carbon emissions through Tczew Bicycle Couriers, a bicycle-based urban delivery enterprise that trains and hires at-risk youth, many of whom are graduates from Heca’s training programmes. The social enterprise also offers job search mentoring and office spaces to help programme participants launch their careers. During the pandemic, Heca offered career training to more than 400 people who lost their jobs.
To strengthen the local social economy, Heca often partners with other impact-oriented organisations. In 2020, Heca prepared almost 4,000 gift sets with products from partner social businesses for its corporate clients.
By participating in the Poland and Romania accelerator, Heca will receive support to improve its business strategy and internal structures to prepare for scaling. That way, the social enterprise will be able to offer more full-time employment opportunities and training courses.
Heca will also receive guidance on developing the business model of the Patentu furniture company. The investment received through the programme will be dedicated to enhancing its pricing, sales, and marketing strategies to reach new markets.
I know from experience how important networking is in running a business. This programme will give us the opportunity to meet new companies, not only from Poland. We’ll also be glad to use the knowledge of experts from NESsT and IKEA. Our growth as a business will go hand in hand with creating more safe and attractive jobs for people at risk of exclusion.
Maksymilian Flemming - Co-founder, chairman of the Board, Heca.