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SEC15: Tamra Ryan from the Women’s Bean Project

We had a chat with Tamra Ryan about social enterprise, employablity and empowerment of impoverished women.


1st December 2015

With this podcast we try to reach beyond our shores. While great things are happening in the Scottish social enterprise sector at the moment, there are projects, organisations and individuals that do vital work in other areas of the world.

Recently I had the pleasure of having a chat with Tamra Ryan of the Women’s Bean Project, a social enterprise based in Denver, Colorado in the United States that empower impoverished and chronically unemployed women by providing them transitional job training. The project itself creates gourmet food and handmade jewelry which is sold in 500 retail locations across America, and can also be found online on Amazon and Walmart, amongst others.

The scope of the project also helps women to develop the interpersonal and life skills needed to forge a successful career. Much like the work we do here at Kibble, their employability programme is more than just giving women a hand up onto the job ladder, it is about augmenting employment with other life skills such as communication, budgeting, accountability, problem solving and goal setting. They also arrange support services and teach women the skills needed to get a keep a job.

Tamra has been the CEO of the Women’s Bean Project for 12 years, and it is with her guidance and steady hand that the project has grown to have an operating budget of $1.7m. I came across Tamra when I saw her TEDx talk about employability, and how her time at the Women’s Bean Project has led her to redefine what the term “unemployable” actually means.

I hope you enjoy this episode. I think it’s one of our most inspiring yet.


Women’s Bean Project Website
Women’s Bean Project on Twitter
Tamra Ryan’s TEDx talk

Over to You

We would love to her about more social enterprises in other countries which offer similar employability services. If you know of any, please let us know in the comments below!

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