The Skwachàys Lodge, combined with the street-level Urban Aboriginal Fair Trade Gallery, uses a Social Enterprise model to fund supportive housing. Instead of taxpayer dollars providing the ongoing monthly subsidy for 24 Indigenous artists live/work studios, the funds come from the operation of these two social purpose businesses. When a guest spends their overnight travel dollars at the Skwachàys there is a social impact – people are housed. When a guest, a member of the community or a company purchase authentic Aboriginal art at the Fair Trade Gallery, there is a social impact – a simple purchase fights cultural misappropriation and ensures that Aboriginal artists are paid fairly for their work.
Definition: a social enterprise is an organization that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in human and environmental well-being, rather than maximizing profits for external shareholders.