OC students’ enterprise helps fund housing the homeless

Inn from the Cold connected with Okanagan College’s Enactus team to create a business plan for a fund-raising effort.

A new social enterprise developed by students from Okanagan College’s Enactus team kicks off this month and will benefit local residents of Chandler House in Kelowna.

Inn from the Cold/Enactus

Chandler House is Inn from the Cold’s newest residence and is home to eight chronically homeless men in Kelowna. The residence is a safe place for the men to rest, take a shower, and have a hot meal. In short, it’s a place for them to call home.

After receiving a large donation of soaps, Inn from the Cold connected with the College’s Enactus team and a unique opportunity emerged—a chance to generate income for the not-for-profit, while giving students a chance to put their business skills to the test by developing a plan for a legitimate social enterprise.

After months of planning and hard work, the team from Enactus and Inn from the Cold are launching InnSpire. The students have created a business plan for selling the donated soap, and this has included marketing, packaging, advertising, and sales. The soap will be available for purchase next week in a variety of locations.

“Working on InnSpire has been truly rewarding because it has given us a chance to help an organization that has helped so many in our community,” said Brent Basil, Okanagan College student and InnSpire Project Manager.

The team hopes to develop a sustainable source of income that not only benefits Inn from the Cold, but also raises awareness about the organization as a whole. Future goals include expanding the product line, establishing long-term relationships with vendors, and possibly implementing a mentorship program that involves working directly with the men of Chandler House.

Enactus Okanagan College is partnering with various organizations to bring the product to the community, including KLO Middle School, Save-on Foods and Okanagan College.

InnSpire will be selling beauty soaps made from all-natural ingredients, and types including Tea Tree, Honey Oatmeal, Lemon Grass, and more.

The bundles consist of singles squares at $5 each and three-packs of ovals for $10 apiece.

Soaps can be purchased at the following locations:

• KLO Christmas Craft Fair at K. L. O. Middle School (Saturday, Nov. 29)

• A Touch of Christmas Fair at New Life Church (Saturday, Nov. 29)

• Christmas Shop and Swap at the Laurel Building (Sunday, Dec. 7)

• Save On Foods at Orchard Plaza (every Sunday between Nov. 30 and Dec. 14)

• Okanagan College Centre for Learning atrium (Dec. 2 and 4).


Visit the team’s Facebook page for more information: www.facebook.com/InnSpireKelowna or email InnSpireKelowna@gmail.com.