This project was hatched as a result of a social entrepreneurship class under the guidance of Global Agents for Change's co-founder and president, Shawn Smith. After four months of developing our social impact model, business model, and other components, we presented our social venture, Aspire, to two panels of judges. Aspire won 1st place at SFU's Opp Fest on April. 8th, 2011, and is currently being carried forward by myself and another member of the original group.
Our project is largely based on Specialisterne and Aspiritech, two companies that have successfully proven this business model and both of which were generous enough to speak to us about ours.
Our social enterprise aims to provide people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) an employment opportunity that utilizes their autistic characteristics as a competitive advantage on the job. While those with ASD are traditionally viewed as invaluable to the work force due to their difficulties with communication and social engagement, it has also been recognized that people with ASD tend to possess excellent long-term memory, immense attention to detail, and a desire to perform repetitive tasks – all traits highly demanded for in the IT industry.