As a business committed to fostering urban revitalization in Aliquippa, we intend to work closely with existing organizations who are guided by missions that are complementary to our own. Over time, our intent is to engage in wider and richer associations within the community, thereby extending the scope of the “collaborative” referenced in our corporate name. As a result of this commitment, eQuip Collaborative will become increasingly involved with long-standing non-profit organizations operating in Aliquippa.
Considerable precedent exists for the fusion of non-profit and for-profit entities. In fact, recent research suggests that the interests of both groups can be deeply enriched by such collaboration, thereby producing a productive symbiosis that could not otherwise exist. Although there are challenging legal intricacies attending such arrangements, numerous and varied models are available to the for-profit corporation who wishes to work closely alongside of non-profit entities.
The reason for our commitment to such collaboration is both principled and practical. While business interests can undoubtedly become an instrument of oppression within impoverished communities, so too can they serve as forces of liberation and progress. As a business, we strongly believe that women and men possess an innate will to work and an insatiable desire to create. Among the most powerful results of poverty and a systemic lack of opportunity are the conditions often produced within the inner life of a population. In the absence of opportunity, the will to work and to desire to create can too easily be ignored or rendered impotent. At eQuip Collaborative, we are convinced that the creation of meaningful work can produce economic possibilities as well as a renewed imagination about what can be accomplished by the invigorated human spirit. As a for-profit entity our core business operations are well suited to the creation of such meaningful work.
Although responsible business practices can do powerful things for the health of a community, there are many functions that corporate entities are not well suited to undertake. Existing non-profit entities in Aliquippa have considerable relational capital among many of the city’s most at risk populations. Consequently, such organizations can serve as powerful assets for identifying candidates who are most likely to benefit from undertaking meaningful work in a nurturing environment. Additional aid can be provided by existing non-profits in the form of preliminary job training and the mentoring of at-risk populations of employees. Recognizing the inestimable benefit of such existing organizations, eQuip Collaborative is committed to active and on-going partnerships with a handful of existing groups who have demonstrated likeminded commitments to the city of Aliquippa. The importance that eQuip Collaborative places upon symbiotic partnerships is most clearly demonstrated by our commitment to the principle of community stewardship. This commitment is neither a legally binding contract nor a vague promise. Our commitment is resolute and well-defined: we pledge, on an on-going basis, to donate ten per cent of our quarterly profits to other like-minded organizations seeking to reinvigorate and restore the city of Aliquippa. Businesses are designed to be instruments of profit. Non-profit organizations, by definition, are not well-equipped to acquire substantial, and much-needed, funding for their programs. Ironically, in far too many instances, businesses use their excellence at generating profit in ways that do not enrich the lives of the cities where they are located. While such life-enriching activities are central to the identity of many non-profits, they often remain paradoxically under-supported and limited in their ability to realize their mission in a given community. It is the intention of eQuip Collaborate to disrupt this prevailing tendency by engaging in meaningful partnerships with non-profits and thereby leveraging their competencies as a way of allowing our core business practices to enrich and deepen the lives of Aliquippa’s citizens.