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The innovation of Pixza is its competitive advantage: an original value proposal deliver to the consumer, a business model for-profit and for-impact, and a social commitment to achieve the mission of providing social economically productive reinsertion opportunities for young adults with a social abandonment profile.
The innovation and a truly competitive advantage of Pixza is immersed in three key elements: 1) It´s product, 2) It´s business model, and 3) The social empowerment platform.
Product. Definitely a core part of the innovation is its culinary invention. Pixza offers the world's first and only blue corn pizza made of 100% Mexican ingredients.
Business Model. Pixza has a business model that operates on a socially sustainable level. For every five slices of pizzas sold, the sixth is donated to a young adult with a social abandonment profile. With this slice of pizza comes an open hiring program and a multidimensional empowerment opportunity focus on achieving the social and economically productive reinsertion.
A social abandonment profile in those young adults aged from 17 to 27 regard six main characteristics: 1) they spent time in the street, 2) family abandonment, 3) no formal education, 4) history of drug addiction, 5) criminal record, and 6) they are migrants and/or refugees.
When we talk about the business model, Alejandro reinforces that “it is possible to be a for-profit and for-impact”.
Social empowerment platform Pixza´s mission is to provide social and economically productive reinsertion opportunities for young adults with social abandonment profiles. The multidimensional program of 18 months drives them to achieve these goals:
● Sustain a formal job at Pixza,
● Create and implement a personal and professional life plan,
● Move into their own apartment and sustain an independent living, and
● Receive professional and practical education.
The innovation emerged when Alejandro Souza, the creator and founder of Pixza, was studying a master in New York City. One occasion he was with a friend, talking about how they both miss Mexican food, especially a traditional Mexican dish called “huarache”, made of blue corn. That is when the idea of a pizza made of blue corn came to his mind.
Also during his master, as part of a journalism class, he had the assignment to choose a person that had an incredible story and tell his or her story through different areas of journalism. He found Joe, a homeless person, and spend four months near him, spending time on the streets, and volunteering in shelters. After this experience, he affirmed his idea of employing previously homeless young adults on his new business.
The founding team of Pixza was formed by Alejandro and the first employees that came into the program, the first agents of change as he called them. A key aspect of the success of the business model is the network with strategic partners, all private and public shelters in Mexico City, as well as the people and organizations working with rescue, prevention and rehabilitation of young adults with a social abandonment profile. Pixza´s team work on reinsertion and inclusion.
Alejandro considers himself as a social entrepreneur, but the original idea came about when he found Joe, who had lived at the streets for about 25 years. When he met him and spent time with him, Alejandro discovered a unique perspective of the different viewpoints of living on the street and at the shelters.
When he came to Mexico, he did empathy building exercises and started perfecting the business until they started.
The motivation of starting this business was, as Alejandro expressed “to be a movement”, and “send a message that it is possible to employee these young adults, that it is possible to trust them again”. Pixza's team wants to inspire change as a general system approach toward impact.
Pixza provides social and economically productive reinsertion opportunities for young adults with social abandonment profiles in Mexico City. With four years of operation and three restaurants, the platform has graduated 60 young adults, 60 lives that have been changed. Alejandro's ideal is that Pixza and its social empowerment platform be anywhere in the world.
Pixza team's dream is also to motivate other people and organizations to do the same things that they are doing: become for-profit and for-impact. The key factor is to adapt the social impact into the business model.
Pixza is a profitable business; it operates three restaurants in Mexico City, plans to open one more for the end of this year, and 2 to 4 next year.
Since Pixza's foundation, the social empowerment platform has graduated 60 young adults, with different levels up to which they were able to do; some of them, for example, move to their own independent housing. The program has dedicated hundreds of hours of coaching and personalize training.
Without doubt, the most important benefit is the opportunity for these young adults to be rescued from the streets and with training to be able to sustain a job. In less than a year, the number of young adults working at Pixza triplicated.
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Alejandro Souza, Founder
Pixza is a social empowerment platform disguised as a pizzeria. As a pizzeria, its value proposal is a unique culinary experience, the world's first and only blue corn pizza made of 100% Mexican ingredients. As a social empowerment platform, Pixza focuses on achieving the socio-economically productive reinsertion of young adults with a social abandonment profile with a formal job offer and a multidimensional empowerment program.