“Oh east is east and west is west and never the twain shall meet.”

Rudyard Kipling’s famous poem aptly describes the traditional relationship between business and charity. Businesses make a profit, charities address social problems. If a consumer wants to buy a product or service, they go to a business. If they want to do good, they donate to a charity.

Over the past few decades, however, socially-minded entrepreneurs and innovative non-profits have torn down the wall between the worlds, merging purpose and profit to create a powerful new hybrid: the social enterprise. Profitable businesses that sustainably tackle problems in our communities, while giving people a way to change the world with their consumer dollars.

Here are three of Canada’s top 3 social enterprises, showing what is possible when purpose meets profit.

Habitat for Humanity ReStore

Fix up your own home, help give someone else a home, and promote environmental sustainability, all at the same time. The ReStore is a thrift shop for do-it-yourselfers, selling donated new and used building products. Want to swap your boring old front door for something prettier, maybe with a nice inset window? Pick one from the ReStore’s stock, and then donate your serviceable old door back to them. You’ll be reducing waste. The proceeds from your purchase, and the eventual resale of your old door, will support Habitat for Humanity in providing quality housing, as well as job skills training, for families in need around the world. The ReStore generated almost $1 million in revenue for Habitat for Humanity in 2017. For your next home improvement, beautify your community as well as your house by starting your project at the ReStore.

Eva’s Print Shop

The office copier. With its paper jams and tendency to run out of toner at the worst possible time, it’s the bane of workplaces everywhere. The next time you have a major print job, take it to Eva’s Print Shop instead. Not only will you skip the photocopier stress, you’ll also create opportunities for vulnerable youth. Dedicated to the memory of immigrant, outreach worker and Toronto community leader Eva Maud Smith, the non-profit Eva’s has provided housing, counselling, employment training and other programs for homeless youth since 1994. Eva’s Print Shop, which offers the full range of print and graphic design services, generates sustainable funding for Eva’s programs. The youth employed there get training to work in the print and design sector. Over 70 per cent of youth trained at Eva’s Print Shop are launched from poverty and homelessness into full-time careers.

ME to WE Social Enterprise

Can you empower a community to lift itself out of poverty with a piece of jewelry, or a chocolate bar? With ME to WE you can. In 2017, ME to WE donated 85% of the revenues from its socially conscious products and life-changing travel experiences to the domestic and international programs of its sister organization, WE Charity. But the relationship goes far deeper than financial support. ME to WE products and services are interwoven with WE Charity’s holistic WE Villages development model. ME to WE Fairtrade chocolate , for instance, provides jobs for cocoa farmers in Ecuador—in the same communities where WE Charity works. And, proceeds from chocolate sales support education for the farmers’ children, at the school ME to WE travelers helped the community to build.