Basta – a social enterprise
Basta is a social enterprise that offers drug rehabilitation and work based integration through social enterprise. The goal of all activities within Basta is to combat exclusion and social isolation, no matter the reasons for the exclusion. Basta is user run, which means that the power and influence over its activities lies with the people who themselves have done their rehabilitation at Basta.
Situated at several locations
The idea of creating a social enterprise owned and run by former drug users started in 1989 when Basta’s founder, Alec Carlberg, visited social cooperatives in Italy. The creation of Basta was inspired by these Italian examples, especially by San Patrignano. Basta, however, is no Italian copy but rather the product of many people who have sought an alternative road away from drug dependency. In the autumn of 1994 five people moved into premises in Nykvarn, outside Stockholm, and Basta was founded. From its start in 1994 Basta has grown and today has premises and activities at several locations around Sweden.
Basta offers a one-year work integrated drug rehabilitation program. Work integrated means that a big part of the rehabilitation takes place at Basta’s work units, through real employment. Through work you regain your self-esteem, you practice communication skills, and you create a new identity and social context around yourself. The unique thing about Basta is that you have the possibility to stay after you have finished your first year of rehabilitation. You can become be part of the running of a genuine social enterprise. People are referred to Basta through the Swedish social services or the Criminal Justice System.
The social enterprise
Basta sells its services within several sectors, i.e: construction, carpentry, graffiti removal, horse breeding, the provision of a dog hostel, cleaning of trains (the outside surface), renovation of pallets, and the running of a hotel. At Basta quality production is economically necessary for the survival of the social enterprise. That means that everyone is aware that his or her work matters. Nothing is done in order to make time pass. Through a strongly decentralised organisation, many people get the chance to take on considerable responsibility for finances and leadership, which in its turn leads to personal growth and increased self-esteem. In that sense the enterprise fulfils several interacting purposes: a personal empowerment journey, newly won vocational skills, together with necessary economic profitability.
All surplus is reinvested
Basta has since its start in 1994 grown and is today a group of companies with the non-profit association Basta as a parent company. Each year the economic surplus is reinvested back into Basta’s activities. All surplus is used to create more and better work opportunities for those at Basta and for those who wants to come to Basta.