Social Business For a Better Future: Bimbi&Co Founder Enrica Lo Coco
In 2009, Lo Coco, mother of two, set up a room in her apartment to help her younger son who has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) play and study. ASD is a range of conditions classified as neurodevelopmental disorders with symptoms becoming visible by the age of 2. At that time, services for autistic children were limited to only private medical care and at home rehabilitation. Patients and their families were expected to pay 600 euros per month, with private sessions needed for at least 3 hours a week. This practice was also difficult for doctors, who could not bring all the necessary equipment to patients’ houses.
Lo Coco started off by inviting 3 kids with similar health conditions as her son’s to come to the room to play. The purpose was to help kids with special needs and to guarantee care for her family and other families with social costs. In a matter of months, the number of kids visiting the room increased to 22 and Lo Coco decided to expand.
In 2010, a religious order sponsored her project and gave her 340mq for rent in the south of Rome. Today, Bimbi&Co has a team of 20 doctors, ranging from psychologists to orthopedic specialists, working with kids and their parents. Lo Coco is looking to expand further into a franchise to be distributed across Rome, in order to accommodate families living in neighboring areas. While kids account for 95% of Bimbi&Co’s activity, some of the patients are adults. Lo Coco concluded by underlining that Bimbi&Co follows the social business model, so its main goal does not revolve around any financial profit.