Community business foundation “The Silver Twiggies”
Community business foundation “The Silver Twiggies”Entrepreneurship type – Producing floristics/hobby materials out of woodcutting leftover
What are we? NGO “Watermarks” was founded in 2007 and it functions in a perfectly rural area – in Rubene pagasts, Jekabpils county. The NGO occupies the former Kaldabruna school that is situated 50 km away from the cities Jekabpils and Daugavpils. Our main action fields: environmental protection and sustainable development, development of civic society, art and culture, lifelong learning. Our mission – development of the local community and maintenance of rural environment as an attractive one. Much has been done during the 5 years since its foundation – renovation of the old school building and improving the infrastructure, carrying out activities, thus making the organization famous on a regional level.
What we want to change? The first - k eep the local community alive and active by offering additional ways of earning one`s living. Any educational, cultural environmental protection activities may cease, if there are no employment possibilities in the area. It leads to a rapid fall in the number of the inhabitants, as well as to a deep social depression. Secondly, the NGO intends to secure its income on self-supporting basis in addition to the grants. Moreover, personal participation in maintenance of the organization that has already become a community centre, creates quite a different attitude which is based on cooperation. In case of a successful implementation of this idea, it can be disseminated in other populated places of Latvia as a solution to the development of village entrepreneurship. By implementing this idea we intend to achieve changes in the structure of the income of at least a part of the local inhabitants by substituting their present social loans with wages.
How we do it? The NGO has the following idea of social entrepreneurship - producing floristics/hobby materials out of woodcutting leftover . Initially, for the Latvian market, and gradually – for the market outside its boarders. Target audience of production: - handicraft lovers and professional florists; - education institutions; - rehabilitation centers(art therapy; e.t.c.)
How we do it? We intend to start a separate structure within the NGO - Community business foundation “The Silver Twiggies” . The foundation is responsible for the development of the above given business idea – it creates a place for drying the materials, arranges the process of their gathering and treatment, makes the designs, secures the marketing, including some export. In the context of employment it is in favour of the NGO that people who work in this business are involved as volunteers of the organization until their monthly income reaches the level of a minimum wage. We admit that the State Income Service may have a different opinion in this respect. Still it is essential to remember the initial point: to achieve changes in the structure of the income of at least a part of the local inhabitants by substituting their present social loans with wages. The existing NGO legislation in Latvian permits such a solution.
Why we? The NGO is the centre of the local community, the inhabitants trusting it. The aims and mission of the NGO coincide with the given entrepreneurship idea. The type of the entrepreneurship is nature friendly and sustainable, just proper to distant Latvian rural areas. The offered type of entrepreneurship has a significant potential for its multiplication and the NGO has experience in implementing innovative ideas, as well as, an experienced staff.
Why this buisness? 45% of local territory are covered by woods. T he woods in the area are being processed intensively; the resources of the planned production are the remains of the wood processing. Consequently, they are accessible in great amounts and they are cheap.
Why this buisness? The NGO has accessible rooms necessary for the production, their costs are low, including maintaining and heating expenses. The planned type of entrepreneurship needs mainly unqualified labor force, this factor having a vital importance in the local social situation. At the same time it offers qualified employment for designing, making prototypes, marketing and things like that, promoting the employment of the youth and intelligent inhabitants in their native area.
Our needs for start Our needs are fairly vast as the team has a notable experience in managing grants but it lacks experience in business. Consultations/mentoring are needed in the issues of making a prototype of the product, estimating the price, marketing and advertising. As the development of the idea involves export, a “business angel” in these issues would be highly desirable. Also - investment is necessary to start a particular process.
Why are we supposed to succeed? Our aim is to create a pilot model to ensure the viability of the Latvian countryside but not to obtain personal profit.
Why are wesupposed to succeed? This way of life and business are: Promising and inspiriting Beautiful and ecological Real!