Business strategy and user research in Week 3 of Edventure Frome’s Start-Up Repair Course.
Making money and making a difference
We began the week with business planning. Johannes and Adam introduced us to three different social enterprise models;
External: When business and social activities are separate. The business may or may not be related to the social enterprise.
Integrated: When a business is created as a funding mechanism to expand and enhance a social mission.
Embedded: When a business and social programme are one and the same, i.e. the business was created for a social purpose.
Johannes also presented ‘The Ladder of Social Engagement’, a way of visualising the interest of your target audience.
Van perfectly summed up the first thought-filled day with the following poem;
Sunshine beams goals we dream
Tantalizing future visions
Fixing ourselves, through expressive creation
Conversations and well informed talking
Form restless and sleepsome minds
Seeking the clarity of whatever we can achieve
Harmonious, Contemplative, Potential.
By Van Wajsblum
Meeting Gavin Eddy
Gavin is a local entrepreneur who has launched many successful businesses including Forward Space (a series of creative ‘workhubs’ for entrepreneurs) and the Frome Independent Market. We met him on Tuesday to discuss ideas at Forward Space, Frome. It was great to get feedback from someone with such a wealth of local experience and ‘Start-Up’ expertise. He advised us to clearly define our target audience and to consider ways of maintaining interest in our project long-term.
Speaking with Ugo Vallauri
Ugo is the co-founder of The Restart Project, a London-based social enterprise that encourages and empowers people to use their electronics for longer in order to reduce waste. Ugo kindly agreed to discuss the Restart model and our project ambitions with me over the phone. He explained how ‘Restart Parties’ (community based, free electronic repair sessions) reduce the barriers to learning and help people recognise the value in repair. During the conversation he gave me many insights into running successful repair events. He also mentioned the importance of recreating trustworthy relationships with existing repair providers. Read more about Restart’s research on the matter here.
Talking to the public
Throughout the week we developed a questionnaire to ascertain what kind of repair service people would most benefit from. You can read our full questionnaire here and if you are from the local area please take a moment to fill it out. Your input is much appreciated!
Presenting pitch 2
Informed by the week’s findings we presented a preliminary business plan to the Edventure team on Thursday.
Our mission is to launch a socially inclusive workshop space together with an online platform/mobile app focusing on ethical repair. By empowering people through creative skill-shares, we hope to strengthen social bonds, increase practical skills and reduce the amount of perfectly reusable household waste.
Guided by the initial response to our questionnaire we aim to concentrate on 3 avenues;
- Regular affordable, themed fixing sessions.
- Weekly, reasonably priced workshop-based classes.
- An online directory to connect professional and amateur fixers, makers and doers.
Something to take away…
A poem from Van written on Tuesday when it was his turn to make lunch for us all.
The Sushi Situation
Best laid plans mislead big dreams
Unexpected time frames
Not bad for a first try
Saved by an angel and enjoyed by All
Earlier formation of pitch perfect questions
An air of arrival at what we can be
Morning information from a man
With proven know how
Big ideas on a small scale
We must know who they are
The providers, users and sustainers
Of our world
Cater, nurture and help them succeed.
By Van Wajsblum