Community Collaboration creates Collateral for Social Change
Idea title: Community Collaboration creates Collateral for Social Change
One Sentence description: How to turn social enterprises from charity businesses into sustainable, scaleable vehicles for social change
Addressing topic: Social Procurement Challenge
Team members: Pippa Campbell
Provide an overview of your solution and how it solves the problem along with a short description of your inspiration behind the idea:
With the rapid growth of social enterprises in Australia we are faced with the challenge of how to make social enterprises sustainable and scalable and not merely a new packaging for the charity sector. At present there are over 20 000 social enterprises operating in Australia, of which 73% are small businesses. At a recent forum run by The Difference Incubator, one of the leading organisations providing support for social enterprises, the CEO, Bessi Graham, declared they were "breaking up with social enterprise" Why? Because "social enterprises have become more and more self obsessed and internally focused" she goes on to say that "we have tracked social enterprise to the very problem that it was trying to escape - the scarcity mindset that sits in a charitable non-for-profit space. We already have enough organisations that are very competitively fighting over shrinking pools of capital in a philanthropic and government space."
It is with this mindset that I forged ahead with my own social enterprise. What I have observed, is that most social enterprises still rely upon the end user of their product or service to make a change or choice in their behaviour to make their model sustainable. The problem with this model is that it requires a lot of energy to maintain a large volume of end users over extended periods of time, mostly relying upon the righteous capital of an individual "feeling good about making a difference". Unfortunately this model is not easily sustainable or scalable.
I decided to flip this proposition in creating my model for my business. The end user should be able to choose your product or service because it provides the best solution to the problem they face. It is those industries that already have "skin in the game" of the problem that you are trying to solve that should provide the heavy lifting for the delivery of the product. This requires much bigger picture thinking about the stakeholders of your problem and a network of collaboration that means the whole community are invested in the solution.
Describe your solution in detail, providing a high-level business plan addressing how you would implement your solution:
The problem that I wanted to solve was a lack of consistent support for parents raising children resulting in social and medical problems for both the child and the parents.
I then designed support centers to address theses issues. They are The Nests.
The Nests are parenting triage centres, bringing together all the services that parents need in one place. The Nests have all the practitioners that parents need to see throughout pregnancy and the early parenting journey, including GPs, obstetricians, midwives, lactation consultants, psychologists, osteopaths, speech pathologists and many more. There is also a co-working space with childcare, a cafe, a communal meeting space with a library and a workshop space. What really makes The Nests unique is the combining of professional services with a supportive space for parents to connect with each other.
The plan involves 10 Nests across Melbourne, with models to roll out in regional areas and interstate in the future.
One Nest will be opened first with two more to closely follow and with the final 7 Nests to roll out as the model is refined and streamlined.
The business model of The Nests uses corporate sponsorship for set up only (with the corporates being anchor tenants in the co-working space enabling them to transition their workers with new families in their local area) The Nests then run themselves through the rental of the space to the operators of the co-working space and cafe, along with the practitioners and workshop space hire. The sites of The Nests are sourced through partnership with the local councils. The parents (the end user) will not pay any extra to attend the centres and we have asked state government to provide a funding stream to allow low income earners to access all practitioners as if they are bulk billed. The Nests work with local government to support the existing services (such as maternal health services) and have 2 research arms to allow up to date research to be run through the centres and continue best practice programs on site.
I knew that if I wanted to provide access to the parents that most needed it then I would need to create a model for delivering this support that was both sustainable and scalable. It also needed to provide a service to parents that was so accessible and appealing that I wouldn't need to convert the parents (my end user) to use the service nor would there be any added cost for them. This meant I would need to fund my model from further up the food chain (those who are most financially affected by the social and medical side affects of the issue at hand). In my project this involved Corporates. I intentionally avoided making government a major financial stakeholder so that the Nests were not reliant on the government of the day, but it was also crucial to have government committed to the concept of The Nests.
Outline the budget required to achieve the ambition of your idea:
The Nests themselves are funded through the model I have outlined. The budget I will outline is the budget needed to pull all the stakeholders together and create a time line for rolling out The Nests. With 10 Nests to roll out this set up cost will only be required for the first year and will allow for the set up of the first 3 Nests. The main focus of this is setting up an office with employees and consultants focusing on the key areas of
Finance and contracts $30 000
Marketing and awareness $15 000
Stakeholders liaison $15 000
Council liaison $10 000
legal support $15 000
Website $10 000
Office space $5 000
Total $100 000
Partnerships are critical for a stronger idea and delivering a solution. Who are the key stakeholders within your idea? Is your solution the result of a collaborative approach? If not, are you looking to bring other partners along:
Collaboration is key to my approach to social enterprise.
The formula to this Community Investment Model is as follows
1. Identify the problem you want to solve
2. Identify the community stakeholders
Provide the stakeholders with at least 2 of these criteria (preferably all of them)
- Offer a solution to a problem they have
- Provide them with social capital
- Save them money (even a small amount over a long term period)
- Provide them with a competitive edge over another stakeholder in their sector
To strengthen the likelihood of success, a broad foundation of evidence is critical. What’s the evidence base that points towards your solution being a success? Is your solution addressing an unmet gap in the market:
My desire to address this social problem, came from working with parents for 9 years to support birth and early parenting. In this role I have absorbed all the latest research. The circumstances of birth and the support of the developmental stages of childhood have a direct correlation to the long term outcomes for that child. As part of my work I have connected parents to the available services to help them with issues that arise during the early parenting journey. This really exposed the lack of continuity and connectivity of available services and also the negative outcomes from identifying or preventing problems early in life. There is an overwhelming amount of research showing that parents are suffering from lack of support and society as a whole is suffering the consequences of this situation.
The Nests are supported by a board of 5 professionals with over 150 years experience between them. The Nests will have 2 research arms to allow the most up to date evidence of best practice, which will also allow the centres to run contract programs for outside groups (such as immunization programs). The Nests are build upon non judgemental, evidence based programs with a focus of true preventative health in areas such as mental health issues, gut health, obesity and the rising medical costs in birth.
Who are the key beneficiaries of your solution:
The beneficiaries of my model are
These beneficiaries are also the major stakeholders
Do you have funding partners interested in your idea:
I have engaged all levels of my beneficiaries and they are committed to my idea. The major stakeholders have provided commitment to the financial model of The Nests. I am still seeking funding for the the roll out period as mentioned in the budget section. My biggest challenge is that with all the stakeholders involved the logistics of pulling everything together requires resources.
Describe your most successful experience executing a solution to a problem:
I have spent this year researching and raising awareness about my project by providing smaller scale events that bring together all of the stakeholders and beneficiaries This has allowed me to refine the model, get traction from the users of the end product (parents) and show the top tier sponsors the benefits. It has been an enlightening and inspiring experience, but I am most proud of the individual support I have provided many families. There is nothing more powerful then seeing the difference your support has made in the outcomes of a birth or the resolution of a difficult family issue. I regularly have parents contact me, even years after to confirm how important that support was. I firmly believe The Nests will be able to offer that difference to thousands of families, as well as bringing communities together as a united force for change.
Optional visual/picture/infographic that demonstrates your idea:
Idea Opened: 12:01 PM, Friday 03 November 2017
Idea Closes: 06:00 PM, Friday 03 November 2017
Time to go: Closed