Is it Over ? Here is an update on everything relating to my Social Enterprise. For those that don’t know what this is about. I am pushing my Hobby and trying to create collaboration within the Classic Car Industry / Automotive Hobby Industry for the following reason.
I believe that we should be teaching children practical skills again, particularly children who are struggling and who are perhaps gifted not in an academic way but in other ways.
So I built a small workshop to teach them and with what I have been able to achieve so far it has proved to be an effective solution in changing a childs outlook and focus, solving emerging societal problems before they establish. Not to mention assisting in solving a skills shortage.
I say this based on comments made by Parents not on number of attendees / hours provided but on the opinions of Mothers.
The Project now has over 3000 supporters around the World who appear to feel the same and with evident passion. Social Media posts can reach 20K – 30K in a day.
However the Project is struggling and so I am redesigning my approach. It is not making sufficient money yet for it to fully cover its costs, operate and survive but I will not give up as there is huge potential. Below you can read the facts and what I intend to do.
The online webshop is proving too big a task for me but growing slowly. I will be shrinking back the scale of it and progressing with a clearer smaller defined scope of say 10,000 products. Suppliers are now offering 185K products but for me to make this happen working alone is near mission impossible. I also believe the solution needs to be far more radical and forward thinking.
The eBay Link
The eBay initiative where we receive a small return on any purchase an enthusiast or supporter makes in eBay, having entered eBay via a link on our website, is proving to have some viability and gives people a chance to contribute without it costing them anything. The first 2 months produced 10% of what is needed to keep it alive and that is a great indicator / start.
I believe there is huge scope here for a Hobby Niche to enable this cause through smart procurement / collective buying behaviours without a negative effect on supplier margins or the creation of a new competitor.
I have given up progressing this angle. I am afraid to say but my experience of this process is that it requires better Regulation & Reform. To me it appears that the funding is released by Government
However between the Government and the end users in need / those actually giving such assistance is another layer of funded organisations. These Organisations appear to take the largest slice of the funding in return for providing ‘advice & training’ to organisations such as myself.
Having received some of this advice I would question the value and effectiveness of it. For sure I believe it does not connect directly with those in need or meet the needs of those wanting to work directly with those in need.
There is a complex method of measuring the effectiveness using metrics but my humble view is that it is unsatisfactory, too subjective and should be as robust / scientific as an EN ISO Standard.
As far as I know the organisation who offered to help me make SCOTTYS a Charity have probably been paid but their input in achieving the objective was to send me a few Google links.
However, I am not altogether sold on the Charity Status idea as I feel times have changed and the World needs a different Model for solving and financing emerging societal problems.
I believe the future solution needs to be self-sufficient, enabled by industry / consumer collaboration, maximise eCommerce opportunity and requires a business-like approach yet with better financial transparency & controls more akin to a Charity but not a Charity.
Some would say ‘isn’t that what a Social Enterprise is’. Well my humble opinion is that as an expression it is being abused by many and that this is about to get worse with the role out of the Social BUY Strategy. I believe it is polarised to how it should be.
It should be a Social SELL Strategy to be fully beneficial to those at the coal face but I won’t go into that through risk of being boring.
I will never give up on my desire to achieve the objective. I have given just over 18 months of my life now to establish the foundations for doing so.
However, with the absence of any third-party assistance I must now also consider my family and find a job, besides I also miss the cut and thrust of delivering an engineering challenge. I have applied for a relatively High Level Engineering Position and fingers crossed that will happen.
SCOTTYS is here to stay and in my spare time I will continue to promote this message and to nurture an ability to help children who should be given Practical Skills where Academic Skills are not their making.
I believe it can change lives that are going wrong and if I can help just a few then that will be a goal scored. If nothing else it is the voice of Seasoned Enthusiasts , Engineers, Mums and Dads and is growing louder. GIVE BACK #PracticalSkills4Kids
I intend to invite Journalists and Bloggers to enhance the value of my Website attracting more people to the possibility of helping through buying with purpose and objective.
The Financials will remain separately accounted for in a Limited Company until such times as I can afford the advice / input needed to convert it to a Charity or Community Interest Company.
Give me an Engineering Challenge no problem, but I am not an Accountant or Lawyer and so need professional advice here about what is the best way to achieve the objective.