Sikses is a platform for those who want to share their talents generously with others. A website that puts the social in social network.
The competition is only open to people between 18-34 years-old and resident in UK, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark or the Netherlands. Does this apply to you
Country of residence of entrepreneur
Tell us about your personal background. Why are you passionate about this issue? Making an idea a reality takes innovation, dedication and strong leadership. Do you have the necessary entrepreneurial skills to realize your vision?
My background as a graphic designer provides me with strong communication skills. After years of work at different agencies I decided to make my contribution to a greener world. That's why I started Real Dealz nine months ago. It's an online platform where sustainable companies and green-minded consumers can meet. Every week we promote a different organic, sustainable or Fair Trade product with a nice discount. Through the concept of discount we reach out for a large target group, while at the meantime providing them with extensive information about the product. By doing this, Real Dealz promotes sustainability amongst a large variety of people. People who otherwise might never get acquainted with these kind of products. With the help of a web developer I build this platform from scratch. Now we have hundreds of visitors every week from all over the Netherlands! For my new idea with which I enter Join Our Core, I talked to various people. I'm supported by "giving guru" Jeroen Timmers (www.givingisallwehave.com) and together we improved my initial concept. Sikses is important to me because I really believe we can mean so much more for each other then we do right now. Social networks nowadays are hardly social at all. They evolve around expressing yourself. But I believe that individual contribution adds up to more than the sum of parts. Sikses wants to change the world into one that evolves around mutuality.
About Your Organization
Netherlands, NH, Haarlem
Country where this project is creating social impact
Is your organization a
Non‐profit/NGO/citizen sector organization
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The Need: What problem are you trying to solve?
Human resources are not used to their full potential. People don't trust on each others skills anymore. Instead of making use of all the great people we know, we turn to Google when we need something. Economy has become abstract, alienating people who don't have enough money. Voluntary work hardly has any connection with "normal" economy and has lost popularity.
The Solution: What is your solution? Be specific!
A social network where it's all about our unique skills and talents. Everybody in the network can make an offer or request for something and through simple tags all kinds of skills can be found. To focus on social motives, money is banned from the network. Instead, people pay each other from their own supply of points. This way, helping out somebody means more points to pay for skills yourself. Local companies and shops are stimulated to get involved, so points can also be used to buy products. Businesses can give away their incoming points to local sporting clubs, schools, NGO's etc. That way non profit organizations can participate in the network themselves. If they need a helping hand, they can buy skills with their points. This network will reconnect people with their community, thus strengthen social bonds and give a boost to local economy.
The Model: Walk us through a specific example of how your solution makes a difference; include your primary activities
Mary creates an account on Sikses.com and gets 100 points start-up capital. She is looking for somebody with technical skills to activate her website about photography on the internet. She puts her request on the network and in the meantime she searches for offers that might be related. John replies to her request and they decide to make an appointment. John spends 3 hours finishing her website and is paid by Mary with 75 points. With only 25 points left, Mary can help somebody with her skills to accumulate points. She decides to offer her photography skills on the network. At her local grocery she can exchange her points for specific products. The grocery donates its points to a local football club, thus helping them to find people to paint the club house using Sikses.com.
The Marketplace: Who are your peers and competitors? Identify others also working to address the needs you are and what differentiates you from them. What challenges could these players pose to your success or growth?
Numerous platforms have been initiated to create different currencies. Best known is Time Bank and Noppes (Amsterdam only). But they only create another market economy and focus on specific target groups. More importantly: they don't involve local businesses or non profit organizations! Sikses offers a place to promote your talent or request for other's. It's a network where everybody is appreciated for their own unique skills and everyone (individuals, shops, foundations, businesses) can join in. Of course peers and "competitors" can still shift their focus, but because Sikses is all about expressing talent, people will use it the way they use other social networks: as a way to show their personality. But with Sikses they can be REALLY social at the same time!
Select the stage that best applies to your business
Operating for less than a year
This Entry is about (Issues)
What is the social impact you have had to date and how you measure it?
With my company Real Dealz I have shown that a greater audience CAN be reached when it comes to sustainability. With the effort of just two people (me and my companion) it has grown attracting hundreds of visitors every week. Now I want to do an even greater job promoting giving and sharing. My companion at Sikses, Jeroen Timmers, even decided to make a living out of giving. He inspired the biggest pop festival in the Netherlands (Lowlands) to make sharing their theme for this year. He participates in numerous brainstorms, stimulates businesses to start giving and soon publishes his first book about this subject. With his website www.givingisallwehave.com he shows the importance of giving.
What barriers might hinder the success of your business? How do you plan to overcome them?
Building up a network of this size needs great professionals specialized in web development and online marketing. We'll need fresh skills and experts in the field of social networking. With Join Our Core I want to get in touch with these professionals, promoting the idea of Sikses and generating press interest.
How does your model address financial, social, and environmental sustainability?
To provide funds to help Sikses grow and finance website maintenance, we'll charge money to advertisers. They will be local business that support our ideological motives. Since Sikses is all about offer and request (of talent), ads can be easily focused to fit user's needs and interests. With my background as creative director of Real Dealz it will be no problem to draw from my network of small sustainable companies. Advertisers offer a product that can (partly) be paid by Sikses-points. Advertisers advantages: ads can be targeted with great precision and will generate sales directly. Much more effective then e.g. Facebook! Advertisement will provide us with enough cashflow to keep the site up and running. Start up will be financed with help from Join Our Core and/or investors.
Awareness & learning
How do you see social entrepreneurship contributing to the improvement of developing countries?
I believe an overlap between NGO's and traditional businesses will arise, known as social enterprises. These companies are driven by social motives as well as profit. Sikses is a great example of a social enterprise. It's based on social grounds but also involves local businesses, encouraging them to get involved with the community. That's also the key to improvement of developing countries. In these countries Western as well as local companies should do business socially. That way, both the community as well as the company will benefit. It'll work much faster then any NGO can do.
What aspects of your stay in Uganda as part of the competition do you think you will find most challenging and rewarding?
Seeing hope and progress instead of the image usually given by the media. Getting even more inspirered to set up a social enterprise while helping out local farmers. As creative director of Real Dealz, I often promote Fair Trade products on the website. Now I finally get to experience it work in real life!