Vanquish & Vintage
Online Eco-Giftware store, which is SO much more!
Lindsay / Caroline
Crichton / Byrne
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?
Lindsay: By trade, I am an educator. I have been a teacher for the last 8 years, 5 of which have been as Head of a thriving Languages Department. I really believe in offering better opportunities for young people in the working world and preparing them for a better future. At Hargreaves & Byrne, we believe we can make a difference to the currently 1 million+ unemployed youth in the UK, with our idea, by offering an alternative way of creating an income for themselves by producing beautiful and original homemade products, made from sustainably sourced materials. We are more than capable of presenting our vision to young craftsmen and budding entrepreneurs ready to step up to the challenge of creating exciting innovative products with an environmental and sustainable edge.
Caroline: I am the creative flair at Hargreaves & Byrne. My first passion is design, and I have a knack of sourcing and spotting great ideas which customers want and need. However, I am also a keen environmentalist, and feel there is currently a real gap in the market for products which are both beautiful but do not ravage our environment. At Hargreaves & Byrne we believe sustainability, function and form are possible in every product we source, but we are also truly passionate about helping a younger generation get their first step on the artistic ladder.
About Your Organization
Hargreaves & Byrne
United Kingdom, XX, Ascot
Country where this project is creating social impact
United Kingdom, XX, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Surrey
Is your organization a
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The Need: What problem are you trying to solve?
The problem is 3-fold! Firstly youth unemployment has hit a 16 year high as of Feb 2012. 7-9% of 16 year olds are NEETS. We MUST help the young generation find work. Secondly in 2010-2011 there were 820,000 fly-tipping incidents in the UK, 55% of municipal waste generated in the UK go to landfill. According to DEFRA 'the UK consumes natural resources at an unsustainable rate' = 280 Million Tonnes per year. We need to reverse this by using some of this waste in the products we create. Thirdly, there is a definite gap in the market for products which are both alternative and sustainable in style. However to create these products we need to create a new wave of craftsmen able to create them. We need to give young people a chance in becoming the new craftsmen of the future.
The Solution: What is your solution? Be specific!
The solution in the short term is the 'Vanquish & Vintage' online giftware store, which will sell products made from reclaimed, recycled or sustainable materials, crafted by young artists from Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Surrey. We will use social media to spread the word and promote events where the products can be seen, bought and marketed as well as presenting the idea of young craftsmanship in schools, colleges and universities to students or graduates on appropriate courses. On the customer facing end, we will be a hub for young start-out artists to sell their eco-wares, and on the B2B side, we will attempt to forge deals with companies/charities to gain inexpensive or free sustainable materials to help source the components for products.
The Model: Walk us through a specific example of how your solution makes a difference; include your primary activities
1. Create a fully-integrated website, capable of social media, purchasing products and marketing, ready for sales.
2. Create the presentation along with marketing paraphernalia, to give in schools, colleges and universities to engage young people.
3. Have students/artists /craftsmen pitch their ideas, in person or via skype.
4. Chose appropriate products and sell!
5. Company gets cut of each product sold, company donates 10% of monthly profits to charity.
Difference: Young people have an opportunity to create their own income, lowering youth unemployment. Recyclable materials are used, lowering impact on local landfill sites and promoting the use of sustainable materials in products. Plugs a gap in the market for eco-giftware. We are also very keen to include young people in the design and implementation of the business as they are the key to its success.
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?
There are a few online eco giftstores (e.g. greenandpresent, sustainablyyours, nigel's eco store) but none of these have the commitment to offering young local UK people a chance to realise they can create their own products and sell them through a platform which cares for both them and the environment. The main point of differentiation is that the cultural values and engagement is both WITH and FOR young people. We want to perpetually encourage more people to join us!
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?
This business is not yet trading, however we would measure its success by the following:
1. Number of local young people using us a portal to sell products out of total number of unemployed young people in the area.
2. Measure the tonnage of recycled materials used over time in products sold.
What barriers might hinder the success of your business? How do you plan to overcome them?
1. Students may not wish to make the products. We overcome this by holding workshops in schools/colleges, or showcase successful students we have helped in generating their own income.
2. Students may not want to use us as a platform to sell goods. We overcome this by offering support, advice & guidance to young people. We want to live and breath and promote our brand values - all of it is for young people.
3. How do we build a brand name? We could use sustainable, inexpensive ways of marketing products (e.g. social media) and build an underground support.
How does your model address financial, social, and environmental sustainability?
Our business model addresses all of these factors equally, despite only being a start-up: Social and environmental sustainability is fundamental and core to our values, indeed they are our USP. (Helping to give back to young people and the environment), but from business and financial side, the raw differentiator of our business is that we have ongoing access to young talented people who are willing to prove their worth in the world, and sustainability in a customer base willing to buy on environmental values. To that end the environmental and social issues the world is facing are increasing rather than decreasing, and according to a GreenSeal survey, over 80% of consumers today will consider buying products with these values in mind, despite currently being in a recession.
In terms of making money, our business has a very low cost base - we anticipate low cost start up as we will be an online business - our future success will be funded by our revenue stream, and ability to get people interested in purchasing products. We intend to charge a small percentage fee for each sale, but wish to donate a percentage of those profits to charity each month.
Awareness & learning
How do you see social entrepreneurship contributing to the improvement of developing countries?
At Hargreaves & Byrne we see social entrepreneurship as a process to
foster social progress, to eradicate poverty and empower people in local areas to better their environment, whether that be the actual physical environment or their quality of life. As social entrepreneurs our vocation is to use resources and skills to catalyze social change and/or address social needs - this idea works whether it is in our own country, or a developing country, the only thing that changes is the need we need to address.
What aspects of your stay in Uganda as part of the competition do you think you will find most challenging and rewarding?
This part of the competition is REALLY exciting but also quite daunting. One of the most challenging aspects will be seeing how so much of the population still live in poverty in this day and age and how much inequality there is between men and women. Despite the Ugandan government making head-roads on so many issues, it will also be challenging to accept that political leadership and action is still lacking in key issues such as access to clean water, education, and improving the quality of health for the entire population. Things that in the developed world we take completely for granted. However on the other hand, it will be extremely rewarding to see the majestic scenery and maybe straddle the equator for photo ops and experiments (does water flow in opposite directions at Latitude 00? Obviously if we are able to fund-raise before the stay, it will be very rewarding to help local communities with any projects they need help & assistance with.