Organic herbal extracts, syrups, tinctures and oils

Organic herbal extracts, syrups, tinctures and oils

Ghimpati, RomaniaBucharest, Romania
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Our goal is to create sources of income for rural households, family farms and Roma groups by producing and collecting medicinal plants. The harvest is acquired by our social enterprise in order to produce natural extracts, tinctures, syrups and oils obtained by pressing and distillation methods.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

58% of rural population in South Muntenia Region is exposed to poverty and social exclusion. 51% of rural Roma suffer from hunger. Rural communities are degrading because of high unemployment, lack of income, migration of young and skilled workforce. There are unexploited areas with herbs from spontaneous flora and arable lands with great potential of sustainable agriculture. Individual farmers are unable to gain fair prices or to invest.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Our social enterprise propose production of medicinal plants collaborating with rural households. We provide free training, agricultural equipment and seeds for establishing cultures, the households invest only agricultural labor. We collaborate with representatives of National Research Institutes in order to monitor the sown fields and training. We also represent a Safe Market Place for Roma groups which collect herbs from spontaneous flora. The harvest from rural households and Roma groups is acquired by our social enterprise in order to process it into natural extracts and oils. This solution is perfectly suited to the need of rural community: generates income, protects the environment through organic agriculture, increase the cohesion.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Unlike classical production which creates few jobs, our social enterprise model generates huge social impact: sources of income for a large number of rural inhabitants for producing herbs, social reintegration of Roma groups by collecting herbs, creating jobs, specialized training and provides Safe Market Place in rural communities. The social impact is limited only by the enterprise processing capacity. If we had higher production capacity we could purchase and raise the number of farming families, generate income for a larger number of Roma and increase the worked lands area. Unlike conventional agriculture, the production of medicinal plants grows the organic processed area and generates higher revenue streams for rural inhabitants.
Sustainability

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Currently, the production capacity of medicinal plants in Romania covers less than 25% of the client’s needs, the rest being imported. The competition for herbs production is increasing. There are opening individual micro farms which produce herbs or spontaneous flora collectors. Remaining singular entities, they obtain low productivity, without certified forms, adequate storage space and financial investments in equipment. Opposed this approach, our company’s goal is to bring together all the producing entities, to invest in processing equipment and sell quality products in certified forms.
About You
Organization:
Goscian Group
About You
First Name

Andreea Lorena

Last Name

URSE

About Your Project
Organization Name

Goscian Group

Organization Country

, B, Bucharest

Country where this project is creating social impact

, GR, Ghimpati

How long has your organization been operating?

More than 5 years

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Your Solution
Founding Story: Share a story about the “Aha!” moment that led you to get started and/or to see the potential for this to succeed.

The idea to process herbs starts from my healthy lifestyle. Introducing this idea in social entrepreneurship originates from my job. Being a sociologist, I have the ability to identify and solve social problems. I believe that my passion for nature and solving social problems by using my 10 years experience in business is a success formula. This project is creditworthiness, was nominated finalist in a Social Entrepreneurship Competition (over 500 entries) which is still in progress. For this, I've done an extensive research and I've identified all the resources: households with unused lands, Roma groups for collecting herbs and clients. This activity solves major issues: unemployment, poverty, social exclusion, migration and environmental.

Select Sector(s): To which of Unilever's categories of sustainability does your solution apply?

Nutrition, Sustainable Agriculture, Smallholder Farmers.

Measurable Impact
Audience: Who have you identified as your customers/recipients and why? How will you get your solution to them or engage them in your initiative?

I already found the clients: major companies of pharmaceutical, cosmetics and food industry in Romania. There is also a big demand for export. The clients encourage us due to the development of industry and the high demand of natural extracts and oils placed in herbal supplements, creams and ointments. The number of consumers who purchase food supplements and creams with natural extracts and oils is increasing, which obviously increase consumption of raw materials that our enterprise can sell.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date and expected impact in the future?

Since start-up including one complete cycle of herbs production, the social enterprise generates min 1360 Euro/ind/year (given that the minimum salary in Romania is 185 Euro/month while in rural areas the locals revenues are state aids less than 100 Euro/month) for 45 households, family farms, Roma groups and employees in the factory. Until the 5th year, we aim to provide sources of income for minimum 85 rural inhabitants and increase individual annual income up to 2200 Euro.
The social impact is measurable:
-can generate income for houndreds of rural inhabitants
-increase quality of life both for rural communities and for thousands of consumers
-protect the environment through organic farming, lands about 35 ha
-growth cohesion in the rural community and social inclusion of Roma
Our mission meets the needs of the rural community and has enormous potential for regional expansion.

Growth, Finance & Leadership
Scaling the Solution: How do you intend to scale your activities over the next two years (e.g., reach new markets, diversify solutions, etc.)? What will make this possible?

Besides production and primary processing of medicinal plants (drying and chopping), our social enterprise aims to diversify the products range through advanced processing plants into extracts, oils and tinctures, that are most required by the clients. For clients from pharmaceutical, cosmetics and food industry it is more profitable to buy extracts and oils on the strength of volume and great preservation active principles. To obtain these products we must invest in extraction equipment, presses and maceration vessels. Over the next two years we will increase the amount of herbs and therefore the organic production areas, increasing the number of producing households, family farms, Roma groups and the number of employees in the factory.

Financial Sustainability: What is your business model to ensure financial sustainability?

The social enterprise collects and buys medicinal plants from producing households, family farms and Roma groups. The harvest is placed in a manufacturing process to obtain natural extracts and oils. These are the products which our social enterprise has to sell to ensure financial sustainability and to generate income for the maintenance and development of his activities and to be able for further investments. The break-even is easily achieve.

Experience: Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

Being a student, at the age of 19, without significant investment, I've founded a company which registered success and financial sustainability since start-up. From this and from further activities I've learned how to manage a business, how to research efficiently the target market, identify social problems and formulate solutions for their needs, I gained experience in HR, sales and marketing (http://www.linkedin.com/pub/urse-andreea/26/8b7/b81)