Soular Sustainable Shipping

Soular Sustainable Shipping

Southern West Indies, Trinidad e TobagoMaracas/St. Joseph, Trinidad e Tobago
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

Soular Sustainable Shipping uses a network of sailboats to transport locally grown & processed goods between Caribbean islands allowing farmers & processors to expand their markets to new islands and vendors to receive raw materials from other islands for production. All in an emission free fashion.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Soular Sustainable Shipping addresses two major issues: (1) the difficulty finding ways to transport locally processed goods within the Caribbean and (2) the heavy global reliance on fossil fuel dependent transportation systems (3) the growing amount of emissions in the environment due to trade and transport of goods and services.

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

Soular Sustainable Shipping uses sailboats to transport locally grown and processed food products from island to island. Regular movement of Soular Sailboats within the region will allow small manufacturers and artisans to access inexpensive shipping and expanded markets while contributing little to carbon emissions and the global use of fossil fuels.
Impact: How does it Work

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

When the first exploratory journey of Soular Sustainable Shipping was undertaken there was a resounding demand from Grenada. The vendors in that island had been finding it almost impossible to get their goods off island. Yet similar products to those that are produced in each of these islands can be found on the shelves of all of the other Caribbean islands. But instead of these goods being manufactured in neighbouring islands they come from faraway countries providing little benefit to regional residents and requiring travel over massive distances. Our first trip took a shipment of coconut oil, sundried bananas & cacao nibs from Trinidad to Barbados. Barbados does not provide either of those products.
Sustainability

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

There are two groups who run similar initiatives. First, New Dawn Traders has carbon free shipping connecting the Caribbean and Europe. Secondly, The Vermont shipping project connects farmers and communities along the Hudson river.. However, none of these initiatives facilitate carbon free trade within the Caribbean itself. We are the first to focus exclusively on facilitating carbon free trade within the Caribbean. Our plan also extends beyond one vessel, but including other independent sailors passing through the Caribbean.
About You
Organization:
Soular
About You
First Name

Lasse

Last Name

Brodnicke

About Your Project
Organization Name

Soular

Organization Country

, TP, Maracas/St. Joseph

Country where this project is creating social impact

, XX, Southern West Indies

How long has your organization been operating?

Less than a year

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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.

We were planning a sailing a trip one day and we thought, why don't we have cargo in the boat to take to another island, since there was space on board. We also thought if we had space, and we were sailing around, then imagine the amount of cargo space available within the other thousands of boats sailing around the Caribbean. We wanted to transport goods that were unique, artisan, made by small producers and manufacturers. We started making calls, searching for these products, as well as what these manufacturers would need to be shipped. With this info, we planned an exploratory trip and saw the actual potential for it to work.

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

Nutrition, Greenhouse Gases, Smallholder Farmers, Supply Chain Micro-entrepreneurs.

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?

Small scale manufactures, artisan food processors, gourmet and tourist oriented stores, supermarkets. These are the sectors that have problems finding sustainable ways of transporting their goods across the Caribbean. The consumers others are the of these products
Get solution to them through regional networking with social organisations, farming cooperatives, by word of mouth, facebook exposure, media coverage

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

We have been the first to implement this initiative in the Caribbean, and when were doing the initial research the response was phenomenal. Many small farmers, small manufacturers, craft artisans and various small processors were very excited on hearing about the trip. This was so because they have great difficulty in accessing trade new neighbouring markets, access to sustainably transported raw materials, and mainly transporting their goods to an from their intended marketplace.
In the future we expect that we will provide the viable option for people who want to move goods and services across the Caribbean in a sustainable way. We will have a huge impact in connecting these farmers, processors, manufacturers without contributing to the carbon footprint transportation and trade usually has.

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?

We plan to expand the transportation network to the entire Caribbean region and eventually even to North America (there is already an emissions free project to take goods from the Caribbean to Europe) by getting a larger boat, as well as creating a system/ network to utilize other existing sailors who travel the Caribbean by sailboat to transport cargo in their sailboat while they cruise the Caribbean. This way, the transport is not just limited to one boat, but can operate with a plethora of boats that are sailing through the Caribbean.

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

The project aims to be financially sustainable by the first years end. Money will be made through the delivery of goods from island to island and the land based distribution of the on-sea transported goods. We are also considering including 'paid internships' where people pay to be part of the sailing delivery team while learning to sail as well as being able to travel carbon free between the Caribbean islands.

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

I have been sailing for 26 years, and possess a danish captains sailing license. I was part of a pioneering collaborative that put together the initial exploratory sailing trip connecting Barbados, Grenada and Trinidad & Tobago transporting coconut oil, sundried products, and cheeses between the islands. I live in a homestead community that practices organic farming with regular farm to table dinners, permaculture courses, and community buildin