Happy Dickens - Center for Positive Behavior

Happy Dickens - Center for Positive Behavior

Thessaloniki, GreeceThessaloniki, Greece
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

The Center for Positive Behavior 'Happy Dickens' is a non profit organization, which offers practical solutions to a number of challenges and issues faced by children (aged 18 months to 14 years old), parents, teachers and caregivers.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Children need help and support, especially in this uncertain and violent environment. Some of the problems is childhood depression, anxiety, or low self-esteem that many times lead to a poor performance at school. On the other hand, parents and educators need some guidance on how to treat children to develop balanced and creative personalities. Many parents and teachers do not know how to cope with the challenges encountered in the nurture and upbringing of a child. Due to the poor economic situation, Greek state fails to create those structures that would help children overcome their issues and also seems to be unable to train and guide parents and teachers to properly manage those challenges. There are around 1,300 schools with more than 300,000 children at the chosen area.

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

The goal of 'Happy Dickens' is to provide the necessary resources and knowledge to help children develop a creative and firm personality, by offering high quality customized services, such as counseling, coaching and specialized day programs. On the other hand, 'Happy Dickens' aims to offer training and workshops to parents and caregivers, schools, child care centers and more in order to help them succeed in the difficult task of raising and upbringing a child.
Impact: How does it Work

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

The Center for Positive Behavior 'Happy Dickens' is a non profit organization, which offers practical solutions to a number of challenges and issues faced by children (aged 18 months to 14 years), parents, teachers and caregivers. The goal is to help children develop a creative and firm personality and also to support and guide the people who care to do the hard work of raising and upbringing a child.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Not applicable at this stage.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

The social impact is estimated to be significant. The Centre will be known to those who shape the character of children, as it would become their valuable advisor and, therefore, it is estimated to have helped a good number of children and parents to address their difficulties. Additionally, the Center will aim to develop collaboration with university faculty to promote research, foster innovation, give internship opportunities to students, and encourage volunteerism.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

The time frame for the development of this initiative is as follows: February 2013: Company registration, rental and renovation sites, development of programs. September 2013: Launch of the first activities in the premises of the Centre - (ADHD Management Programs, Social Skills Development Programs, Support Services for Parents, Development of Personalized programs). November - December 2013: Development of contacts with schools and university faculties.

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

Peers are defined as those who collaborate with the Center, such as the health specialists, scientists, researchers and so on. On the other hand, there is no competition in the narrow sense, since “Happy Dickens” is the only center of its kind in the selected geographical area. Both individual private companies, based on profit, and public-community organizations, which focus on the needs of the population are trying to meet specialized needs. This makes them partly competitors, but considering that the Center intends to develop such activities, those companies can and should become customers of “Happy Dickens”. This prospect also shows the potential development of the Centre.

Founding Story

This idea came up when I was discussing with a friend-educator about the change in children's behavior, because of the everyday pressure due to the country's economic challenges. The first thought was "We ought to do something about this. Return the smile on kids' faces".
Organization Name

Happy Dickens - Center for Positive Behavior

About You
About You
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Explain what the "innovation" is about, e.g., is it the idea and/or the model you use to accomplish the idea, or your understanding of the target population, etc.?

The wide range of customized services and the highly educated and experienced personnel make this initiative an excellent choice for parents and schools. 'Happy Dickens' s innovative approach regards the way experts treat children and educate caregivers. The key is to listen the children’s voices, understand their needs and develop offerings that meet them well. The Center has also developed educational programs that reach schools and child care centers, aiming to increase the number of people who acquire the skills to manage children appropriately. The experts of 'Happy Dickens' develop effective, tailored developmental programs for children and their families. The Center seeks to develop cooperation with parents and teachers, aiming at long-term and lasting changes in their lives.

Describe how your innovation model is distinct from any other organization in your field?

The Innovation Model of the Centre is based on the establishment and cooperation of a scientific team of experienced specialists from different disciplines (e.g. child psychologist; special educator; social worker for children; musicologist, etc), who offer practical solutions to a number of challenges encountered by children but also by those who are responsible for children’s care (e.g. parents; educators; caregivers, etc) during the building of their character.

What type of operating environment and internal organizational factors make your innovation successful?

The establishment of a cooperative non-profit organization with an emphasis on collaboration, along with the development of a team involving experienced specialists from different disciplines make this initiative a success.

How do you make sure you constantly innovate in light of (potential) external challenges, or your growth plan?

The continuous innovation of the Center is achieved by developing partnerships with university faculty, funding joint research projects and providing fellowships to young scientists, aiming to promote research as a tool for development. Furthermore, the adoption of knowledge management tools (e.g. AssocioNet, Triple Creek, KM training & education, etc.) and innovation models allow both the development of new services and the involvement of customers in Center’s innovation activities and also strengthen its position against external challenges.

Organization Country

, CM, Thessaloniki

Business Model
The systemic challenge you are trying to overcome (select one)

Realign the incentives in the public healthcare system in mature markets, or

Health area (target market) where the need is [select only one]

Primary healthcare services

Categories along the health continuum you are covering [select all that apply]

Prevention, Detection, Intervention, Follow-up, Long-term care, Social integration.

Stage that best applies to your solution [select only one]

Idea (poised to launch)

Core strategies of your business model [select all that apply]

Approaches to behavioral change at the individual level, Patient-centered design, New/redefined roles for healthcare service provision, Unconventional partnerships (between traditional healthcare players and players outside healthcare).

If other, specify here:
Most relevant tools you are using to implement the strategies outlined above [select only two]

New skills, Consultation, Education/training.

If other, specify here:
What is your value proposition?

Parents interact with schools, childcare centers as well as with the extracurricular activities of children. The children live in a community where the financial and psychological pressure and the social turmoil add stress to their everyday life. On the other hand, every child has their own unique abilities and preferences. The Centre collects all this information after consultation with parents and teachers in order to create customized services that meet the needs of both children and caregivers.

Who is your customer(s)?

Children, Parents & Guardians, Teachers & Educators, Caregivers of Children

What approaches to you use to reach your customers?

The methods used to approach customers is special internet portals, advertising brochures, contacts with parents and guardians associations, contacts with health professionals (e.g. psychologists, speech therapists, etc.).

What are your primary activities?

The Centre's aim is to develop services that will help children with issues such as Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), nutritional problems, violence, disobedience and so on. Yet, the Center develops programs for talented and creative children, which are aimed at supporting and developing their talents. It also provides training and workshops to parents and teachers and helps children to enhance their social and learning skills.

What other challenges - individual, organizational, or environmental – are you currently facing or might hinder future success of your business, and how do you plan to overcome those?

By the formation of the core founding team, the basic conditions have been created for the Center to start its operation. One’s personal weakness can be covered with the addition of other partners. The plethora of the programs, the coordination of partners, the knowledge transfer, and the exchange of experience, are some of the challenges to be faced by the Center. On the other hand, the evaluation of the programs during the implementation, the weekly management team meetings, and the written reports, are the first steps to ensure that “Happy Dickens” has developed its own expertise, which will not depend exclusively on the experience of the partners.

Briefly describe your growth strategy going forward

Tailored services that meet the needs of children for the challenges and difficulties that arise in their lives and help to shape their personality. Development and implemention of individual and group programs that target in long-term positive and lasting change in the lives of children and those involved with their nurture and education. Customers’ feedback is a critical factor for improvement.

What dimensions for growth are you currently targeting for your innovation [select all that apply]

New customer group(s), New regions(s).

What makes your business "ready" for growth?

The core team has been created and, the right place has been found, which will house the Centre. Additionally, the initial Capital is being gathered and the first programs and activities for children are being designed.

What are your key growth objectives?

The key growth objectives of the Center will operate in three directions:
a) Develop activities concerning children and their family at the premises of the Centre.
b) Implementation of programs in schools in collaboration with educators and the Parents and Guardians Association.
c) Collaboration with university faculty in research programs.

Organization's Country of Operation

, CM, Thessaloniki

Social Impact
What methods for quantification of social impact are you applying (if at all)?

Not applicable at this stage

Could your solution work in other geographies or regions? If so, where?

This initiative could work in other geographical areas in Greece. More specifically, it could be expanded to cities with more than 10.000 inhabitants.

What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?

The social impact is estimated to be significant. The Centre will be known to those who shape the character of the child, as it would become their valuable advisor and, therefore, it is estimated to have helped a good number of children and parents to address their difficulties. Additionally, the Center will aim to develop collaboration with university faculty to promote research, foster innovation, give internship opportunities to students, and encourage volunteerism.
Finally, in a time of crisis Thessaloniki, Greece would be proud of a structure, which offers the most to shape positive behavior and lifestyle.

Elaborate on your current financing strategy

The Center believes that its funding strategy should be dependent on the autonomy of its resources. Therefore, it has been decided to develop the funding strategy based on:
• Initial capital from the business partners;
• Development of programs and activities for sale;
• Sponsorships, donations and other non-operating income will be reinvested in innovative activities.

Share of revenue generation in total income of organization (in percent)


Direct sales to patients or other beneficiaries (in percent)


Of the possible sources of these sales listed below, check all that apply to your current strategy

Friends and family, Individuals, Patients, Caregivers, Private businesses.

Licensing fees, e.g., for technology/franchise model (in percent)
Of the possible sources of these licensing opportunities listed below, check all that apply to your current strategy

Foundations, NGOs, Private businesses, Regional government.

Service contract with organizations, e.g., government, NGOs (in percent)


Of the possible sources of the service contracts listed below, check all that apply to your current strategy

Foundations, NGOs, Private businesses, Regional government, National government.

Explain your revenue generation strategy in more detail

The income generation strategy is based on the development of programs, activities and products for sale. The dynamics of sales generate new revenue streams.

Share of philanthropy in total income of organization (in percent)


Philanthrophy strategies you are using

Single strategy, Diversified strategy.

Explain your philanthropic approach in more detail

Many people are unable to pay for our services due to the difficult financial situation in Greece. Therefore, some activities will be offered for free under certain conditions. Additionally, the Center will provide activities free of charge in various social associations for children and parents, with the active participation of volunteers, such as students of psychology, social work, etc. The overall result of those operations aims at the positive contribution to the Greek society and the city of Thessaloniki.

Expand on your selections; explain how you will sustain funding over the next 1-3 years.

The programs and the activities will be valued as services and thereby sustain the financing of the Centre.
The sale of services would generate revenue, of which most of it will be reinvested in new activities, creating the core financing for the future. Thus, "Happy Dickens" would increase its funding base by developing its product portfolio. The maturity of this cycle is estimated for three years.

Years in Operation

Idea phase

Has the organization received awards or honors? Please tell us about them

No, Happy Dickens has not received any awards or honors


Stavros Sindakis's picture

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