Nic Boutique "The very best from the land of Lakes and Volcanoes"

Nic Boutique "The very best from the land of Lakes and Volcanoes"

Managua, NicaraguaManagua, Nicaragua
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
Growth
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

Nic Boutique provides artisans, producers and designers a platform to express their talents, empower themselves, and learn to become more financially independent!

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Nicaragua is one of the least innovative and poorest nations in the western hemisphere. Over 50% of the population live with less than $2 a day. Thousands of talented artisans, producers and entrepreneurs, which have the potential to create new economic growth, lack the support and services they need to innovate their products, access new markets and grow their businesses. We believe there is a need for innovative, long-term solutions that promote collaboration, create sustainable growth and improve lives.

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

NIC Boutique is a social enterprise that helps artisans, producers and entrepreneurs express their talents, empower themselves, and become more financially independent by providing them with the support and services they need to innovate their products, access new markets and grow their businesses.
Impact: How does it Work

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

1. Our multi-disciplinary team of specialists identifies qualified artisans and producers that have products or the potential to create products with market demand. 2. Once a qualified artisan/producer has been identified we perform a custom designed diagnostic based on 7 main categories which are: Design, Brand, Technology, Innovation, Production, Finance and Management to get a 360 degree view of the artisan or producers current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. 3. We evaluate the results of the diagnostic and select the most viable solutions that will help the artisan/producer improve and innovate their products to prepare them for new markets. 4. Once the artisan/producer's products are ready for market, we begin a testing phase to learn how to best introduce the product into the marketplace and minimize risk. 5. Based on what we learned during the testing phase we make necessary improvements and refine our product introduction strategy. 6. We measure and analyze the results of our efforts to identify and systemize best practices for each product and category. 7. We give back. For every product sold NB designates 10% of the profits to a special fund called FEI (fond de emprendimiento e innovación) that will be used to support entrepreneurship and innovation efforts in Nicaragua.
Sustainability

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

In Nicaragua there are currently no local competitors that offer all the services or brand platform that Nic Boutique does. There is a tremendous lack of service providers specialized in innovation and world class design services. The few efforts that have been made to address these needs have been mostly provided through NGO or government sponsored programs that focus mainly on technical training, equipment financing and or business coaching. The biggest problem with this strategy is that these programs do not provide long-term sustainable solutions to innovate and commercialize their products. Once the funding has run out the artisans/producers are on their own.
Team

Founding Story

A few years ago I was in a local artisan market with my girlfriend and found a talented artisan jewelry maker named Carlos Jimenez. His designs were very unique and high quality so I started a conversation with him. We talked for a while and he had a great story and a good product but I noticed he had no logo or brand. He also had no website or marketing strategies or lacked the capital to buy better raw materials. At that time I had a business that was providing businesses with very specialized design and innovation services and I thought what a difference I could make in this person's life if I could be able to provide him with same services. He had a great product and story but just needed a little help to take it to the next level. I knew that I had to do something to help him and other talented people like him. That's when the idea for NIC Boutique was born and the belief that we could make a difference in the lives of thousands of people became my obsession.
About You
Organization:
NIC BOUTIQUE
About You
First Name

David

Last Name

Cadia

About Your Organization
Organization Name

NIC BOUTIQUE

Organization Country

, MN, Managua

Country where this project is creating social impact

, MN, Managua

Age of Innovator

Over 34

Gender of Innovator

Male

How long has your organization been operating?

Less than a year

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Innovation
How long have you been in operation?

Operating for less than a year

Social Impact
What solution(s) does your initiative address to help emerging entrepreneurs and small businesses grow and thrive in underserved communities? (select all applicable)

Access to financing, Access to talent, Access to supply chains, Access to technology, Access to economic opportunity.

What has been the impact of your solution to date?

In under 5 months of operations we have helped several artisans and producers improve their products and introduce them to new markets with better margins such as the Duty Free Store PLISA located in the Managua International Airport and Stop-N-Go speciality gourmet markets in Nicaragua. We also are currently working to begin new product introductions in local supermarket chains and begin exporting products under the NB brand to specialty niche markets in Central America and the US before the end of 2012.

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

Our goal is to improve thousands of lives in Nicaragua and Central America over the next 3 years. We want to create a new model of development that is built upon teamwork and the belief that design, collaboration and goodwill can be used to combat poverty and create sustainable growth.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

The greatest barrier that exists for the success of our project right now is the lack of working capital and financing available to us. The project has been funded solely by the founding partners David Cadia, Carlos Chica and close friends and relatives.

To overcome this barrier we entered a new entrepreneurship program funded by the IDB /COSEP / CACONIC called Emprendimientos Dinámicos website: www.emprendimientos.org.ni. NIC Boutique was selected as a finalist in the program and is being provided with free consulting services to help prepare us for a new network of local Angel Investors that the program has created.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

increase distribution points of NB products to include the two major super market chains in Nicaragua

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Task 1

obtain necessary working capital

Task 2

add the missing team members we need

Task 3

market our brand and products

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

exporting NB products throughout the region and US

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Task 1

create demand for NB products outside of Nicaragua by building the brand

Task 2

partner with organizations that are already working with artisans and producers to prepare them to scale

Task 3

create strategic alliances with regional and US distributors

Sustainability
Tell us about your partnerships

Through innovation workshops and conferences that our founder David Cadia provides to small-to-medium enterprises, cooperatives, and local university entrepreneurship programs in Nicaragua, we have been able to meet many of the current artisans and producers we are working with and have made alliances with some of the NGOs/programs that they are receiving support from such as Technoserve and Vital Voices. Also, Movistar Negocios Nicaragua, a division of international telecom provider Movistar, is officially sponsoring the NB team with phones, business telecom services and networking events.

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list

We need to create and support new financing methods. It is extremely difficult to obtain financing for these type of projects, especially in Nicaragua. We want to make a difference in this country and stop not-only the migration of the poor but also the great intelectual migration that Nicaragua and Central America has suffered because of the lack of venture capital and support systems.

Comments

David Cadia's picture

We have begun a movement of positive change in Nicaragua and we need help to scale our impact. Become part of the team by helping us change the status quo in Nicaragua! We need to support impact entrepreneurs that have the vision to come up with creative and innovative solutions to reduce poverty and improve lives. Any support or help is much appreciated.