Charityshop

Charityshop

Slovakia
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Budget: 
< $1,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

The www.CharityShop.sk project is an on-line shop with an ambition to become wholesaler with products and services provided by disabled people, women that started their business in order not to be in material need, and by non-profit organizations. By purchasing their products, customers contribute to their inclusion, professional fulfilment and ability to become financially independent,sustainable

About You
Organization:
WellGiving o.z.
Visit website
Section 1: About You
First Name

Elena

Last Name

Kopcova

Country

, BR

Section 2: About Your Organization
Is your initiative connected to an established organization?

Yes

Organization Name

WellGiving o.z.

Organization Phone

+421907154601

Organization Address

Janotova 6, 841 01 Bratislava

Organization Country

, BR

How long has this organization been operating?

More than 5 years

Your idea
Country your work focuses on

, BR

Innovation
What makes your innovation unique?

There is no such concrete online tool supporting social entrepreneurship of these target groups in Slovakia. The on-line shop with products and services of sheltered workshops, non-profit organizations and female entrepreneurs has is unparalleled in Slovakia. It contains a strong growth potential, because there is a demand for from both of the interested parties. On one hand, suppliers (esp. sheltered workshops) demonstrate – according to our preliminary research – an enormous interest in the registration on this portal, mainly due to strong PR reasons and direct contact with their potential customers - companies with more than 20 employees. On the other hand, big companies with staff exceeding 20 people that are legally obliged to employ disabled people can also take advantage of a legal alternative to paying compulsory contributions when not employing them by purchasing products or services provided by sheltered workshops, thus not only meeting their obligations towards the state, but also getting an opportunity to have an interesting social programme for their employees (e.g. such wellness services provided by a sheltered workshop as massages done by a blind masseur).

Do you have a patent for this idea?

Yes

Impact
Tell us about the social impact of your innovation. Please include both numbers and stories as evidence of this impact

In 2009, firm with more than 20 employees has obligation to employ 3,2% disabled of all employees or to pay fine in the amount of EUR 755 per 1 disabled person. Based on the fact that the number of these firms (who were obliged to either employ disabled people or to use an option of alternative compensation) was 22 228, and the number of employees working in these firms was 1 341 525. Out of it, the total number of employees with 1st degree disabilities was 20 639, and with 2nd degree disabilities was 3781. The above mentioned firms have a legal obligation to employ 3.2% of disable people in their total staff, which represents 42 929 people. In fact, these firms employ 24 420 people with disabilities. However, their obligation is to employ 18 509 disabled people more.
If we think of the potential charity shops' products brokerage market (currently non-existent) as being 6% (expected general level of commissions based on our research) of the overall sheltered workshops' product market amounting to 13 974 295 (i.e. 18,509 x 755), the market potential for business brokers represents the value of around € 838 500. And, if we suppose (very conservatively) that annually we would be able to attract 5% of all companies with the obligation to employ 926 disabled people altogether, we can expect an income of some € 42 000. This target is achievable on condition of successfully executed advertising campaign, completely implemented marketing strategy and targeted PR activities, because an overwhelming majority of companies does not know about this option. We currently do not have any direct competition (brokers), and our indirect competition (e.g. sheltered workshops alone) is weak. Government is not interested in informing about that, because compulsory contributions account for a relatively large part of money transferred to the Treasury. Therefore, sheltered workshops are the only group, which should disseminate this important information. However, they do not have sufficient funds to do that. For this reason, we need to connect and inform the public, so that we can help each other in social entrepreneurship. In general, companies know little about sheltered workshops or their products, since sheltered workshops in Slovakia usually do not have a well-prepared marketing strategies, and their PR activities are very limited. Therefore, the CharityShop.sk project extends its offer to sheltered workshop in order to jointly try to get financial sources for their development and social enterprising.

Problem: Describe the primary problem(s) that your innovation is addressing

Sheltered workshops are supported by legislation through the possibility to make alternative compensation. Their products and services are often of lower quality, but the sale of their products is supported by the law, and is still not much used. Total number of sheltered workshops and manufacturing co-operatives employing at least one person with disability is 4 364 in Slovakia. Minimum of them has set up an e-shop focused on sales of products and services. According to our research, a quarter of them manufacture products not fit for such type of sales. We plan to offer their products especially to companies employing in excess of 20 employees.
Price, speed and quality are the critical success factors in our target market. Utilisation of our portal is highly effective, because on one hand, suppliers (esp. sheltered workshops) demonstrate – according to our preliminary research – an enormous interest in the registration on this portal, mainly due to strong PR reasons and direct contact with their potential customers - companies with more than 20 employees. On the other hand, big companies with staff exceeding 20 people that are legally obliged to employ disabled people can also take advantage of a legal alternative to paying compulsory contributions when not employing them by purchasing products or services provided by sheltered workshops, thus not only meeting their obligations towards the state, but also getting an opportunity to have an interesting social programme for their employees (e.g. such wellness services provided by a sheltered workshop as massages done by a blind masseur). In the case that companies are satisfied with quality, speed of delivery, and price of our products, it is highly probable that they will use products and services of selected sheltered workshops in the following year, since the legal obligation to pay contributions for not employing disabled people needs to be fulfilled every calendar year.

Actions: Describe the steps that you are taking to make your innovation a success. Include a description of the business model. What might prevent that success?

Our business brokerage services will fill our primary target market’s need to do something with the dilemma to either meet the obligation to employ disabled people or to pay compulsory contributions instead. Since often times -for various reasons - none of these options is good for our target groups, we can provide them the third and the best option – to gain something instead of losing by purchasing products of sheltered workshops.
Alternatively, we can also satisfy our customers’ need to act and to present themselves as socially responsible entities by purchasing products from NGOs or female entrepreneurs.
There will be a strong motivation for our primary target customers to purchase product of sheltered workshops through our online shop, since we would represent a one-stop-shop for this type of products (incl. services). So besides the broad array of products and services “under one roof” (without the hassle of searching for the most suitable product of individual sheltered workshops), they can take advantage of the speed and convenience of purchasing online.
We will present our product as the one-stop online shop providing bigger companies with an opportunity to easily select and purchase some of our broad array of sheltered workshops’s products and services as an alternative to their obligation to employ disabled people or pay contributions. We will also offer them help in strengthening their image of socially responsible company by an opportunity to buy products offered by NGOs and female entrepreneurs.
We will build the image of the CharityShop.sk so that the brand is perceived as “socially-oriented” online one-stop-shop.
We will communicate the social aspect of our venture, and do not expect to hurt our brand. On the contrary, it should strengthen our brand.

Results: Describe the expected results of these actions over the next three years. Please address each year separately, if possible

We can charge 6% out of the total order value for one unit of our sales mediation service. We suppose (very conservatively) that our services will be used by at least 5% of all companies employing staffs of more than 20 people, which does not contain 3.2% of disabled employees, thus creating an obligation for such companies to pay contribution for not employing disabled people. In 2009, this contribution was determined in the amount of EUR 755 per 1 disabled person). Based on the fact that the number of firms employing more than 20 employees (who were obliged to either employ disabled people or to use an option of alternative compensation) was 22 228, and the number of employees working in these firms was 1 341 525. Out of it, the total number of employees with 1st degree disabilities was 20 639, and with 2nd degree disabilities was 3781. The above mentioned firms have a legal obligation to employ 3.2% of disable people in their total staff, which represents 42 929 people. In fact, these firms employ 24 420 people with disabilities. However, their obligation is to employ 18 509 disabled people more.
If we think of the potential charity shops' products brokerage market (currently non-existent) as being 6% (expected general level of commissions based on our research) of the overall sheltered workshops' product market amounting to 13 974 295 (i.e. 18,509 x 755), the market potential for business brokers represents the value of around € 838 500. And, if we suppose (very conservatively) that annually we would be able to attract 5% of all companies with the obligation to employ 926 disabled people altogether, we can expect an income of some € 42 000. This target is achievable on condition of successfully executed advertising campaign, completely implemented marketing strategy and targeted PR activities, because an overwhelming majority of companies does not know about this option. We currently do not have any direct competition (brokers), and our indirect competition (e.g. sheltered workshops alone) is weak. Government is not interested in informing about that, because compulsory contributions account for a relatively large part of money transferred to the Treasury. Therefore, sheltered workshops are the only group, which should disseminate this important information. However, they do not have sufficient funds to do that. For this reason, we need to connect and inform the public, so that we can help each other in social entrepreneurship. In general, companies know little about sheltered workshops or their products, since sheltered workshops in Slovakia usually do not have a well-prepared marketing strategies, and their PR activities are very limited.

How many people will your project serve annually?

1001‐10,000

What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

$50 - 100

Does your innovation seek to have an impact on public policy?

Yes

If your innovation seeks to impact public policy, how?

Manager of CharityShop is also university teacher of psychology and social work. She is also in the state board (now creating) of social worker cooperating with Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Families in Slovakia.

Sustainability
What stage is your Social Enterprise in?

Operating for less than a year

Does your organization have a board of directors or an advisory board?

Yes

Does your organization have a non monetary partnerships with NGOs?

Yes

Does your organization have a non monetary partnerships with businesses?

Yes

Does your organization have a non monetary partnerships with government?

Yes

Please tell us more about how partnerships could be critical to the success of your Social Enterprise

Partnerships with all relevant stakeholders are important to our network-based business. Besides establishing partnerships with our suppliers (sheletered workshops) and customers (companies with more than 20 employees, and not employing disabled people), we have established partnerships with other strategic partners, which facilitate our marketing efforts, esp. communication with clients(Head of National Employment Office), public relations (various media, including TV Markiza, Bajecna zena magazine or regional press) and other events (cooperation with blind actor Stano Danciak, with TV production company DNA Production, etc.). This all moves us closer to achieving not only break-even, but a huge success for our CharityShop.sk project.

We would like to learn more about how your initiative is financially supported. Please explain your business plan/revenue model

Start-up costs amounting to € 9472 have been fully covered by the governmental contributions for employing disabled people (§56, §59 and §60 of the Act on Employment Services, No. 5/2004 of the Collection of Laws, as later amended), by the contributions pursuant to sections of the Act on Income regulating the allocation of 2% from income tax by physical and legal entities, by individual gifts, foundations’ and corporate grants (corporate foundation Orange; OSF foundation), by income from the administration of VÚB Foundation, and by the fee for the brokerage services of the CharityShop.sk based on Contracts for Cooperation signed with Charity Shop’s suppliers. Break-even point represents the level of 2.52 units. CharityShop.sk is a low-cost project, because the only necessary costs that need to be financed from own sources amount to € 200 per year for webhosting, because salaries and other costs are covered from governmental contributions for employing disabled people (§56, §59 and §60 of the Act No. 5/2004 of the Coll. of Laws).
If we think of the potential charity shops' products brokerage market (currently non-existent) as being 6% (expected general level of commissions based on our research) of the overall sheltered workshops' product market amounting to 13 974 295 (i.e. 18,509 x 755), the market potential for business brokers represents the value of around € 838 500. And, if we suppose (very conservatively) that annually we would be able to attract 5% of all companies with the obligation to employ 926 disabled people altogether, we can expect an income of some € 42 000. This target is achievable on condition of successfully executed advertising campaign, completely implemented marketing strategy and targeted PR activities, because an overwhelming majority of companies does not know about this option. And, to be able to conduct the advertising campaign, we need Ashoka's support.

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

In 2009, the number of firms employing over 20 employees (i.e. that were obliged to employ disabled people, alternatively utilize an option of alternative compensation) was 22 288. Number of people employed in these firms was 1 341 525. Out of it, the total number of employees with 1st degree disabilities was 20 639, and with 2nd degree disabilities was 3781. For the above mentioned firms have a legal obligation to employ 3.2% of disable people in their total staff, which represents 42 929 people. In fact, these firms employ 24 420 people with disabilities. However, their obligation is to employ 18 509 disabled people more.

In the case that a firm does not employ people with disabilities in the mandatory numbers, the firm must pay compulsory contribution of EUR 773.40 per each person with disability not employed. Since the total number of people with disabilities who are not employed at such firms reached 18 509, the firms were obliged to pay EUR 14,315,199.49. There is, however, the third alternative, which is to use alternative compensation, i.e. to buy products or services of sheltered workshops. It is an equal alternative, by which they can fulfil the obligation towards the state, while it is more forthright, and more convenient for the companies. In this way the companies are able to get as a counter value, in the amount of compulsory contributions to the state, the products and services provided by sheltered workshops, thus directly by the disabled people. Based on the above-mentioned calculations, the potential for sheltered workshops to get new orders is worth EUR 12 717 795.25.
Government is not interested in informing about that, because compulsory contributions account for a relatively large part of money transferred to the Treasury. Therefore, sheltered workshops are the only group, which should disseminate this important information. However, they do not have sufficient funds to do that.

Tell us about the person—the social innovator—behind this idea.

Elena Kopcová, PhD. is an university teacher of Psychology and Social Work at Commenius University in Bratislava. Except this, she is a leader of WELLNEA sheltered workshop with 6 disabled people. She was a volunteer in the first sheltered workshop TYR CENTRUM in Orava, Slovakia, which leader Eva Mydlikova was awarded by Ashoka in 90ties. She visited most of social projects in Europe interested in employment of disabled people and she make a social psychological research in quality of life and work of unemployeed people, from which disabled people are one of the risk group.

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Through another organization or company

If through another source, please provide the information

Marta Ricci from NESsT Citi, Prag