Wow, what a year! All Good Ventures has just finished its first year of seed-funding our two inaugural social enterprise projects.
Heather and Rod have personally mentored the first, mainly to give us hands-on experience to help us develop the mentoring part of All Good Ventures going forward. The second project has been mentored by a volunteer mentor, John Birch.
We are just about to launch our call for proposals for our second years’ projects. We are aiming to keep this second year similar to the first. We feel this is best because there have been a number of learnings for us this year and we would like to do one more year of scoping the model.
In addition to the great progress for both initial projects, we also announced near the end of last year that 100% of Heather’s business, HMC Communications, is now committed to fully committed to All Good Ventures.
Here are some highlights from our first two projects:
Morningside Urban Market Garden (Mentors: Heather and Rod Claycomb)
Project Leader: Jason Dodunski
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Project Aim: To set up an urban market garden growing and selling organic micro-greens and edible flowers to the Auckland café sector, as a platform for educating and training women of refugee families to build marketable skills in gardening and to enhance English capabilities.
Initial Project Status: When we came on board with Jason (project leader) in March-April, Morningside Urban Market Garden (MUMG) had procured a small piece of land in the Morningside suburb of Auckland near Mt Eden in a defunct bowling green club. He had a brief plan of setting up an urban market garden on-site using the resources of five refugee women who were the project’s initial trainees. Jason had a very supportive steering group led by a very capable not-for-profit community leader who was assisting him with grant funding applications and administrative activities. He had no formal entity set up, and was at the stage of having a couple dozen garden boxes built with a proprietary design.
Highlights of 2019:
-Jason has benefited from All Good Ventures’ assistance in formulating a formal strategy for MUMG.
-They are nearly finished with setting up a formal NZ charity for the project.
-They had some resource consent issues with the conceived site (still being worked through) but were able to partner with Eden Park to gain access to a much bigger and better-equipped plot of land near the entrance to the stadium to set up the initial operational garden.
-They now have a fully functional growing tunnel and several dozen garden boxes which have been planted and are ready for their first commercial harvest.
-There are currently working through various funding models that can keep the project sustainable.
-Having realised that not all refugee women want or need both growing and harvesting hands-on training and community-based relationship opportunities, they have now formed a two-stream process for the project, with the operational part of the growing operation and the training/community part of the operation being distinct.
-Successful completion of first commercial harvest season.
-Operational funding secured through April 2020.
-“Graduate” first group of trainees and prepare for future classes.
One Day Health (Mentor: John Birch)
Project Leader: Nick Laing
Location: New Zealand/Uganda
Project Aim: To establish a network of health centres throughout rural Uganda to enable basic medical care such as vaccinations within one day’s walk for all rural Ugandans.
Initial Project Status: When we came on board with Nick in March/April, One Day Health had procured a map from the Ugandan government with the ideal location of medical centres that could fulfil the vision. The Ugandan government had started but later abandoned this project in previous years. One Day Health had constructed a small number of prototype centres and had proven that, once the capital to establish a centre was provided, that the operations of the centre was self-sustaining. Their main challenge was finding a model that could procure the funding for establishment of over 2500 centres throughout Uganda. They had a formal entity set up, along with a team of people led by Nick and his wife who were based in the UK.
Highlights of 2019:
-Nick and his wife are now based in Uganda full-time.
-With the prototype successes, Nick was able to present at Unleash+ with his nurse manager, Emma and co-founder, Pranav. Unleash+ was a pitching event for social good organisations held in Asia at the end of 2019. Out of 24 teams, they were one of ten selected to pitch on the main stage, and were one of six teams to win, which was great!
-In addition, at Unleash+, they were able to gain a few key learnings from the project to-date and to identify some key opportunities for future growth.
-They are starting to launch new health centres early 2020, hopefully at the end of January, with 10 new health centres launched by June/July.
-They will complete training for a key staff member, who's going to run the show for the next 8-10 health centres in Kitgum. They hope the first Health Centre there should be up and running by end of June.