Life Project 4 Youth

There are currently 1.2 billion Youth aged between 15 and 24. 550 million of them are living below the poverty threshold of $2 a day. Life Project 4 Youth is an organization that strongly believes Young People facing extreme poverty are capable of becoming great entrepreneurs if someone gives them a smile, a supporting work, room to grow, and trust.

LP4Y was founded by a group of European (France, Belgium & Luxemburg) and US entrepreneurs who took on a challenge to set up “Life Project Centers” (LPC) near slum areas in Philippines, Vietnam, India and Indonesia. LP4Y has developed a unique Professional Training for Entrepreneurs (PTE) program, which provides the selected underprivileged Youth with an opportunity to join the 18-month integration ecosystem, and to receive coaching and mentoring from the LP4Y volunteers, as well as professional partners and universities.

Once a Young Adult has been accepted by a coach, he or she is invited to join a team of 15 others, working together on a micro-economic activity. By means of the micro-economic activities developed by each LPC, combined with a specially adapted pedagogy, the Young Adults work as a team on the creation, development and management of a business. The PTE journey is a demanding program structured around three pillars of Working, Learning, and Guidance, and is divided into four successive stages: Autonomy, Responsibility, Management, and Entrepreneurship. This apprenticeship gives them the keys to managing their own lives and escaping exclusion to achieve a decent existence (employment, accommodation, good health, and education).

LP4Y currently operates Life Project Centers in 16 cities across Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and India. The organization also wants to launch an E-learning platform where the underprivileged youth can learn English, acquire computer literacy, and get additional guidance for their life projects. This way, the Young Adults can supplement their learning outside of LPC and get support when needed. Moreover, the E-learning platform will serve as a hub connecting different stakeholders of the LP4Y community.

You can learn more about Life Project 4 Youth here: http://www.lp4y.org

In the third follow up project with LP4Y, NGC Consultants will define and structure the E-learning project and prepare a brief to educate prospective users and potential partners about its goals and benefits.   

Specific recommendations to be developed by the Consulting team are:

1.     Gather best practices from successful E-learning platforms employed by similar organizations

a.     Research relevant types of platform architectures and most effective e-learning tools

b.     Propose the best structure and design for the LP4Y E-learning platform, based on the findings

2.     Develop a brief outlining the goals, structure, and benefits of the E-learning platform, targeting LP4Y members (brochure) and potential partners (short PowerPoint)

3.     Identify the criteria for partner selection and suggest 2-3 E-learning tool providers for LP4Y to approach
 

The LP4Y team will incorporate your recommendations when operative, tactical and strategic decisions are to be made in the near future.

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Ravarene

In 2050 it might be more plastic than fish in the sea and in Norway, 25% of all produced and imported edible food is thrown away. We need to act and we need to act now. Råvarene was born out of this crucial need to act. The idea to open a zero-waste store came to Anita Bui, the CEMS alumna, when she was performing a mundane task of taking out the garbage for her mom. “There is not a scratch. Why do I throw this away? I want the content and not the packaging, but I pay for it every time”. The idea of refill and reuse was born.  Being passionate about the environment and inspired by her gap year travels, Anita decided to turn it into a reality during her CEMS studies. Together with her business partner, the support of her family and the start-up friendly environment, they opened Norway’s first Zero Waste store on the 22nd of October 2016.

Råvarene is a zero-waste store, where one can buy ethical groceries without unnecessary packaging. They believe that everyone can make a difference in daily lives: buying groceries without packaging is one of those small steps. At Råvarene, customers can purchase fresh and high-quality products in bulk by filling up reusable containers. Råvarene is also working towards increasing the number of independent businesses, inviting people to openly discuss food, and acting as the unifier that encourages people to work together to reduce waste. The team seeks to know the origin of all the products its supplies, endorses producers and suppliers, and fosters sustainable logic and operations at all levels. They now work on expanding the business to other Norwegian cities and exploring the opportunities that lies in collaboration with other businesses.

Learn more about Råvarene here: http://raavarene.com/

Råvarene is currently in the transition period of the business life cycle; Anita is looking into expansion to more cities in Norway and B2B partnership opportunities.

Specific recommendations to be developed by the Consulting team are:

1.     Recommend relevant business models for store expansion

a.     Analyze strategic opportunities for Råvarene’ store expansion in Norway

b.     Conduct research on similar businesses and present their success stories in the expansion process (example: The Source Bulk Foods in Australia)

c.     Map out the business models of best cases and adapt several to Råvarene 

2.     Suggest partner organizations for potential B2B partnership or purchase of the Råvarene business

a.     Identify cross-industry B2B partnership opportunities for Råvarene (example: partnerships with local canteens)

b.     Outline relevant criteria for partner selection

c.     Suggest several partners and their points of interest

The managing team of Råvarene will incorporate your recommendations when operational, tactical and strategic decisions are to be made in the near future.

 

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Talents Venture

In Italy, many young talents are forced to miss their opportunities to pursue high-quality educational programs due to the severe lack of merit-based scholarships. Currently, most scholarships available for Italian students are income-based, which implies that financial aid excludes the young talents coming from middle income families. According to Eurydice Facts and Figures, only 9% of Italian students received scholarships in the academic year of 2016/2017. Furthermore, student loans are not appropriated to finance a risky investment such as education, because the repayment is not linked with post-graduate student’s income. Culturally, it also has been a norm for parents to take loans on behalf of students. In response to this pressing issue, Pier Giorgio Bianchi, Vito Ciciretti, and Paolo Alberico Laddomada founded Talents Venture (TV). They wanted their start-up to offer innovative service that allows tying the cost of education to student's future income, similarly to what has already been available in North America for decades. TV attracts the best talents from different backgrounds, offering them an ecosystem of services useful for a successful path of personal and professional growth. The main goal is to finance the best students according to the selection model that estimates expected future salary for each student. Students have to repay only when and if they earn salary. The instalment, therefore, represents a percentage of their future income. TV help best talents to attend the best universities regardless of their economic and social background. Besides financial support, TV also wants to provide bright students with internships and job placements through partnering up with large industry players.

TV is currently targeting only Masters and MBA students in Italy to validate its model before offering services to a broader range of students all over Europe. At the moment, the focus is also on three specific education programs: Business, Finance, and Engineering. While the founding team is wrapping its investor relations and waiting for the approval from the Bank of Italy, it would like to have a head start on marketing ideas to raise awareness among young talents who plan to enrol in postgraduate programs in the academic year of 2018/2019.

Learn more about TV here: http://www.talentsventure.com/

Talents Venture plans to utilise the combination of online and offline channels to best inform Masters and MBA students about this newly available merit-based opportunity to fund their future.

Specific recommendations to be developed by the Consulting team are:

1.     Develop a marketing plan to educate prospective students about the benefits of TV services

a.     Develop an understanding of students’ attitude towards financial aid and identify best ways to address their possible concerns, while communicating the benefits of TV’s services

b.     Clarify Talents Venture’s value proposition and define the overarching message for all marketing activities

2.     Develop online and offline marketing campaigns targeting prospective students for 2018/2019

a.     Gather best practices from similar organizations and adapt them to TV

b.     Create social media campaigns to encourage students to apply for this new funding opportunity

c.     Provide promotion campaign ideas to engage university partners (Ex: Student ambassador programs, campus events)

The managing team of Talents Venture incorporate your recommendations when operational, tactical and strategic decisions are to be made in the near future.

 

 

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Project-E

PROJECT-E is a German NGO with the mission to empower young Ethiopian women through access to quality training, which is to support the selected girls in gaining the necessary professional and personal skills to become independent and confident women, contributing to the development of the Ethiopian economy and society. PROJECT-E has been working in Ethiopia since 2010, when the organisation started the co-implementation of its first project: a college for secretarial science, providing free education and financial and social support to a group of selected young girls. After five years of co-establishment, this first project was successfully handed over to the local partner organisation, Selam Children ́s Village, who is now operating the college on its own. During the partnership with PROJECT-E the success rate of the project, measured in the number of graduate students employed in the local labour market, has always been 100%, which encouraged the student based organisation to launch a new project.

After a thorough research in 2014, the idea of establishing a quality hotel school arose. As one of the fastest growing industries in the country, the hospitality sector seemed to be a promising sector for graduating girls. Furthermore, the adaption of the standard of the newly developed sector to international requirements was a challenging factor for all stakeholders involved. Through the discussion with many representatives from educational institutes, but also the industry, PROJECT-E quickly identified four main gaps: practical training, communication skills, attitude and hygiene. PROJECT-E‘s Hospitality Institute, which opened its doors in October 2015, allows 20 young women from low-income families to join the program on yearly basis. The two-years education program is based on the Ethiopian Occupational Standard for Hotel Operation Level 1 and 2, but topped up with input from international hotel schools, hotel managers and guests. The focus on practical training, which the students can acquire either during the sessions in simulated areas of the school or during internship periods. In addition to that, a professional social worker supports the students with life skill training, including communication skills and attitude training, and counseling service. Accommodation, food, medical allowances and pocket money is provided to the students, to encourage a focused learning environment. Learn more about PROJECT-E here: https://project-e.eu/

In line with the organisation's goal of long-term financial sustainability, PROJECT-E aims at (1) establishing a cost recovery activity to re-finance a part of PEHI's expenses from within Ethiopia, (2) setting up an extensive network of partnerships and sponsors in Europe and (3) developing effective fundraising mechanisms.

Specific recommendations to be developed by the Consulting team are:

1.     Create a business plan for the cost recovery café in Addis Ababa provided by the Country Representative and Management Board

2.     Identify partnership practices and possible network expansions including international organizations that increase the visibility of PROJECT-E in Europe

The managing team of PROJECT-E incorporate your recommendations when operational, tactical and strategic decisions are to be made in the near future.

 

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Positive energy

Positive Energy (previously known as Collective Energy) was founded in July 2014 by three engineers based in Turkey and Germany, who were united by a passion for making a difference within the energy sector. Today, Positive Energy offers commercial buildings owners the disruptive solution to save energy and cost, while getting the same quality level via operating the buildings with BEADs' AI (Building’s Energy Analysing Device). With the help of BEAD, the buildings will have a smart energy agent that works and manages the building 24/7. BEAD analyses how commercial buildings consume energy according to human behaviour patterns, occupancy ratios and ambience/environmental changes. The data collected is directed to the automation system as a real-time feedback. As a result, BEAD will be the first step towards “humanlessly” operated buildings: buildings that will wake up when you wake up, communicate and live with you, and sleep when you sleep. As a result, commercial buildings can achieve 15-20% energy savings and 10% of operations costs, which will certainly add points to the socially responsible goals. The Positive Energy team views buildings as living ecosystems rather than static assets, which have a high potential of becoming eco-friendly and sustainable.

The company currently serves countries in MENA and EU regions, which are estimate to have over 7 million of commercial buildings together. The target groups are commercial chains, including the supermarkets, banks, retailers, and hotels, which together are valued at 3.5 billion USD in market size. In the next few years, the team would like to enter markets in Nordic countries, Germany, Austria, the UK, and the UAE.

You can learn more about BEAD here: http://enbead.com/

NGC consultants have already delivered a strong project for Positive Energy (Collective Energy back then) in Fall 2015. In this follow up project, the consulting team will be asked to develop relevant business models and investment options for Nordic countries, Germany/Austria, the UK, and the UAE.
Specific recommendations to be developed by the Consulting team are:

1.     Analyze the commercial buildings markets within the regions of interest

a.     Collect data on energy consumption and climate change effects for each region

b.     Highlight relevant regional regulations for commercial buildings

c.     Estimate the market size for commercial buildings for each region and identify the key players in Building Management and Energy Management Technologies

2.     Create a Power Point deck targeting potential investors within the regions of interest

a.     Present the market development trends for the next 5-10 years based on the above findings

b.     Develop business models and corresponding investment options

The managing team of Positive Energy will incorporate your recommendations when strategic, tactical and operational decisions are to be made in the near future.

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Lendflo

Lendflo was founded in 2017 by Chris Smith, Remi Tuyaerts, and John Smith with a goal of helping small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the UK and abroad by providing them with cheaper access to the working capital. Currently, 80% of small business failures can be attributed to cash flow issues: small businesses deliver goods to large corporate clients, then they often have to wait up to 120 days to receive payments for those goods.

Lendflo’s ultimate vision is to create a fluid system, in which SMEs with high cash flow provide financing to SMEs with low cash flow, thus creating a win-win situation and a more efficient use of working capital in any given economy. The company offers a P2P invoice financing platform built on the Ethereum Blockchain to automate the vast portion of the invoice financing process, which ensures more efficient distribution of investor capital into businesses and allows SMEs help each other in their cash flow requirements. The streamlined document processing and advanced credit scoring allows Lendflo to offer low fees to both SME and investor, while the automated processes help both parties close their transaction within seconds, instead of months or days. Finally, all the transactions are recorded on an immutable, transparent record with enhanced data security.

While based in the UK, Lendflo is currently working with the Dubai government and banks in the UAE region to test the proposition before entering other markets.

Learn more about Lendflo here: http://www.lendflo.com/

Lenflo is giving the NGC consultants an exciting opportunity to apply their knowledge, while exploring the role of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency in the sphere of SME finance.

Specific recommendations to be developed by the Consulting team are:

1.     Develop a pricing strategy for Lendflo's invoice financing proposition for the UK market

a.     Conduct competitive benchmarking to identify best practices in pricing strategies on the market

b.     Analyze and prioritize relevant factors for loan pricing (i.e market and economy conditions, competitor pricing, the SME credit assessment, customers' attitude towards similar services etc.)

c.     Suggest a pricing strategy that would be mutually beneficial and attractive for the SME and investors. 

2.     Given a forecasted user base lifetime value of a customer design a marketing strategy that allows us to capture the specified market share in the most profitable way

a.     Analyze the applicability of various marketing tools to the Lendflo's business (i.e direct marketing, SEO, referral schemes etc.) 

b.     Consider overall cost of customer acquisition per user and the revenue they generate.

The managing team of Lendflo will incorporate your recommendations when operational, tactical and strategic decisions are to be made in the near future.

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Kalmat Foundation (2018)

The children in Sri Lanka are continuously caught up in poverty cycles: in this society, if you are born poor - you will die poor. The only way to break out from this cycle is through getting higher education to improve their lives. “While we were in Sri Lanka in 2005, we saw many children in rural areas, walking to school on the hot tar roads in 100F/40C degree weather without a pair of shoes. We realized these children and their parents could not afford to buy them,” – said the founders. – “In Sri Lanka, the average price of a pair of school shoes are about 14 USD a pair, which many poor families can’t afford. Most children wear rubber flip flops to school, which wear out quickly, while others cannot even afford a pair [of flip flops]. When one adds shoes, books, and school essentials, one would think it’s better to stay at home and look after the younger siblings or work in the farm. As the result, 25% of the children drop out of school after grade 5 to help their parents with work instead of completing their studies.”

This immediate call for action gave roots to Kalmat Foundation, a non-profit organization created in 2011 and based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA. It also has an active branch in St. Gallen, Switzerland. Kalmat has succeeded in engaging individuals and organizations to contribute to the foundation in Switzerland through cash donations and sale of handmade scarfs and jewellery. However, it has been struggling with attracting and retaining donors in the US due to intense competition with other organizations.

Kalmat employs a wide network of volunteers in the US, Europe, and Sri Lanka and is currently supporting around 500 Sri Lankan children. To ensure that every child has a pair of shoes and enough school supplies for a year, Kalmat needs to raise at least 20,000 USD annually.

Learn more about Kalmat Foundation here: http://www.kalmatfoundation.org/

 

NGC has already delivered a strong project to Kalmat in 2017 by providing best practices in fundraising management and communications strategy. This semester, John would like NGC to delve deeper into the marketing area, building on the previous team’s findings and suggestions.

Specific recommendations to be developed by the Consulting team are:

1.     Develop a comprehensive Social Media strategy for Kalmat to attract followers and raise awareness about the foundation

a.     Provide a Social Media plan for Kalmat to implement on a weekly and monthly basis

b.     Define criteria for selecting Kalmat Social Media Ambassadors and come up with specific ways to get them involved in the foundation’s activities

c.     Recommend potential candidates for the Ambassadors, including their contact information

2.     Develop a program to engage College and University students in Kalmat fundraising and/or marketing activities

a.     Suggest ideas for on-campus fundraising events, which the Kalmat team could physically co-host

b.     Suggest ideas for remote collaboration between Kalmat and student organizations

c.     Recommend several students organizations within the US (San Francisco, Boston, Dallas, Tulsa) for on-campus collaboration and several outside of the US for remote collaboration

The managing team of Kalmat Foundation will incorporate your recommendations when operational, tactical and strategic decisions are to be made in the near future.

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Brands for Good

Today’s consumer understands better than ever before the threats facing our planet. Millennials are rightly concerned about how climate change, pollution and depletion of the earth’s resources will impact their quality of life. Many people are also deeply troubled by the human rights abuses and child labour in textile manufacturing and the mistreatment of animals in various industries. Into this context, BrandsForGood.com (B4G) was born in Melbourne, Australia, with the millennials and Gen X women at the centre of the target demographic. The site offers beautiful and functional products created by brands with a passion for avoiding harm to people and the planet. It’s the online marketplace for the large segment of consumers who care about their social and environmental footprint. BrandsForGood.com offers participation in a community of brands and consumers who want to collaborate and learn together how to live kindly, sustainably and well. Moreover, 2% of the purchase price is directed to the Bears and Butterflies charitable foundation, reflected in a bi-annual tax-deductible receipt for the consumer. Consumers can choose what type of charitable work this money goes towards and add a donation of their own if they wish to.

B4G owns a fully functional, real time cloud based technology solution, scalable to meet several expansion possibilities. More than 60 brands have signed on to sell their products on the attractive site and provided statements regarding their social and environmental credentials. Most brands are small enterprises, and at this stage fashion and personal care products feature the most with some homewares and consumables available as well. Regular blogs feature brands and the good humans behind the brands plus more reflective and encouraging writing on topical issues in the social and environmental realm. All blogs are crafted to create a sense of community around the common goal of changing our habits to live more sustainably.

Learn more about B4G here: https://brandsforgood.com/

Brandsforgood.com aims to be a global market place where every purchase does good and not harm. To take this to the next level, the company needs helps in reassessing the definition of “good”, based on which it will encourage and support brands which are actively doing good and seeking to do better.
Specific recommendations to be developed by the Consulting team are:

1.     Develop an understanding of the social & environmental impact businesses make through their practices

a.     Research the global standards in environmental, consumer health, and human & animal rights areas and the respective bodies responsible for them

b.     Gather examples of brands that made negative & positive impacts in the aforementioned areas

c.     Present most relevant findings and their practical implications for B4G

2.     Define the brand selection criteria and find the way to communicate them to customers

a.     Translate the “good” into measurable criteria for B4G to categorize the brands accordingly

b.     Propose an easy-to-use assessment method that addresses the relevant criteria in B4G’s brand selection

c.     Create an effective communication tool to help B4G consumers make purchases based on the impact areas most important to them

The managing team of B4G will incorporate your recommendations when operational, tactical and strategic decisions are to be made in the near future.

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Nordgreen

Nordgreen is an e-commerce start-up aiming to disrupt the watch market through offering high-quality fashion watches inspired by the minimalistic Scandinavian design and the deep belief in sustainability. The Nordgreen founding team is comprised of three ex-McKinsey consultants and seasoned entrepreneurs, collectively possessing extensive experiences in growth strategies, cross-border e-commerce, and supply chain & operations. Based in Copenhagen, Nordgreen will be a truly global brand from day one. Its e-commerce platform will offer seamless consumer experience through numerous localised websites, while the network of couriers and warehouses will ensure quick and reliable delivery.

The Nordgreen’s first watch collection was created by Jakob Wagner – an internationally renowned Danish industrial designer who received numerous industry awards. Besides enjoying the high-performing beautiful watch, customers will get an opportunity to leave a positive mark in the world: with every purchase, he or she will also directly donate to a cause. The three watch styles available within the collection correspond to three causes and charitable organizations in healthcare, education, and the environment.

Nordgreen will introduce its impactful watches across the globe in December 2017 in the following markets: Asia - China (including Hong Kong), Japan, Korea, Singapore; Europe - Austria, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK.

Learn more about Nordgreen here: https://nordgreen.com/

Project description

Nordgreen will launch the first watch collections in four Asian countries due to their large customer base and promising market potential. The NGC consultants will provide the founding team with their local market knowledge to ensure a successful product launch in these key markets. Your point of contact will be the CEO of the local market and the top management of the Group.

Specific recommendations to be developed by the Consulting team are:  

Create a Go-To-Market Strategy for China & HK / Japan / Korea / Singapore:

1.     B2B: Build upon the existing overview of potential resellers (Online & Offline)

a.     Prepare a brief negotiation guide outlining the tactics that are specific to the culture and norms of each market

b.     Create initial outreach strategies to start business relationships

2.     Marketing (Online and Offline):

a.     Build upon Nordgreen’s existing overview of potential online influencers and create initial outreach strategies to start business relationships

b.     Use your local market knowledge to develop low-budget, high-reach offline marketing strategies to spread the word about Nordgreen       

The managing team of Nordgreen incorporates your recommendations when operational, tactical and strategic decisions are to be made in the near future.             

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Witioo

Witioo is a brand new social tech initiative founded by a multidisciplinary and multicultural team from Canada, Taiwan, and Costa Rica. This human centric non-profit enterprise started from a casual discussion among friends about the fatal shooting incident in the US that gave roots to the Black Lives Matter movement. Touched by this event, one of the co-founders, Sébastian Paris, started researching the already existing crime prevention solutions, including the panic buttons and various contingency services. After examining the wide range of human tragedies, he discovered a common pattern that current solutions often fail to tackle, which encompasses the event stages and the time it takes to prevent its escalation. As the result of the ever-increasing population growth and diminishing resources, the response time to tragedies has been rising year by year.  Some states in the US even enforced bans on panic buttons due to the inability to respond to all alarms or arriving at the false ones.

Sébastian and the team have created a technological solution that merges the benefits of the panic buttons, social network, contingency and community services. Witioo is a mobile app that provides crime-preventive geolocation to help citizens find the safest path out of the situation. Any community member can register to volunteer and get notified when someone in the proximity needs help, whether it be a criminal incident or emotional distress. Finally, Witioo partnerships with the government agencies and such organizations, as the Red Cross, will complete a social network that works together to effectively coordinate security management and crime prevention.  

Learn more about Witioo here: http://witioo.alinealab.com/website/

Project description

Witioo has successfully created the working prototype and completed the concept validation. While the enterprise’s core philosophy is to serve the society at no cost, Witioo needs to find the best business model and suitable impact investors to be able to grow globally and develop the technology further. In addition, Witioo would like to collaborate with academic institutions in conducting pilot studies. 

Specific recommendations to be developed by the Consulting team are:

1.     Develop a business model for Witioo to successfully serve the social mission while attracting investment

a.     Analyze similar organizations and their best practices in fundraising and partnership programs

b.     Evaluate Witioo’s current business model and suggest the ways to take it further

2.     Develop a strategy to attract impact investors and involve academic partners

a.     Clarify Witioo’s unique value proposition and KPIs to influence organizations to support the technology

b.     Suggest impact investors who share the similar vision as Witioo and propose effective ways to approach them

c.     Suggest academic institutions which share the similar vision as Witioo and propose effective ways to approach them

The managing team of Witioo incorporate your recommendations when operational, tactical and strategic decisions are to be made in the near future.

            

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Inaska

Just like many women, KatharINA and FranziSKA, the co-founders of INASKA have been regularly facing the same problem over the years: you own hundreds of bikinis, but none of them fit perfectly. Franziska is a passionate beach volleyball-player who was looking for a reliable sports bikini with a stylish design, while Katharina has long been on the search for a comfortable beach outfit without irritating clasps and knots. These ambitious ladies were united with a common goal to combine fashionable look with the comfort and stability that is necessary for a free range of motion. In one and a half years, they designed and produced a one-of-a-kind product in the heart of Europe: a dependable sports bikini that offers a perfect fit, unfailing support, and appealing look.

In addition to the innovative design, Franziska and Katharina wanted to take a step further and give back to the environment by turning to eco-friendly processes: they design, source, and produce in Portugal to keep the production local. They use only the finest Italian fabrics consisting of 78% ECONYL® yarn, which is made entirely of recycled Polyamide derived from old fishing nets and similar materials. The products are delivered via CO2-neutral shipping to customers worldwide in a reusable sports bag and recycled carton at no extra charge. For each item sold, INASKA donates 20 cents to Surfrider EU. Finally, there is no paper involved in invoicing, as all purchases are made online.

INASKA is still at its early stages of development with a small but mighty team. Currently, the bikinis are mostly sold in Germany, targeting active women aged 18-45 who play beach and water sports. Franziska and Katharina would like to explore new European markets, potentially including France, Italy, Spain, Greece, and Portugal.

Learn more about INASKA here: https://www.inaska-swimwear.com

Project description

INASKA would like the NGC consultants to brainstorm a creative and feasible strategy to build awareness about its innovative and eco-friendly product within Europe through social media platforms and influencer marketing.

Specific recommendations to be developed by the Consulting team are:

1.     Propose online and offline “influencers” who would help promote INASKA and build a community

a.     Define criteria for different types of “influencers” [bloggers, sport communities (beach volleyball, surfing, swimming), NGOs] and their points of interest

b.     Suggest potential partners, including their contact information and recommended approaches

2.     Develop a social media strategy to attract and engage followers (Facebook and Instagram)

a.     Gather best social media practices from similar companies/organizations and analyze their activities (frequency, content, campaigns)

b.     Evaluate INASKA’s current social media activities and suggest budget and time-friendly tactics to implement

The managing team of INASKA will incorporate your recommendations when operational, tactical and strategic decisions are to be made in the near future

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iBuyFlowers

iBuyFlowers.com is a Dutch initiative to bring fresh flowers to US florist and event planners at a lower price with a mouse click. The platform aims to directly connect florists and event planners to growers around the world in a very accessible and user-friendly way. With the fully automated logistics chain developed by iBuyFlowers, the wholesalers and importers of the traditional flower chain are eliminated, and the transportation time is reduced by 30-50%. The full transparency of the iBuyFlowers logistics chain allows customers to pick the desired source location and enjoy fresh flowers at a lower price. The social impact of the iBuyFlowers platform ranges across many areas: the company works only with (Green) certified growers with labels like: Rainforest Alliance CertifiedVeriFloraBASCFairtradeFlower Label Program (FLP)  in order to protect the human rights of the farm employees, and guarantees payment to the growers within two weeks after shipment, as opposed to 45-60 days in the industry. Also, due to a more efficient logistics strategy, a fair amount of CO2 emissions is saved, no damage is caused to flowers due to repackaging; and fewer flowers are wasted and thrown away during the transportation.

Since the launch of iBuyFlowers in January 2017, the platform has successfully reached over 1,300 customer sign ups. However, for the business to be sustainable, the startup needs to improve on customer loyalty and increase the number of repeat orders. This could be achieved by acquiring customer feedback and incorporating the key insights to make a platform more customer-friendly and easy to use.

Learn more about Eco Modelling here: www.ibuyflowers.com

Project description

NGC has already delivered a strong project to the iBuyFlowers team before the platform launch in Fall 2016. In this follow up project, NGC consultants will help Wilfred bring iBuyFlowers to the next level by finding insights into customer loyalty. To achieve this, they will delve deep into the existing customer data and develop new tools to measure customer satisfaction.

Specific recommendations to be developed by the Consulting team are:

1.     Develop tools to effectively measure customer experience with the iBuyFlowers platform

a.     Analyze the orders history and Google Analytics records to derive customer patterns and trends

b.     Conduct a focus group or interviews with 5-10 current customers to gain insights about their experience with the platform

c.     Investigate the reasons why some customers signed up but did not make a purchase

d.     Create a survey for iBuyFlowers to collect feedback to be sent to all clients

2.     Develop recommendations to make the platform more customer-friendly

a.     Define the relevant KPIs to measure the platform’s performance and create a tool to track progress

b.     Examine iBuyFlowers’ home page and suggest several layouts to make it more informative and appealing to first-time visitors

The managing team of iBuyFlowers will incorporate your recommendations when operative, tactical and strategic decisions are to be made in the near future.

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Everybody at work

Formerly known as Refugees At Work, Everybody At Work (EAW) was founded one year ago in Belgium by a social entrepreneur Benoît D'heygere, after having accumulated relevant industry experience and knowledge working in the recruitment field. EAW is an online inclusive community which connects people from all over the world with the employers from all over the whole world. According to its philosophy, “in our current world, our nationality does not define the place of our future employment.  Nor does our native language. Our globalized approach mixed together with our local networks will allow a fast and long-lasting matchmaking between jobseekers and employers”. This is a win-win concept for both the employer and the newcomer: many jobs require both technical and specific language skills that many international workers can provide with; while for a newcomer, getting a job is the best way to adjust and integrate in the new home away from home. EAW provides vacancies predominantly in technical and manual labour areas and operates on a “no cure, no pay” basis, meaning that the employer is not charged for placing a job ad, until a suitable employee is found and hired for the role. So far, the platform has been successfully placing immigrants from Syria and Afghanistan in Belgium area.

EAW is currently undergoing changes on its website to make it more inclusive for all types of newcomers and change the initial perception of the platform targeting only refugees. Inspired by Airbnb, the new website will be more customer-friendly and available in multiple languages: English, Dutch, French, and Arabic. Benoit would like EAW community to grow outside of Belgium and help employers and employees all over the world find their perfect match.

Learn more about EAW here: http://www.everybodyatwork.com/

Project description

Since EAW website is being taken care of on the technical side, Benoit would like NGC consultants to help improve it in terms of user-friendliness and communications to attract both unemployed and career transition job seekers.

Specific recommendations to be developed by the Consulting team are:

  • Develop a plan to help EAW to reach the goal of having 500 registrations on the website by the end 2017:

    • Analyze recruitment organizations and evaluate their best practices in attracting job seekers to register on the website

    • Recommend interface changes to the website to make it more user-friendly and encourage registrations

    • Identify potential partners in the Benelux area to help promote EAW among the newcomers and suggest ways to approach them

  • Develop a Facebook strategy consistent with the EAW global inclusiveness vision:

    • Evaluate EAW’s current marketing and communications practices and suggest ways to improve

    • Gather most effective Facebook tactics and campaigns from similar organizations and adapt them to EAW

The managing team of EAW incorporate your recommendations when operational, tactical and strategic decisions are to be made in the near future.

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Global Farmers Market

The Global Farmers Market’s (GFM) story dates to 2013, when Jonathan, the Swiss founder, was visiting local villages of the Lago District in Northern Mozambique.  Jonathan was stunned by the abundance of mango trees that naturally grow in the region and noticed that the supply of mangos by far outstripped demand. Consequently, tons and tons of mangos would go to waste rotting on the ground every year. He immediately recognized that the surplus of mangoes could be turned into an opportunity if only he would be able to find a suitable market for the fruits. Jonathan wanted to create a business model that actively integrated the local communities he sourced the mangoes from, making the people of the Lago District the ultimate beneficiaries of the value created. The underlying vision was to support the development of the region by leveraging the natural resources it had to offer.

After some experimenting, Jonathan concluded that drying the mangoes and selling them as healthy snacks in Europe was the best way to bridge the gap between the local communities and a potential market. He started building a processing facility in Nhkolongue, a remote village in the Lago District, and some artisanal fruit dries to test his idea. In addition to that, he envisioned an innovative branding strategy. Every package would be presented with the picture of the person and tell the story of the smallholder farmer that produced the mangoes. The high prices he would be able to charge in the European markets would allow him to pay higher prices for raw products and fair wages, increasing local communities’ incomes.

Within two years, GFM had grown from a mere concept into a start-up company that was producing over a tonne of dried mangoes a year. A major turning point in the history of the venture was when Jonathan was awarded a grant from FinAgro, a four-year program funded by USAID and the Government of Mozambique, which aimed at increasing the competitiveness of the Mozambican private sector in selected cash crops and value chains. This grant was used to finance the purchase of a commercial-grade fruit dehydrator and a truck. These assets allowed GFM to witness a growth in production of more than 200%, with output increasing from 1100 KGs in 2015 to 2400 KGs in 2016 and employing 70 people during the mango production season.  

Currently, the business model has been fully implemented and its viability proven. In 2016 alone, the GFM was able to locally source 100 tones of mangos from more than 400 smallholder farmers of 9 different communities. In 2017 Jonathan, with the support of TechnoServe (an international non-profit organization), has started to work on an expansion plan that will guide his company’s growth in the next years. The expansion plan will culminate with the opening of a new, larger factory in Mozambique that can better accommodate the growth of the company and exploit the business’s full potential in the years to come.   

The expansion strategy will lead to a significant growth in output and a crucial part of the success of the plan will be to increase sales accordingly. At the moment, GFM sells its product (organic certified mangoes and bananas) only in Switzerland. Given the high quality of the product and the innovative branding, retail prices go as high as 9 CHF (Swiss francs) per 100g, clearly positioning the company in a niche market.

Learn more about Global Farmers Market here: https://www.globalfarmersmarket.ch/

Project description

As Jonathan is taking care of the supply side of the business, he needs some support on the demand side from the NGC consultants, specifically with regards to pricing and consumer insights for the Swiss, German, Austrian, and French markets.

Specific recommendations to be developed by the Consulting team are:

1.     Analyze strategic opportunities for market entry

a.     Create a strategic framework to narrow down the geographic areas within the proposed European countries (Example: Southern Germany, specific cities in France)

b.     Suggest a pricing strategy for the markets of interest by conducting sensitivity and benchmarking analyses

2.     Identify potential partners within the identified new markets

a.     Propose four wholesale partners within each selected market and gauge their interest through interviews and/or correspondence

b.     Gather quotes from the selected wholesales

The managing team of Global Farmers Market will incorporate your recommendations when operational, tactical and strategic decisions are to be made in the near future.

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Greenpass

Due to the consequences of the global climate change, cities around the world are getting hotter and hotter, while affecting the sealing of the soil surface. Moreover, the urban population growth has inevitably contributed even further to the microclimate challenges already faced by cities. Unfortunately, the environmental issues are often addressed after-the-fact, rather than being accounted for during early urban planning stages, thus forcing municipalities to spend large amounts of budget to tackle them. In response, the GREENPASS® Technology has been created to provide innovative evaluation tools for climate-resilient city planning to improve lives for city dwellers through the multiple services of Nature Based Solutions (NBS). While claimed as a cheaper alternative to traditional technical solutions for climate change adaptation, NBS remains a luxury for many societies.

Green4Cities was founded in 2014, as a spin-off company after several R&D projects have been conducted at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) in Vienna, Austria. It is the first international centre of excellence for urban green infrastructure, aiming to bring the innovative technology to people and cities. The GREENPASS® is based on six years of R&D and €4 million in funding. The unique technology connects cutting edge simulations and analytics with planners (architects, construction companies, and municipalities) and allows climate-sensitive project development at every planning level. It also provides tailor-made tools for preliminary, concept and detailed design of city and object development. 

GREENPASS® already has proof of concept, several successful application examples and a solid network of potential partners in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. The founders are ready to explore the international market and continue their goal of “growing liveable cities together.”   

Learn more about GREENPASS® here: https://www.green2pass.com/

Project description

GREENPASS® founders are particularly interested in the Scandinavian and North American markets. They would like NGC consultants to evaluate the attractiveness of different markets and recommend most effective ways to enter them.

Specific recommendations to be developed by the Consulting team are:

1.     Analyze strategic opportunities for market entry

a.     Create a strategic framework to measure market attractiveness

b.     Propose the most feasible markets to consider in Scandinavia, in the US, and Canada (states/provinces) as well as the best modes to enter

c.     Identify competitors within selected markets, analyze their value propositions and best practices

d.     Research relevant patent laws (utility patent) within the proposed markets and derive their implications for GREENPASS®

The managing team of GREENPASS® will incorporate your recommendations when operational, tactical and strategic decisions are to be made in the near future.

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GIMME360

GIMME360° is a Canadian technology company transforming the way business’ and products interact with their customer. The story of GIMME360° started two years ago, when two high school friends, Josiah Crombie and Lucas Bruno, founded a startup that sold apparel with the purpose of providing developing countries with sustainable sources of water. Crombie and Bruno worked at charities throughout high school. According to them, their experience taught them to rethink how people gave and by doing so with transparency: “We realized that most, if not all organizations do not really present a high level of transparency. When it came to where money was spent most organizations could not give their donors a true path to where their money was going,” says Crombie, “we believe that transparency is key to winning trust in people.” With this thought in mind, the goal of GIMME360° was for the consumers to have “360 degrees” of transparency to track the impact their apparel purchase is making. By providing customers with the exact coordinates to their impact and a virtual reality kit, the team wanted to encourage customers to track project progress. Each clothing item sold contributed to building water wells in developing countries around the world. The item featured specific coordinates to the water well that the customer’s purchase would sponsor. By May 2015, the team expanded and launched a Kickstarter campaign, successfully raising funds to provide 300,000 people in Cambodia with clean water.

GIMME360° has since grown into a C-corporation fully focused on technology. The team believes that augmented reality (AR) is quickly becoming an important technology in the enterprise representing an amazing opportunity to improve the way people interact and communicate with brands. GIMME360° enable users to discover 3D graphics and video content through the GIMME360° app or an integration into a customer's existing app, which could be incorporated in so many aspects of people’s lives, including education, CSR practices, and more.

Learn more about GIMME360° here: https://www.gimme360.ca

Project description

GIMME360 would like to have a tool to educate and show potential partners how AR could make a difference in education/training in Healthcare, Service Maintenance and Retail and corporate social responsibility practices.

Specific recommendations to be developed by the Consulting team are:

1. Analyse current AR trends and business applications in the global market

a. Identify the development of innovative business models that utilize AR technology that could be relevant for GIMME360°

b. Evaluate different approaches and concepts in recent studies and publications

c. Conduct interviews to gather first-hand knowledge and insights about benefits of AR in education/training and CSR

2. Develop a series of short illustrative business cases based on the conducted research

a. Create an informative and visual brochure to showcase the findings

The managing team of GIMME360° incorporate your recommendations when operational, tactical and strategic decisions are to be made in the near future

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Eco Modelling

Eco Modelling was founded by Andrew B. Martin in 2014 to develop the first web-based forest management planning tool, called Eco. Some of Eco’s features include modelling wood-to-mill in Annual Allowable Cut calculations; being capable of spatially modelling large forests (1 million + hectares); and, less than an afternoon to learn (similar apps require weeks/months of training).

Despite the vast scope of the industry, many forest companies and governments currently plant and manage forest in a fairly chaotic ways, paying little to no attention to soil erosion, animal habitat and local flora, causing a significant drop in sustainability and efficiency. Eco Modelling relies on data science and analytics of the local region, using high resolution information on tree species combination, ecological features, and roads to deliver optimal forest management solutions.

Eco Modelling has already worked across Canada and Europe, picking up great references along the way, thanks to customer focus and grasp of leading edge technology. Forest companies and governments use Eco to evaluate their management options to help them make the best decisions to achieve their goals. For example managing for hazel grouse in the Northern Sweden, assessing the impact of switching to partial cutting management in Southern Ontario, or investigating the profitability of mills in Eastern Canada.

Learn more about Eco Modelling here: http://www.ecomodelling.co

Project description

At the moment, the Scandinavian / North European markets appear to have sufficient forestry data required for Eco Modelling planning tool. Andrew Martin is considering the best ways to enter those markets and make forest management planning more environmentally sustainable and economically productive.

Specific recommendations to be developed by the Consulting team are:

1.     Analyze strategic opportunities for market entry 

a.     Identify current competitors in the Scandinavian / North European market

b.     Identify and evaluate potential client organizations as well as their interests and needs in forest management

c.     Analyze the industry process: establishing contact, timing, relevant stakeholders, signing contracts, etc.

d.     Develop a strategic action plan to approach the client organizations and enter the proposed new markets

The managing team of Eco Modelling will incorporate your recommendations when operational, tactical and strategic decisions are to be made in the near future.

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Kalmat Foundation

The children in Sri Lanka are continuously caught up in poverty cycles: in this society, if you are born poor - you will die poor. The only way to break out from this cycle is through getting higher education to improve their lives. "Most children wear rubber flip flops to school, which wear out quickly, while others cannot even afford a pair [of flip flops]. When one adds shoes, books, and school essentials, one would think it’s better to stay at home and look after the younger siblings or work in the farm. As the result, 25% of the children drop out of school after grade 5 to help their parents with work instead of completing their studies.”

This immediate call for action gave roots to Kalmat Foundation, a non-profit organization created in 2011 and based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA. It also has an active branch in St. Gallen, Switzerland. Kalmat has succeeded in engaging individuals and organizations to contribute to the foundation in Switzerland through cash donations and sale of handmade scarfs and jewellery. However, it has been struggling with attracting and retaining donors in the US due to intense competition with other organizations.

Kalmat employs a wide network of volunteers in the US, Europe, and Sri Lanka and is currently supporting around 500 Sri Lankan children. To ensure that every child has a pair of shoes and enough school supplies for a year, Kalmat needs to raise at least 20,000 USD annually.


Learn more about Kalmat Foundation here: http://www.kalmatfoundation.org/

Project description

To continue providing Sri Lankan children with a more promising future, Kalmat Foundation would like to step up its game and build strong long-term relationships with donors in the US. It is important that Kalmat makes its voice heard through finding an appropriate approach to the US donors.
Specific recommendations to be developed by the Consulting team are:

1.     Develop a business model for Kalmat to successfully reach the goal of providing 500 children with yearly school shoes and supplies

a.     Analyze similar organizations and evaluate their best practices in fundraising management and partnership programs

b.     Clarify Kalmat’s unique value proposition to influence organizations to support the cause

c.     Identify five potential donor organizations who share the similar vision as Kalmat and propose effective ways to approach them

2.     Develop a new communication strategy to tell an inspiring story and encourage organizations to make donations for the cause

a.     Evaluate Kalmat’s current marketing and communications practices (official website, social media platforms)

b.     Gather most effective marketing tactics from similar organizations and adapt them to Kalmat

The managing team of Kalmat Foundation will incorporate your recommendations when operational, tactical and strategic decisions are to be made in the near future.

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Parami University

With the vision to create powerful agents of change from all walks of life, a group of young Myanmar professionals with experience in liberal education is planning to establish a private non-for-profit four-year residential university in Myanmar. Myanmar needs new generations of critical thinkers and exemplary leaders, who can communicate effectively, act responsibly, and make positive impacts. Education is the key to cultivating these future leaders.

Parami story goes all the way back to 2003. Three visionary educators established a private non-for-profit school called the Pre-Collegiate Program (PCP), with the mission to cultivate change agents. The school provides liberal education to outstanding students, and instills in them a sense of social responsibility. The graduates of the school went on to study abroad to receive world-class education. The majority of them come back to Myanmar to work for the development of the nation. Extending the mission of PCP, the PCP alumni with experience in liberal education formed Parami University Founding Committee in March 2016 and are now mobilizing resources to establish Parami University of Liberal Arts and Sciences, a private non-for-profit four-year residential university in Myanmar.

Planned to open in 2020, Parami University initially aims to maintain a body of 600 students, with 150-160 students being admitted in each of the four cohorts. In the spirit of the university’s liberal arts and sciences mission, students will take courses in the physical, biological and social sciences, as well as the arts and humanities. Students will be awarded a Bachelor degree (B.A./B.S.) with concentrations of their choice. To ensure academic excellence, Centre College, a leading, liberal arts college in Danville, Kentucky, USA, will help facilitate recruitment of Ph.D. holders from internationally recognized universities.

You can learn more about the Parami University here: http://parami.edu.mm

 

Project description

To welcome a class of new students by the opening deadline in 2020, the Parami University has a few crucial milestones to achieve. From the business perspective, the team is seeking to finalize the Business plan, and to identify ways in growing the support from various stakeholders through the means of financial support, endorsements from business leaders, and building partnerships with local and international organizations.
Specific recommendations to be developed by the Consulting team are:

1.     Analyze the current business plan and develop recommendations for a self-sustainable organizational strategy of the Parami University

a.     Review the current financial model to present to potential donors

2.     Identify global market trends in the similar non-profit liberal arts institutions

a.     Identify the best sponsorship and partnership practices employed by other institutions

b.     Identify the sphere of potentially interested parties that could be involved in supporting the development of the Parami University

c.     Develop strategic recommendations for approaching fundraising and sponsor/ partner-seeking activities

The Parami University team will incorporate your recommendations when operative, tactical and strategic decisions are to be made in the near future.

Cabella

In early 2018 Ida and Peter are determined to open a new concept farm in the USA. They envision “Cabella” (literally, “Pretty House”) as small-scale, educational farm located outside Charlottesville, VA. Cabella will apply the ethos of organic farming and sustainable husbandry to the community surrounding it by serving as an educational hub for the young, the elderly, and the disabled in all matters pertaining to the sustainable growth of local food.

In the founders’ words, “raising animals and growing plants with respect makes us better people, leaves a better environment for our children, and translates into better food on our tables.”

Cabella will serve as a model for others interested in sustainable gardening and agriculture. It will partner with local pre-schools and schools to teach children about food and basic husbandry through school trips, lessons on the farm, and summer camps. Ideally, Cabella will also be able to partner with associations caring for disabled youth to promote job training in farming and husbandry, as well as with retirement homes to promote hen-therapy, chicken raising, and ultimately egg selling, which would offer retired people a manageable way to contribute to the community.

Learn more about Cabella: 

Project description

The founders have an extensive international professional experience in college-level education and military. They are also currently pursuing business courses to better prepare themselves for their venture. The opening of the Cabella farm is set to take place in 2018, and the founders are looking for consultants to provide crucial insight on developing the initial business plan for their non-profit organization, including best-practices insights from relevant industries and a fundamental financial model.

Specific recommendations to be developed by the Consulting team are:

1.     Develop the initial business plan outline and advise on the overall non-profit business structure

a.     Identify feasible best practices in relevant industries to add to the concept farm platform

                                      i.     Educational collaborations: youth / elderly / disabled (schools/ companies, organizations)

                                    ii.     Social: animal-assisted and horticultural therapy / summer camps / etc.

                                   iii.     Production: livestock, produce, food waste, / product surplus, renewable energy options

b.     Develop the basic financial model

                                      i.     Focus on the financial sustainability of the business

                                    ii.     Identify potential sponsors, supporters, grants, and stakeholders

The founders of Cabella will incorporate your recommendations when operative, tactical and strategic decisions are to be made in the near future.