In our previous video, we considered problems that social entrepreneurs confronted, across the globe. Let’s hear now the solutions they found to these problems. We came up with the idea of creating a business that could collect products, sell them outside the country, and then bring money into the rural communities. Then the rural communities would have money coming in to them, which could then be spent on other businesses. So we thought that if we took them, we help them produce something of good quality that would be desirable to people overseas, we could then buy that from them at a fair price, send the products overseas, get our money back and buy more crafts.
And so we decided to set up a small exporting company, working with just probably around 18 to 20 artisans’ groups that we started with. It struck me that there was a space in the marketplace for a kind of childcare that was high-quality good, but actually created a place where children from all families could be educated and cared for together. And I couldn’t find one like that in the current space. So you either had the state sector, which is reducing because of its sustainability issues, you had schools, or you had the private sector. So it struck me that there must be a way of creating really high quality childcare for poorer families, that provided them with the same education outcome.
And so what we’ve been trying to do at LEYF is subsidise more and more of those children. So currently we subsidise half of our children. And so you might talk about a free offer, but actually it’s not free. Because if we didn’t subsidise it, those children couldn’t afford to come, because we can’t afford to pay for them. So currently, all the LEYF nurseries are ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’. And actually we exceed the London averages and now we exceed the UK averages. So we can show that actually you can develop a model, that provides good quality childcare to all children, in the areas of high deprivation.
And that’s a model I think we should be scaling, because if we can do it, and we can demonstrate it’s sustainable, and we can demonstrate it has the right outcomes for children, I can’t understand why we haven’t got social enterprise nurseries just about everywhere. The Atlanta Community Food Bank’s mission is to educate, empower and engage the community in the fight against hunger. The main single biggest thing that we do is that we provide food to over 600 agencies, in 29 counties, covering about a 9000 square mile area, most of the north-western portion of the state of Georgia.
And we do that through a combination of public and private donations, but 75% of our food that we distribute, which will about 50 million pounds this year, that’s enough to feed more than 40 million people, will come from private donations. It comes from corporations, it comes from food drives, it comes from reclaiming food from restaurants and hotels, it comes from picking up food that’s surplus at grocery stores, And our funding is 100% private funding.
We get some limited amounts of money under various government programs that are made available to private organisations for the purchase of food, but other than that we do private fundraising with companies and corporations and individuals, through our territory to fund the operations of the food bank. We had a small grant from the British Council to really train a hundred women on how to start an enterprise or entrepreneurship. And that got us thinking, that you know, can a training really make someone an entrepreneur? Is it possible that you spend 10 hours with someone and on the other end they come out to be as a successful entrepreneur?
And it was quite an interesting story, that you know it was women who had never done any business, but they always knew how to cook. So they had the skill of doing the product but did not know the market in that sense, were able to reach to an other level and that’s when we said “why just women from the slums?” Why shouldn’t my mom also be also part of the story, because she is as disadvantaged as that woman in the slums is. And we might think that a middle class or rich woman is empowered, they are not. And why just old school ways of making up a phone call and ordering your food?
There’s so much, for everything you have an app. why not an app for our food as well, for home food. So we started something called Million Kitchen, which is primarily a tech-driven, tech-enabled, which is web and app, home food discovery and delivery platform. It actually empowers every woman to be able to share her skill, in the most non-pain way, in the most comfortable way.