Did you realize that the two defining challenges of our century will be climate change and poverty? And that it is impossible to solve one problem without tackling the other? And that rural women could be the key players? Visit our website 4trees.org to see the background if these thesis and how this project helps to further these goals.
Firstly we should distinguish the core company 4trees.org from the various campaigns and business models like Toys for Trees. However since this is the best illustration of the working of the company, we’ll start with this Toys for Trees concept:
– send small orders directly from factory to consumer, packed and labelled in SL to save costs.
– group many parcels, ship the items by sea and deliver to the homes
– choose products which fit into the mail box to save costs and to be able to send direct by post
– for each item sold a number of trees are planted. As the brand name, 4Trees, indicates, 4 trees will be sold with most products and trees are sold seperately.
– Trees are planted by OARM for their ‘expand the rainforest’ campaign, see http://oarm.wordpress.com/
– Monitoring and registration of the tree planting is done by EDC
– payment in advance (= investment). The tree planting can be paid partially from the interest.
– production of wooden design toys + soft toys is done by Sri Toys International
– All products are Dutch design
– Initially there are two product prices: 1) around 15 euro for a small toy and 2 trees. 2) Around 25 euro for a bigger toy and 4 trees.
– Logistics by Sri Toys/ ACTI including individual packaging, shipping order administration and financial administration
– We will start in the Netherlands where an agent (close family) will open a bank account, and soon expand to India, US, UK, Malaysia and Australia. English is working language.
– Clearing of the goods and passing them on to parcel post company will be done by affiliated clearing agency
– In Sri Lanka the campaign will legally operate under ACTI, a BOI approved trading house
– The agent will legally place the order
Later on we are planning more campaigns with slightly different business models:
New target groups:
– Targeting e-shops with larger quantities, 1 item + 1 tree
– Targeting schools with our innovative “grow” project
– Selling organic tea and other eco-tropical products
– Promoting wooden post cards
– Selling personalized items
– Selling special design items of the “all wood” brand.
Some of these projects are already worked our earlier (postcard + tea), others are to be developed.
We plan to expand sales worldwide.
For the tree planting, we have contact with community based reforestation groups in SL, India (2x), Madagascar and Afghanistan. We plan to pay (usually $2 per tree) for caring for young trees and other environmental services to poor communities following the tree-credits.org concept. See also firstname.lastname@example.org
1) shoe string budget to start with volunters only
– website / shop / domain hosting $17 / month + $5 / year
– pay functions, paypal….ideal $
– software for order administration
– subsistance volunteers 3 x 2 month a $10 a day $1800
2) Start up with professional help
– website building
– Text writing
– social media marketing strategy (2 volunteers found)
– registration of NGO
3) When sales take off we have to invest in a smooth running distribution center. We plan to rent/ lease an empty floor of the SriToys factory of 480sqm, which has to be renovated and fitted with solar panels
– lease of warehouse
– renovation of warehouse
– software development
– packing section
– packing trolleys
– labeling equipment
– vehicle lease
– solar panels 220sqm (thin film 15kW) $15.000
– mounting of PV panels $15.000