Social Entrepreneurship in the community San Francisco De Cruz Loma
Location: Ecuador, Pichincha Province – San Francisco de Cruz Loma
Project and work timeline:
The project has started with the polish project volunteer, Danuta Chodakowska, who came to the community of San Francisco de Cruz Loma in May. After her arrival two workshops took place. On the first workshop in May, community needs and plans for the future of the area were discussed. The second workshop which took place in June, had an objective of specifying the entrepreneurship project of the community and develop an action plan. Hence the first crucial steps towards realising the local entrepreneurial project of the community of San Francisco de Cruz Loma, has been taken.
Mission of the project: Being a community driven social entrepreneurial company of tourism and recreational services committed to quality, comfort and efficiency as fundamental pillars.
View: To become the leading tourist camp and snacks producer in the area, through service excellence in all interactions with guests and customers.
Aim of the Social entrepreneurship project
- Collective growth
- Youth employability
- Ability to respond to change
- Community sustainability
- Eco-friendly business
Action plan & timeline
- Create a camping area with basic services: bathrooms, showers, water, and the possibility to order food. The place is owned by the entire community.
- SMART: Basic camping area and its page on social media will be open by the end of July, services of bathroom showers and drinking water will be added by the end of November 2019.
- Management structure: The community is responsible for building and maintaining the local business and the volunteers are responsible for helping with marketing: website, social media, photos.
Timeline: 1st of June – 30th November 2019
All community members, tourists, camping and hiking enthusiasts of all ages.
First workshop – learning about the community
In this workshop the local participants did a mapping of the community with the purpose of identifying the key elements of the local area, including its pitfalls and the resources already present in the local community. Through this workshop, the participants identified a list of future needs for the community.
Second Workshop – Project planning
From the ideas discussed during the first workshop and the identification of local resources and future needs, two entrepreneurial ideas have been selected for realization in the community: development of a sustainable camping site and production of local snacks.
Camping site project
The framework of the camping site project is for:
- San Francisco de Cruz Loma to position itself as a tourist Cruz Loma quality space for camping 2020.
- Positioning Camp San Francisco de Cruz Loma as one of the main sources of tourist services in the province of Pichincha.
- Attract customers in the area to camp in San Francisco de Cruz Loma.
- Brand consolidation.
The objective of the local snack project is to position the trademark Cruz Loma San Francisco. The community of San Francisco de Cruz Loma, intends to make such products so that food sovereignty is applied which is the ability of each person to define their own agricultural and food policies according to development goals and sustainable food security. Supporters of the concept of food sovereignty pose a framework for governance of food and agricultural policies that incorporates a wide range of issues such as land reform, territorial control, local markets, biodiversity, autonomy, cooperation, debt, health – all related to the ability to produce food locally.
On this second workshop there was developed a thorough project plan for both projects including expense analysis, target group analysis, mission and a strategy for the future planning and execution of the two projects.
Minga – Communal work and preperation of the Entrpreneurial projects
Minga is a form of communal work in Quechua communities. The first minga took place in July. At this occasion TECHO volunteers and community members from San Francisco de Cruz Loma came together to prepare for both entrepreneurship projects: the snack products and camping site development. Divided into two groups, one prepared the products, counting the prices and packing products for sale while the other group cleared the space from bushes, preparing it for the transformation into a camping site.
In late July there was a second snack production session with other types of products: fried bananas, broad beans and nuts. The products have been analysed with prices and quantity and packed for the community festival on the following day. This festival was organized by the community with attending volunteers from TECHO who integrated with the community to learn more about the skills present within the community and help with the first sales of the locally produced snacks.
Next meeting took place after summer holidays on 10.09.2019
- Volunteers gain their first work experience, learn teamwork, tools like SWOT, business plans, etc. as well as develop marketing skills.
- The community becomes more independent and can make better use of their land, streamline and improve relationships with tourist organizations, increases its income, gain new customers for camping and other businesses already in existence.
- As a social business, it intends to promote community ownership and ecological knowledge outside the community: with partners and customers.
- The 110 people making up the community will improve their lives and all customers will learn about eco-friendly ways of living.
Follow-up / Sharing & Exchange
- Description of the project in TECHO’s materials.
- Case studies for sustainability of the social business.
- Sharing results of the project on VASE and TECHO websites and social media.
- Volunteers will be educated to continue supporting the project and reproduce it in other communities.
- Sharing the experience with other NGOs.