Dec. 10, 2013
Enactus Memorial has launched a crowd funding campaign to raise $31,000 for Project Stitch in Haiti.
“Crowd funding has been on our radar for quite some time, and we were waiting for the right project to really utilize this platform,” says Jonathan King, president of the student group. “We are always looking for the next innovative way to start a venture and crowd funding is a great way to raise money while generating buzz.”
Enactus Memorial joined forces with Project Stitch earlier this year. The community initiative was founded by medical professionals to help physically disabled Haitians undertake rehabilitation while learning sewing skills so that they can earn a living once they are released from the hospital. Enactus will help develop the business side of the project.
Crowd funding allows money to be raised by seeking small amounts of money from a large number of people rather than relying on corporate sponsors or government funds. Enactus Memorial wants to generate enough money to initiate a three-year strategic plan to attract participants, develop product lines and grow awareness of the group. They also hope to move into a new facility in the near future.
“The new facility is crucial for the production co-operative part of our program. So far, we have made do at our small facility in Hospital Bernard Mevs. Unfortunately, this location is now at capacity and there are still hundreds of Haitians who need our help,” says Mr. King. “By acquiring a new production facility, we will be able to move our trained co-operative participants into a full space where they can continue production. This will also allow us to use our hospital facility to train new patients in a comfortable environment.”
Project Stitch’s first product line features men’s ties and consultations are underway with design schools in Canada to develop new product lines.
Describing the timelines within the three-year plan as aggressive, Mr. King says Enactus plans to do product testing of the ties in St. John’s this January and hopes to raise the $31,000 needed by February 2014.
“We do have a contingency plan if we can’t meet our goals, which involves holding training of new participants and increasing production of ties in the current facility. This would back our plans up to five years to get to national distribution and 50 participants but we are confident we could still achieve this level of success.”
Mr. King says the response to the crowd funding campaign to date has been positive with supporters coming from countries around the world.
To learn more about Enactus Memorial’s crowd funding campaign, click here: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/project-stitch-haiti/x/5606092.
Enactus is an international non-profit organization that mobilizes university students to develop outreach projects that improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need. To date, Enactus Memorial's community projects have helped start 50 businesses, create 62 jobs and generate over $1.6 million in revenue this year. Nearly 7,000 people have participated in and been directly affected by these projects.
This is Enactus Memorial’s first project outside Canadian borders.