Seeking Co-Founders for Local Visions - African Photography Social Enterprise
posted on Monday, June 25, 2012 12:39 PM
Local Visions is a social enterprise aimed at generating income for photographers in the developing world - initially in rural Africa, but highly scalable to other regions and artistic media - by producing and selling products (postcards, T-shirts, fine art prints) featuring their images in both B2B (travel and tourism industry outlets, e.g. hotels, safari camps, souvenir shops) and B2C (directly to consumers using a print on demand ecommerce model) spaces. Over the longer term it may also be possible to generate revenue through image licensing (e.g. 'Fairly Traded photography') though that is unlikely to be a significant revenue stream in the early stages.
In addition to income generation, the company will also provide access to photography gear and technical and business training aimed at enabling the artists to set up their own micro-enterprises, either under the company umbrella or outside it, and would operate on a triple-bottom-line model.
There is significant synergy with my current venture (Timeless Africa, a travel company focusing on bespoke travel to Africa) which will be used to bootstrap Local Visions. I have extensive contacts in the travel and tourism industry and pitched the idea to potential buyers (top hotels and safari camps in Africa) at a travel industry conference in May - the response has been very positive.
I am seeking co-founders to build a team including people with the following skill sets:
* Manufacturing/retail experience (ideally in commercial print and/or fashion/textiles - digital printing (paper or textile) or print on demand experience would be very useful). Experience with this sort of manufacturing in the developing world and specifically South Africa would be ideal.
* Retail marketing experience (ecommerce and bricks and mortar, ideally in green consumer goods/fair trade, art, or fashion)
* Website development/ecommerce experience (ideally experienced with image-heavy sites featuring photography or art)
* Photoshop or InDesign experience (this is a nice bonus but not essential as I have these skills)
* Passion for improving the lives of people in the developing world (Africa and beyond) through sustainable development is key
These are the core skills, but if there are people who are interested who don't fit one of these categories I'm happy to talk to them (and if there are people with skills in more than one category, even better). In the end, the most important factor is the last one - the other skills can be learned or hired if push comes to shove, but nothing can replace passion.