Social Business Tour – organizer’s feedback

social businessReference SEP 1 – As I announced also on the platform’s Facebook page – Antreprenoriat Social Ro – I enrolled my project  “A Good house for Bad times” in the Social Business Tour 2010 for Central and Eastern Europe (  I hope many of you did the same with your own :)

I didn’t enrolled it for winning something, but for the enjoyment of travelling on this road and learn more from the best.

Today (September 13th, 2010) was the last day for the 1st round and projects  received feedback from the organizers, as they promised – in order to make all clarifications needed before the 1st round end.

As I want the platform opened and transparent, here is the organizer’s feedback  and my answers to all questions towards some issues clarifications:

Organizer’s feedback:

” Dear Georgia Mihalcea,

Thank you for your Social Business Idea and taking part in The Social Business Idea 2010 Contest for Central and Eastern Europe.

Your idea has the potential to meet all 7 principles.
However, several points should be clarified:

1. The social problems to be resolved is rather Housing than Integration

2. It is not clearly stated if principle 3 can be meet with the revenue model (investor gets back the investment)

3. Would be great if you could clarify the concept e.g. will people live there temporarily or permanently

4. How can private companies be involved?

Now you have time to continue working on your Idea and apply again until 13 September 2010.

Best regards,
Rebecca Becher

On behalf of the initiators of The Social Business Tour 2010″

My clarifications – feedback upon the project’s idea:

What area of social business does your idea tackle? (Please indicate no more than two.)

Agriculture / Education/  Healthcare /  Integration (migrants, poor, people with a disability, unemployed etc.) / Energy / Social Finance / Other – please specify: cheap housing and cheap fees for all  facilities included, plus new working places offered inside complex- as a first instrument for solving integration issue.

Questions about your Social Business Idea

1.  What is the social need addressed by your idea? (Maximum 200 words)

Beneficiaries No. 1 – The first core social target that my concept addresses to, is: positive discriminated people with low and very low income, no matter their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. Poor and very poor people who are able to work, but whose lives are not facilitated in any way by state, profit or non-profit institutions.

The cheap housing complex will provide:

– between 100-150 locative containers, with all decent facilities – covering between 200-300 people

– mix of utilities both conventional and unconventional – for the environment

– a common place for cooking, eating & socializing

– computers, fax, telephone room

– a room for washing machines and drying clothes

– a store providing food or a canteen

– a bigger space for different events

– working places

The complex of cheap housing in Bucharest and all its facilities – is just one and the first instrument I use for approaching the integration issue for migrants, unemployed, poor, students, mono-parental families, etc.

From the implementation phase of the concept, new jobs will be created until it’s all done. Also a number of jobs will be available inside the housing complex, as well as cheap products and services for the tenants.

2.  Describe your idea. How do you intend to use it to tackle the social problems you have identified? (Maximum 300 words)

My project approaches the human capital reconstruction and integration issue from the jumping ground perspective, aiming to come with an alternative solution for both sides: social needs and crisis management strategies for companies and entrepreneurs – by orienting their attention to social business.

The project is a jumping ground for the No 1 Beneficiaries – a facilitation place, from where they can move forward in accordance to their life aspirations. A place where they can stop “to breathe” and get the premises for a decent life. It is also a jumping ground for investors and all new businesses that will create and/or develop around it.

In other words, it is a direct link between entrepreneurs and private companies of all sizes on one hand and social beneficiaries on the other hand. A link meant to offer a de-blocking and a fluidization of money circuit between economic and social environment, with direct positive results on both sides.

The project is designed for a minimum period of 5 years and aims to resist, improve and develop on a longer term (10-15-20 years, etc). That is why I call the houses “temporary” and not “permanent” – at this stage. People can benefit from them at least 5 years – a period that I find optimum for them to solve their problems and move forward and for investors to recover their money.

No 1 Beneficiaries of my project – will be the ones who pay low fees for housing, food, and other facilities that the complex provides. They will provide the revenues.

The revenues will be distributed as follows:

– Current expenses fund (utilities, maintenance, salaries, management, taxes, etc)

– Developing and improvement fund

– Crisis intervention fund

– Donations fund towards 2nd Beneficiaries (worst cases, other non-profit foundations, etc)

– Investment recovery fund.

3. How will your project be financed? How will you ensure your social business will be economically viable and self-sufficient? (Maximum 150 words)

My own resources – 40% of the entire project.

The next major source – private companies! Examples of stimulations:

– sell their products at lower prices inside the complex during and after implementation (for e.g. a company activating in food and drinks market – can be an interested financer, construction and utilities companies, etc).

– the concept offers a strategic way out – from the crisis management business solution perspective – after the project is implemented it can bring companies many advantages such us: notoriety, new clients for their products and services + other marketing benefits.

The project responds directly to present social and economic needs by offering a cheap life alternative for short, medium and long term. Its revenues come from accommodation, food and its facilities cheap fees.

By using locative mobile containers – it also offers a way out for pessimistic business scenarios.

4. What is your vision?/ How will your business idea have developed by 2030? (Maximum 100 words)

In Romania, my social target & needs is the largest and most critical from all times until present. It’s one main reason for the exodus from the last 20 years after the Revolution and very bad life here for ordinary & simple people.

On horizontal, I see many such complexes around Bucharest and other large cities in the country; in future maybe using new technical solutions and more unconventional energy alternatives that will appear.

On vertical, I see it extended and inter-connected with two major strategic critical areas: tourism and agriculture.


I will post more news in the nearest future regarding its status and how things worked out with the project inside the Social Business Tour 2010.

Meantime, feel free to post your comments, questions or whatever feedback you have – related with the subject/project.