|In Indonesia, as in many developing countries, hundreds of thousands of people - and their children - make their living by collecting trash. XSProject buys garbage from these families and transforms it into consumer products. The organization also employs women from within trashpicker communities, and donates 5% of its revenue to the education of their children.
|CHALLENGE: XSProject, a non-profit based in Jakarta, Indonesia, was failing. The company had been running in the red for several years and their volunteer staff would be quitting in less than six months.
Sevak Solutions saw an opportunity to help a well-meaning, but operationally inefficient non-profit transform into a triple-bottom line success - a company that provided social, environmental, and financial returns. In an effort to keep XSProject's doors open and to test theories about social entrepreneurial enterprises, Sevak Solutions stepped in to help. Sevak Solutions took on XS as a project, and seconded its President to XS as an Acting Executive Director on a pro-bono basis. The total involvement with XS lasted just over two years.
SEVAK SOLUTION: Proved business viability, streamlined business, expanded distribution, oversaw new product design, and coached local team.
In less than 12 months after engaging with XSProject, the company was on the path to triple-bottom line success. More than $150,000 in revenues flowed into the company, leaving it with the first profit it had experienced in years. When the owners of XSProject decided that they wanted to forgo the opportunity to build a for-profit company, Sevak Solutions spent another year building the local team so they could take over the business and run it successfully as a small local NGO. That transition took place in January 2012.
- Generated more than $150,000 in revenue and delivered a profit of over $40,000 in the first year. Instituted an internationally recognized accounting package.
- Shifted from a staff of international volunteers to a fully-paid local staff of 10 people
- Streamlined, formalize, and quantified the social component of XS’ efforts by committing 5% of all revenue to the education of children from trashpicker families.
- Instituted partnerships with international corporations, such as Mitsubishi Motors, Starbucks, and The Body Shop
- Supported the development of a new line of products that extended XSProduct’s reach into previously untouched, and lucrative, markets
- Revised pricing strategies, lowered cost of goods, and recrafted financial models/controls
- Created new brand and image, redesigned web site, hang tags, and other marketing materials
- Built relationships with distribution companies in the United States, Asia, and Europe, ensuring a level of sustainability for the organization
- Obtained World Fair Trade Organization membership for XSProject
- Built internal capacity by mentoring Operations Manager, designers, and bookkeeper. Transitioned business to Operations Manager, who became the General Manager of the business in January 2012.