Step I: Identify Leaders of the Village Planning Process. These Leaders must be people who are from the culture of the country in question. Their bios must be included in the “Business Plan”.
Step II: Write a Clear Comprehensive Vision for the Village Plan: A clear vision of the needs both in terms of demographics, number of people impacted and expected outcomes. What is the current state of the village? Who are we helping? How many people will be impacted? How will the plan improve conditions in the village? How will we measure our results? Over what period of time will the village be improved?
Step III: Contrary to many development projects, because Lift Kids focuses on economic sustainability, Lift Kids first addresses the revenue generating potential of each village. Like any viable business model, revenues are generated by serving the needs of the village. Our plans always start with revenues projections. How will revenues be generated? What are the small, community-owned businesses that will generate revenues to sustain the operations of this community-owned project? We call these the revenue generators that make up the economic engine of the village. Once we are able to estimate revenues, then we project and estimate the expenses associated with the revenue model. What are the expenses we must incur in order to generate the revenues?
Step IV: Based on the economic model of revenues and expenses, we then determine the level of investment capital, the capital budget, the investment in building, equipment, furniture, supplies, training, etc. in order to launch the economic model which serves the needs of the village and makes the village self sustaining. Included in our capital budget will be the working capital, or start-up capital required to support the operations of the project until it reaches breakeven, the point at which revenues will equal or exceed expenses.
Lessons learned: Frequent, clear, communication and understanding across geographic and cultural boundaries are always a challenge. It takes conscientious, continuous effort by all parties, over an extended period of time, to ensure productive cooperation. The challenges of communication and understanding must not be underestimated. The planning process is iterative, requiring many drafts, revisions and meetings over at least three to six months. There are no guarantees of success. Once a professional business plan has been completed, the grant process begins………..
Tax ID: 20-8087297