Two years ago, Lora felt a calling to go and serve the homeless. Unsure where to start, she attended a weekend course for social entrepreneurs at Cambridge University where she met loads of brilliant inventors, creators and business-minded individuals who were setting up incredible social enterprises to protect the environment. Inspired by their passion and creativity, she looked for a way to both serve the homeless and protect our planet at the same time and Seed1 was born.
Seed1 is Marlow's first zero-waste shop and not only will we aim to make environmentally-friendly living accessible to everyone in the community, we'll also offer educational opportunities for children around looking after the planet and support other local businesses to ditch single-use plastic.
Seed1 is a Community Interest Company and all profits will go to supporting the homeless in our community. The shop will offer work experience, training and employment opportunities for those experiencing homelessness and all profits will go towards providing accommodation, healthcare and support for these individuals.
The basics are in place: we have stock and a pop up shop in the High Street, we have insurance and a borrowed delivery vehicle, we have a website and have started selling sustainable products to people in our community, but over the next 12 months we are planning to move into a permanent retail premises in Marlow, secure our own delivery vehicle (either an e-van or e-bike), employ and house up to 4 people who are currently facing homelessness and expand our range of products to include a wider variety of dried foods, household cleaning products and toiletries on a re-fill your own container basis.
Although our business plan and forecasts look great, we won't be making profits in our first year to be able to afford this, so this is where you come in...
By opening up the opportunity for the community to contribute financially to the work we are doing, we hope to give the people of Marlow a sense of ownership of Seed1.
This business is about community, it's about local and it's about looking after each other, so crowdfunding from within the community seems the way to go - we want everyone to be able to be a part of this exciting journey with us!