FairTrade online retailer

Below is the case study for Trade As One, a fair trade online retailer aiming to provide a route to US markets for developing world entrepreneurs.

Project nameTrade as One
www.tradeasone.com
LocationCalifornia, USA
Date case study completed24/03/2011
Contact detailsNathan George
For more information on this project contact the TBN office at info@tbnetwork.org
Background, purpose and progress to date
What was the problem / opportunity?Many entrepreneurs in the developing world did not have a route to the US market for their products
What is the Project's vision?Engage the US consumer, initially through the US church, and get them to be regular purchasers of products that create jobs for the poor.
How is this vision to be achieved?Set up a for profit online retailing business in California that purchases and imports from producers all over the developing world
What progress has been made to date?Annual revenues of about $1m, the equivalent of 100 full time jobs created for the poor, 15,000 customers purchased from the business and approx 200,000 people have heard Trade as One's message in the US
When will the project be self funding, i.e. cost covered by earned income?2012
Impact
What has been the direct and indirect impact of the project to date?Annual revenues of about $1m, the equivalent of 100 full time jobs created for the poor, 15,000 customers purchased from the business and approx 200,000 people have heard Trade as One's message in the US
Specifically, how many FTE jobs have been created or sustained? 100
How much direct and indirect investment has been made to date?$270,000 in investment, $500,000 in a revolving line of credit
Lessons learned
What lessons have been learned? What do you know now that you wish you knew at the outset?Take patient capital and be prepared for things to take longer than you expect. Be prepared for high turnover of staff as they are willing or able to live unsustainable lives for only a short period of time.
Expansion and replication
What are your plans to expand or replicate the project?Get to sustainability and prove the business model. Attract growth capital. Expand operations.
How many FTE jobs do you expect to have been created or sustained in 3 years?300
What help do you need to achieve your goals?Investment and loans
Could this project be replicated by others elsewhere? What would be needed to do this?Yes.
Are there documents to aid replication in the TBN resource library?Not yet

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Trade As One case study
Trade As One case study
Fair Trade online retailer.pdf

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