Alex had the basic aspects of a business plan written (mission, vision, values, goals, timelines and various development models) but he needed an outside perspective to help him articulate the plan as well as identify any gaps.
“As an entrepreneur myself, I worked on my own business plan and I’ve also been asked as a friend to look at other people’s business plans. Part of the reason I chose this project is because it’s something that I would do anyway. The other part is that I liked that Alex had already travelled and done a prototype, instead of just having the idealist sense of what he wanted to do.”
Alex shares his existing materials with Debbie.
Debbie and Alex meet for an in-person consultation to review goals for the project, discuss intended uses for the business plan and provide initial feedback.
Debbie leads Alex through the business plan writing process. Alex focuses on creating a short three-page business plan following the guidelines of a specific grant he was applying for.
Debbie and Alex analyze RISE Worldwide’s market and competitive landscape to discover the most effective ways to position the organization with similar organizations.
Debbie helps Alex quantify his objectives and performs a SWOT analysis.
With Debbie's guidance, Alex drafts the three-page business plan that fits the requirements of the grant application.
Debbie and Alex work together to revise the business plan.
Once all feedback is incorporated, they reflect on the project and discuss future applications for the business plan.
A comprehensive business plan and adaptable resource that can reflect any direction the organization pivots.
“It was fantastic working with Debbie. She’s an invaluable resource.”
"I’d like to emphasize that working on a business plan with a nonprofit is very similar to working on any business plan. The elements of a business plan are very similar for a for-profit and a nonprofit to be successful in getting funding. A nonprofit really needs to consider the elements of a traditional business plan. They should approach their organization with a business mindset because at the end of the day, funders use quantitative analysis. Mission, goals and value are certainly part of the equation but the other part of the equation is how much is it going to cost to reach those results and how are you going to manage your organization's finances."
With Debbie’s guidance, Alex started thinking more strategically about his business plan and the organization's goals. Using his new and improved business plan, Alex successfully obtained important meetings with a major funder.
“It was really great to be a young social entrepreneur and be paired with someone who is very like minded but who had been through the ropes before. It has essentially set us up for scaling, so that we are able to grow into other communities. I hope to continue all of the relationships I’ve cultivated through Catchafire past the project. Whether they be on a mentor or professional basis or more as a friendship or support network. In all of our projects I feel like it’s almost been an equal opportunity, the professionals are helping us ten-fold but I‘m trying to give back to them as well.”
“Alex’s enthusiasm for his project is completely infectious. It was really rewarding for me to work with someone who has so much pride and joy in their project. For me, getting to meet Alex was the most rewarding part of the Business Plan project because he is so outstanding. He is so driven and committed, it’s inspiring.”
Debbie’s 50-hour project resulted in $8K saved for RISE Worldwide.