Shop for social entrepreneurs at Planeta.ru
A special outlet for social entrepreneur goods has been created in an online shop of the crowdfunding platform Planeta.ru. The purchase of such items helps support disabled people and wards of charities, as well as in resolving environmental problems.
The social entrepreneur online shop is a section within Planeta.ru that offers a number of social workshop and project goods which can help resolve social problems, allowing people to find the best manufacturer of goods based on their price and uniqueness. The user can then obtain the necessary information about the project in terms of its purpose and who benefits as a result.
Products for seven projects are available in the shop: Shopping bags made by disabled people as part of the “A shopping bag helps” project; ceramics made by deaf and blind people from a creative group called “Circle”; a toy project “Flying beasts” in aid of the “AdVita” charity; a special ceramic for the “Journey of life” project; souvenirs from a social workshop that makes sought-after gifts; wooden lanterns, clocks and pencil holders made in the “Artel of the blessed” workshop; and notebooks made out of paper clippings as part of the “Ecopad” project. Two more projects could soon be included on the Planeta.ru platform: “Naïve? -very!” and the Centre for the Adaptation of Disabled People in the Work and Social Sphere “Master OK”.
The online shop allows people to support social entrepreneurship by making a donation of 100 roubles or more instead of making a purchase, or pay more for the goods themselves. They can select their favoured option by pressing either the blue or green button when online. Goods are delivered by post and via courier in Moscow and St. Petersburg while a customer pick-up service is also available in the capital.
According to Catherine Dorman who was involved in the development of the Planeta.ru shop, its concept lies in the uniqueness of the goods because not all social entrepreneur products fit on virtual shelves. Planeta.ru selects exclusive products or offers entrepreneurs the chance to showcase a special line of their goods for the shop. “In so doing, we keep to our principles while at the same time helping social entrepreneurs to develop. We suggest new ideas and encourage them to raise the quality and level of their work”, she says.
“In-store shops for social entrepreneurs are hard to find. For example, Ozon supposedly has social entrepreneur goods, but this is just a side line to their main work. So, to create a separate online shop really was a big dream. A platform has now been created which brings crowdfunding activities together through Planeta.ru, the Institute of Internet Development, the Association of Social Development, the “Our future” charity and social entrepreneurs” said Vladimir Weiner, Director of the “Gladway” Charity for the Development of Media Projects and Social Programmes.
“By creating a market, a national brand system and a range of shops through which these goods can be distributed, we allow our social entrepreneurs to take a step forward, while at the same time finding out how many items they have or lack because we largely operate speculatively”, says Vladimir Yablonsky.
The creators of the online store also plan to sell social entrepreneur services, e.g. offering certificates for masterclasses and workshops.
Planeta.ru is responsible for the site’s running costs, book-keeping, delivery and promotion of goods which removes some organisational duties from social entrepreneurs. In order to put their goods online, entrepreneurs should go to firstname.lastname@example.org. The shop’s creators will then check if the manufacturer is trustworthy prior to signing an agreement. The site does not sell food, medicine or jewellery.
An online shop, BuySocial, also opened in June this year where social entrepreneur products such as crockery, confectionery, household goods, souvenirs and jewellery can be purchased.
Author: Olga Vorobeva