I had an interesting enquiry this week that made me think I should clarify our thoughts around the $2000. The whole purpose of this project is to create a business that will generate enough income to support the school and all of the people involved – that is Andrew and Janine and the Right People, when we find them.
Kep Gardens has no money – it struggles to keep going as it is. But what they do have is land and the ability to build a house – those two things plus all their local knowledge, is the contribution that Andrew and Janine are making to this business. Other things are needed as well though…. there aren’t any tools, the land needs manure, we need seeds and if we have a fish farm, we need some baby fish in it – that all costs money.
We’re going for a high end market so we need to be able to present ourselves and the product in an appropriate way …. so the business needs some money to get the packaging sorted.
We made a guess at $2000 and that might not be enough…..but it probably will be and if anyone feels that they can get their side of this business going for less, that’s fine. This is not ‘money up front’ – it’s a guesstimate of how much cash will be needed to get this business off the ground.
At the same time, being willing to put something into this business, shows us that you’re serious – because we are. Kep Gardens is offering land, a house and opportunity – the missing components are the Right People and some investment capital. We do believe that the Right People are out there…..if it’s not you, please share this – thanks.
I’ve just had a helpful suggestion that the business could look at growing grapes – apparently it could work in that climate. Also using the pond to farm fresh water crayfish – that’s an interesting idea – something new and appealing to restaurants.
Thanks – keep them coming.
I’d like to share some of the thought process that’s going on right now about this project. When we first started thinking about it, we were interested in one person and then quickly realised how impractical that would be – there’s way too much work. So …two people then? Good idea but…. Janine and Andrew really only have enough money to build a very small house so the two people need to be able to use that space economically – a couple would be ideal because they can share the same bedroom – we only plan to build one bedroom in the house.
That was what we set off with in this advertising campaign but very quickly, people started asking questions that made us have a rethink. Someone asked if we’d consider 4 people. well, we thought, why not? We had expected that whoever takes this on would need help and that would probably be volunteers. Four people would mean that more work gets done and the business gets off the ground a bit quicker. There is an extra space for volunteers to sleep so that could work and perhaps the four people could build an extra room themselves? Interesting possibilities…..
Then…… someone was interested in being part of this but not the hard work in the field bit…. and they didn’t actually want to live on site. Another possibility – the business side of this project could be run by someone else.
Who knows what someone will ask me tomorrow? I guess basically, we’re giving out the information here and it’s up to everyone who’s interested to find their own way in and then come and suggest that path to us. We just want this business to happen – we know that the Right People are out there and we will connect with them. Right now we’re learning to be flexible with that connection.
Read the Person Spec again and be creative about how you could fit in. Leave a comment and let us know what you think.
This isn’t the story of my life but it’s the story of an idea that has grown into an incredible opportunity for someone…..
My name is Kathy McGowan and quite by chance I found out about Kep Gardens when I was travelling in Cambodia in January 2016. I was attracted by the word ‘garden’ and went to volunteer for a couple of days. My background is in Community Development and Sustainable Social Enterprise and I worked for the EU in Ireland and the UK. I was impressed by the work that Andrew and Janine have done and the progress that the young people have made but when I realised that Kep Gardens has been funded purely by donation, I could see that there were issues about economic sustainability.
What I also saw was a huge piece of land that has the potential to be the basis of a very sustainable business. Discussing this with Janine and Andrew, they agreed but neither of them have the time or the energy to make it happen – their lives are very full with the school and the training schemes. We agreed that with the right person/people, a viable business could be set up as a social enterprise that would, in time, support the school, provide training opportunities and provide a living wage for those involved.
I offered to help by making this into a development project to set up a social enterprise and then sharing it as widely as possible until we find the right people to join Andrew and Janine to set up and run the business. We invite you to read the information on this site and if you do feel that it’s time for a big change and you would like to live in a tropical country where papayas and mangoes fall off the trees and you are interested in being part of a dynamic social enterprise…….. then maybe you are just who we’re looking for……read on.