In essence, Together for Development wishes to act both as a “business-mentor” and as an asset provider for all those family units belonging to poor rural communities that will be willing to organize themselves in cooperatives or may wish to start small businesses. Our Foundation may also support already established cooperatives or new start-up businesses which are lacking the technologies, technical or financial support that we are intent to provide.
Once the cooperatives or small businesses are established, our Foundation proposes a draft business-plan – containing clear efficiency indicators and productivity targets, based on the opportunities and challenges specific to the respective cases – that will be thoroughly explained to and consequently endorsed by all the members of the cooperative/small business. Upon the endorsement of the project, our Foundation will then commit to provide, in due time, all the necessary technical and/or financial assistance, modern technologies and other production means that may be deemed necessary for meeting the targets stipulated in the business plan.
However, the members of the cooperative/small business must also understand a key element of our strategic approach, namely that the continuation of the support provided by our Foundation will be secured for a future cycle of the project only if the respective cooperative/small business, at the end of the initial cycle (the duration of which will be determined on a case-by-case basis), will have proved that has followed and respected all the requirements, guidance and efficiency targets stipulated in the initial business-plan - as discussed and convened with the representatives of our Foundation.
Basically, all the projects that will make the object of our activity will aim to ensure that at the end of any initial cycle of our collaboration the respective cooperative/small business will be able to:
1) increase its overall productivity enough as to support itself for another subsequent cycle; 2) have created all the necessary conditions for obtaining enough production surplus as to generate income in future cycles; 3) the whole operation is set on a growing trend; 4) has a market (or markets) for placing its products and that has obtained all the necessary licenses and permits in compliance with the national/local laws and regulations applicable to the respective activities; 5) has all the necessary means to place its products on the respective market/s (transportation).
An element that will represent the mark of our modus operandi is the fact that we will work only on small-scale projects, thus ensuring that each and every one of them will be efficiently managed and properly budgeted. By taking this approach we also wish to keep our operations within sensible budgets, thus proving one of the points of our mission: you can achieve sustainable economic and social development without wasting resources, when starting small, thinking big and acting responsible.
As one of the reasons that motivated us to start this initiative had to do with the sheer lack of transparency and questionable accountability apparent in the myriad of other development projects, we decided to do business differently even in this regard. So, another hallmark of our initiative is the commitment to full transparency and accountability for all our projects, programmes and activities. Besides our periodic reports, our website will offer constantly updated timelines for each and every project that will be active at any given time, providing relevant pictures, videos and analytical data reflecting the current status, present and potential challenges, as well as expected results for the subsequent stages of the respective projects.