Tea and cake with the Girl Guides

I went to a tea and cake party held by the local Girl Guides to fundraise for their activities and for two of them to go to India.

The cakes were very tasty, and all the girls did a wonderful job of greeting their guests, making them cups of tea and serving cakes. But I couldn’t help wonder what this says about how those girls are brought up to think of the role of women. The girls were all aged between 11 and 16, old enough to think for themselves if empowered to do so, and yet most waited for instructions from the group leader. They were all in subservient roles, there as waitresses, servers, tea makers. It concerned me. 

If I was working with that group the tea and cake evening would have been a chance to learn how to be entrepreneurial, how to run a business, set goals, understand cost, revenue and profit, how to market to the right customers, how to upsell them future support for the group, how to work in small self-organising teams, how to prioritise workload, etc., etc.

If girls aren’t learning these skills and more importantly how it feels to be empowered to be responsible and in control, and all of this is the result of how other adult women see those girls then it’s no wonder that they struggle when they grow up and go out into patriarchal and male dominated workplaces and systems of society. Equality has to happen on all levels, at all ages, and in every single opportunity. 

Dessert MK: innovating in the mobile dessert space

Dessert MK is an interesting take on ice cream vans. Whereas most ice cream vans sell the usual branded ice lollies, Dessert MK offers their own range of ice cream creations.

Dessert MK

The ice creams, whilst very tasty and luxurious looking, are all simple and cheap to create, using ice cream from a whippy machine, flavoured sauces and a selection of chocolates and sweets, meaning that the margin on one £5 tray is probably around 400%, far greater than the few percent of margin a usual ice cream would make from selling branded ice lollies. 

Marketed exclusively on Facebook and relying on word of mouth to build a following, they let fans know where they’ll be that evening on Facebook. This completely different approach to the usual ice cream van approach of turning up where they hope there will be people who want an ice cream when they here the music, Dessert MK guarantees that their customers come to them, wherever they go. 

Dessert MK is disrupting the product range and the marketing approach, it’s entrepreneurial Ice cream. 

Entrepreneurial Schools

Heard a brief thing on the radio about encouraging students in schools to be more entrepreneurial by starting a business with £10. It started me thinking how they could do that.

If I were them I would leverage the community aspect of the school to provide stock to sell and as customers. I’d set up an Ebay shop that would be stocked with items donated by students, parents and teachers. However, to make better use of the school community and encourage people to keep providing stock (there needs to be a part of the strategy that considers sustainability), I’d award points to each of the donors based on how much the items they donated sell for, e.g. 1 point for 1 pound. These points can then be redeemed at the school for things like free tickets to school plays.

Of course, it would be promoted via the usual social media channels that kids love, ifttt’d from ebay to FB, TW, IG, etc. The points system could be run on Mailchimp so that everyone involved gets regular emails telling them how many points they have earned and what products are for sale this week.

So, what would the £10 be spent on? The postage of for the first round of items sold until you’ve got some profit to pay the delivery on more items.