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Our3Q – Khac, Vietnam

Thanh Ha – co-founder of Khac – an enterprise which focuses on community-based tourism. The tours are designed partnering with local social enterprises so that the visitors can experience their services (handcraft workshops, cooking, etc.). Their main clients are urban children, sent to the trip by parent associations, and big companies’ employees, who can also volunteer in some of the social enterprises they visit.

 

Q1: What do you appreciate yourself in the business mainly for?

For the time being, the most important project we have is to organize trips to rural communities for urban kids. There they can spend one day with the villagers as well as children from the local Social Protection Centers. Thanks to that, kids from those two groups meet and start to understand each other. We have amazing feedbacks from both: the children and their parents. One more thing which differ us from many other enterprises is that we track our impact. Every three months we announce our impact based on 12 specific indicators, for example how many families can generate income working with us. How much local social enterprises can gain. How many homestay we organize.

 

Q2: What is the biggest challenge for you now?

At the beginning , as we didn’t have much money for marketing, the biggest challenge was to get customers. Now, after 11 months, we are good in that, but we don’t have enough people to run activities for us. We need to find facilitators, train them, engage them and be sure they really understand what we want to do. We had to cancel some tours because we didn’t have enough people to run them, so we need to concentrate strongly on building a team to meet the demand of the market.

 

Q3: What advice do you have for yourself in this situation?

I think that one of the key of our success at this stage is a flexible management system. Instead of hiring full-time staff we base on collaborators which perform specific tasks for us; for example they run one trip. Thanks to that we don’t need as much money as for full-time workers. We also don’t have to rent a real office for them to work. Another point is that in our business model we don’t need to invest much money. We plan the trip only when we have customers who pay for it. There is not much financial risk involved. Moreover, we try to use as much as possible different networks, f.e. the social enterprise network. Thanks to them we can get inspirited and motivated, but we can also find potential supporters or business partners.

 

Would you like to add something more?

The most important for me when you think about opening a business is passion. You really need to love what your are doing. And then, you should get prepared. Answer all necessary questions, collect contacts and secure your finances at least for half a year. You need to know how you will pay for your expenses during that time, considering that your business most probably will not bring you income at the beginning. This will free your mind and allow you to concentrate on creating the business model, marketing, gaining customers, maintaining quality.

 

The questions were asked on our behalf by Anna and Andrea from How to (ex) change the world.

exchangebabel.com

Hanoi, Vietnam, 3rd November, 2015

ID: 009/100

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