Vi promotions is:
..a self starting, entrepreneurial social enterprise
..aiming to achieve maximum benefit to the community rather than just maximum profit for itself. It is the brainchild of Paul Burr, FRSA, founder of the CAN-do Project and created by a group of individuals sharing skills and resources who want to achieve more by their efforts than just taking home a paycheck,
Vi promotions is:
- a marketing agency dedicated to meeting the needs of our clients using online and offline marketing strategies and;
- a promotional service for 3rd sector organisations who may not be able to afford commercial marketing services and;
- a social enterprise seeking to achieve more by our efforts than just a profit for the company and;
- a focus of local regeneration efforts for the Dewsbury area and throughout Kirklees and;
- a job creation project with special emphasis on the visually impaired.
The principles adopted by Vi for our business are:
- To make profits from normal commercial business - because you can't support other people if you can't support yourself.
- Be successful at what we do ~ by being good at what we do.
- Create work and jobs both in Vi promotions and the projects that it supports.
- Use the 'Pay as you Feel' principle where possible. Pay with whatever you have got rather than the money that you haven't.
- To initiate projects with free voluntary contributions of time, skills and effort in order to demonstrate what is possible and reduce the amount of funding required for any project.
- Support those who need it whether they are individuals or organisations.
Support from the RSA
The effort to develop job creating opportunities in Dewsbury stems from an RSA 'Catalyst' event held in Dewsbury in April 2014 and set up by Robin Thompson (RSA New York) and Paul Burr, both Fellows of the RSA (The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce).
The Dewsbury Catalyst event drew together Yorkshire based Fellows to network and to exchange ideas on potential job creation activities both in Dewsbury and throughout Kirklees
Meet The Team
A long time social entrepreneur, Vi promotions brings together a number of projects originated by Paul.
Dean graduated from Leeds University in Business Computing in 2005. He is visually impaired and one of motivating reasons for
John graduated from Edinburgh College of Art and is an illustrator with his own business providing illustrations for magazines, film companies and set building companies.
Rik is an I.T. graduate
We're taking money out of the equation
Our approach is about taking money out of the equation. There is less money available these days either to maintain existing services or to start new ones. So the question arises, how can we achieve the same or more - with less money.
For any business or project the conventional approach is that money is required for everything, from beginning to end. You need:
..and to make the project happen you 'buy' all of them in one way or another with money.
So let's assume we have no money for a project. What can we still do?
Let's work with what we've got instead of worrying about what we don't have. The skills and labour come from people - and if people are prepared to volunteer their time for free then a project can be moved forward.
How far can we go without money?
We don't know. And we will never know if we don't try! It would depend on the project and on the volunteers. But what we do have in this day and age is the ability for people to communicate, to share information for free, courtesy of modern technology of the web, email, social media and the like.
This is the core concept behind Vi promotions. Things happen, buildings are built, ships are launched starting only with a thought in someone's head which is shared with others and promoted to the point where money becomes available to buy whatever assets are required.
Do not wait: the time will never be 'just right'. Start where you stand, and work whatever tools you may have at your command and better tools will be found as you go along.
Author: Think & Grow Rich
Vi promotions uses this principle itself. We are starting with no money. Just the time, energy and resources we are able to give for nothing. Out of this we aim to fashion a marketing agency which will be able to sell it's services - and along the way we will help other social enterprises with similar goals.
Of course, neither we nor anyone else can do this indefinitely. People will volunteer when they can see a benefit. The benefit may be for society in general or it may be for them individually either for personal satisfaction or for a real need for food, housing, care etc.
Individual volunteers may give their time for free either as a contribution to society or because they see a job at the end of their personal effort. Perhaps as part of a job creation project to demonstrate that a concept is possible and has benefits to the extent that money becomes available. When real revenue becomes available as a result of their efforts then they will have effectively volunteered themselves into their own long term job.
That's the best sort of success.
Now let's come back to the assets. Things like property, machinery, vehicles etc. Things which would normally cost money - but remember we still don't have any!
- Can socially responsible businesses make more of their assets available when they are not in use for their core business?
- Yes, they can. We already have a major supermarket chain offering to provide a vehicle for The Real Junk Food Project. Perhaps we only need to ask. There'll be lots of noes but we only need a few to say yes to start moving forward.
- Can local council's who have many assets that are already intended for public service not make them more available?
- Answer: Yes. Kirklees Council already has the Comoodle project in development to facilitate sharing of assets and Kirklees is already making property and equipment available through Streetbank.com as part of that effort.
So maybe the assets aren't such a problem after all.
Which brings us back to the question: what can make this happen? The answer is the sharing of information of what is needed, what is planned, who and what are available to make it happen. And this part if free - it only requires our time.
This is what Vi promotion is intending to do. To make sure that there is no lack of information. By promoting our own projects and by providing promotional activities to voluntary and community groups, charities and not-for-profit organisations at a price they can afford.