Business Plan Executive Summary
Home of Street Children is a nongovernmental and nonprofit marking organization that seeks to address the problem of increasing number of street children in the United States. This organization is getting into an industry where there are numerous other firms offering the same products.
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However, the approach that will be taken is different from that which other organizations are offering. The primary objective of this organization is to change the perception street children.
The candidates who will be taken into this organization will be taken through psychotherapy in order to change their perceptions towards life, and especially towards living in the streets.
This will make them get committed in staying within the many children’s homes or government facilities spread across the country instead of living in the streets. The organization plans to get its funding from donors, government, and other well wishers who share the same belief of transforming lives of these young Americans.
Unmet Societal Need
The United Sates has the largest economy in the world and an advanced technology that is yet to be matched by other nations around the world. Many people around the world still consider this country a land of opportunities. However, the issue of homeless children living in the streets of major cities is still an issue.
According to Kloppenborg (1990), it is estimated that close to two million children live in the streets within the United States. This is a negative statistic that needs to be reversed. It is important to note that the need to address the problem of street children was felt several decades ago.
This is so because the more we have children in the streets; the more the rate of insecurity is expected to increase. These children act as drug peddlers and also commit other crimes when they are left in the streets. The government and many other agencies have been working hard to address this problem.
In 1974, Child Abuse and Treatment Act were enacted with the view of discouraging violence and other vices that motivated children to run from their homes. It yielded little fruits in stopping the increasing number of street children in this country.
According to Heinonen (2011), the United Satates’ government enacted Runaway and Homeless Youth Act in 1978 to help reduce the number of children in the streets. The law created National Runaway Switchboard that was funded by the national government with the sole purpose of addressing the problem of street children in this country.
Three and a half decades later, the country’s number of street children has increased more than four times. The country has even tried coming up with Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Detention Act to allow the government to forcefully arrest and detain street children.
However, this has yielded very minimal fruits. Numerous organizations have come up to help in addressing this problem but the number still keeps increasing. The government and these other organizations have been using wrong approaches in addressing this problem.
Home of Street Children is a non-governmental and nonprofit making organization that seeks to address this problem in a unique way.
Approach to Satisfy this Need
The researcher has taken time to review the laws and strategies that the government and other organizations have used in addressing the problem of street children. It is evident that the approach taken is wrong.
As Heinonen (2011) says, the government and most of the children’ homes have been treating street children as hopeless people who needs to be restricted in a given area like criminals. The environment in these homes is like detention camps with very strict rules about entry and exit.
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This wrong approach and backward mentality is what this organization seeks to change. These streets children are human beings. They may become untrustworthy because people around them do not trust them. The first step that is very important in helping these street children is to give them total trust.
These are children who have been providing for themselves in the streets. Giving them restrictions only motivates them to find their way back to the streets. At this organization, the first step will be to take them through a psychological therapy. These children need to rediscover themselves.
They need to realize that they can do better than street lead reckless lives in the streets. As Heinonen (2011) notes, the problem of street children in the United States has not been majorly about lack of where to stay.
The problem has been about how to change their mentality about street life. This is what the organization seeks to change among the street children.
Description of the Enterprise
This will be a unique children’s home that is very different from those that are existing currently. Home of Street Children will take in homeless children living in the streets and strive to change their perception towards life. These children will be of different age groups, gender, race, or social background.
This process is expected to take two years. Once this perception is changed, the children will be taken to non-governmental learning institutions handling homeless children or juvenile schools where they are expected to get formal education.
This means that the longest time span that a child is expected to stay in this home is two years. Once these children graduate after two years, they will be made to feel that this is their home.
During holidays, they will be expected back from their respective schools to this home where they are expected to talk to the new recruits and tell them about changes in life they have experience after leaving the streets.
Once they reach 18 years, they will be taken to institutions of higher learning if they successfully went through high school or vocational training for those who did not. However, this home will still rely on them for the moral support in order to change the negative perceptions the street children have about themselves.
It is important to define the mission statement of this new organization in order to understand what it seeks to achieve. The following is the mission statement of this organization.
To transform lives of street children through a change of their perception
This mission statement will define the activities of this organization as soon as it is launched.
The organizational chart below shows the important stakeholders who will form part of this organization.
As shown in the chart, the team in this new organization will be classified into seven main groups. The first group that will be responsible for the development of policies and sourcing for donors will be the board of directors.
They will appoint executive directors responsible for running the internal issues in the organization such as recruiting and managing the employees, supervising the overall activities within the organization, among other activities. Occupying a special position in this team will be the relevant government representative.
The representative will be part of all the meetings involving policy making. He will also be the chief adviser to this organization when it comes to issues relating to the new government policies or new regulations. The next category will be the children themselves.
The organization cannot be complete without them because they are the clients to be served. The donors will be playing a critical role of financing the activities of this organization.
The full-time employees and volunteers will be responsible for the implementation of policies. Related agencies and other relevant stakeholders will also be part of the team as may be necessary.
The Market and Industry
The industry is rather crowded because of the emergence of numerous organizations that claim to provide home for the homeless children in the United States. However, most of these organizations are ill-managed and some disappear soon after their emergence.
The federal and state governments have not come out strongly to regulate this market, and this has created a room for the emergence of rogue organizations that are only interested in the donations other than offering care to children.
As Aptekar (2014) notes, the government should try to formalize this industry in order to get rid of these rogue organizations. This will help dispel the notion that nongovernmental organizations involved in caring for children are only interested in donors’ money. This will help improve the rates of donations in the country.
Marketing and Fundraising
Marketing of this nonprofit making organization is expected to be one of the biggest challenges that this organization will have to face. Marketing is one of the most expensive activities in the current business environments. However, it is a necessity that this organization cannot afford to ignore because it will be the source of funding.
The management expects to reach out to the donors through effective marketing in order to have a steady flow of income. Marketing will be done in three main ways. The first approach will be the social media marketing.
The marketing team will rely on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube among other social media networks to reach out to the relevant donors who are willing to be part of the team. The organization will have its own official Facebook page and Twitter handle. The second approach will be the mass media marketing.
The marketing team will use mass media such as newspaper advertisements and television commercials to reach out to the donors. Radio commercials will not be ignored because they are still popular in this country. The third approach will be the viral marketing.
This strategy will be very important to this organization, especially when it comes to targeting the specific individuals. The board of directors will be expected to reach out to their friends who are willing to be part of this organization as donors through direct interactions.
The initial group of donors will also be encouraged to reach out to their friends in order to build a large base of committed and reliable donors. The firm will also engage in direct fundraising programs. This will be done with the help of supermarkets so that shoppers can drop coins in the tins after their purchases.
In order to reach out to a large population and share the vision and values of this organization with the entire country, a website will be created. The website will make it easy for the sponsors and other stakeholders to understand this firm and know about its plans.
According to Aptekar and Stoecklin (2014), website is one of the best ways of communicating to the external communities. People who are new to the firm can learn about its history, values, and some of the achievements over the years.
To the existing stakeholders, the website offers an interactive forum where they can learn about the coming events at the firm.
The website can also give them the opportunity to give their inputs to the relevant stakeholders within the firm. The organization will develop an interactive website that will enable it communicate directly with other stakeholders.
The Financial Plan
It is important to define sources of finance in order to determine if the project will be able to kick off. After defining the sources of finance, it is also important to define the areas of expenses to establish if the collected funds can sustain the expected operations.
The table below identifies the sources of finance and the expected areas of expenditure.
|Sources of Finance||Amount in $|
|Board members’ contributions||120,000|
|Uses of the Funds|
|Construction and fittings||750,000|
As shown in the table above, sources of finance for this organization include board members contributions, donations, government’s grants, and income from other sources.
Expenses include construction and fittings, advertisements, purchase of consumables, and miscellaneous expenses. It is evident that if the expected income is generated, then expenses shall be met.
Strategy, Goals & Objectives
Defining the organizational goals and objectives, and the strategies that can be used to achieve them is very important for such a new organization to achieve success. The following are the specific goals that this organization seeks to achieve.
- To eliminate or lower the number of homeless children in the streets of United States’ cities.
- To facilitate education of homeless children in the country to higher levels
- To transform the perception of street children about street life
The above are the specific goals that this organization seeks to achieve as soon as it gets operational. To achieve these objectives, it will be necessary to develop an effective strategy that is practical.
As mentioned above, the main focus will be to change the perception of street children towards street life so that they can voluntarily go to children’s homes or other government facilities that can offer them shelter, clothes, and food. To do this, the organization will hire a team of psychologists.
These psychologists will be responsible for undertaking these children through a two-year psychotherapy process meant to facilitate the change of perception.
The organization will also facilitate the transformation of government facilities from prison-like confinement centers to homes where children can feel loved and free to enjoy their childhood.
Timeline (Gantt chart)
The project is expected to begin by the following month. The Gantt chart below shows the sequence of activities that are expected to take place.
|Activity/ Time (2015-2016)||1-30 March||1-28 April||1-18 May||20 May- 20 Jun||21 Jun-15 Dec||1 Jan- Onwrds||3 Jan-Onwrds||3 Jun-Onwds|
|Identification of Board Members||+|
|Development of Action Plan||+|
|Approval of the Action Plan||+|
|Sourcing for Funds||+|
|Construction and Installation||+|
|Accepting of Homeless Children||+||+||+|
|Commencing of the Psychotherapy||+||+|
|Assessing the Progress||+|
The first activity will be the identification of the like-minded individuals who may be willing to be part of the board of directors. The selection will last for one month. After that, development of action plan will follow, and this is expected to take the entire month of April.
The next 18 days will involve the approval and adjustments of the proposed action plan. From May 20 to June 20, 2015, the team members will focus on sourcing of funds. It is important to note that the time frame for this important activity is set for only one month.
This is so because this will be a continuous process. The amount that shall have been generated by this time will be added with the contributions of the board members to kick start the operations. Once the initial collections are made, construction and installation of basic structures will begin. This will take about six months.
After that, the institution will start accepting children. Commencement of the therapy will begin two days later. The project’s progress will commence six months later.
Risk Assessment / Pitfalls Prevention
It is important to appreciate that the organization may face a number of risks that may affect its performance in this industry. Identifying these risks is very critical so that a possible intervention strategy can be developed to deal with them when they occur so that their negative consequences are managed.
One of the biggest risks that this firm may face is the withdrawal of donors. This may occur because of a miscommunication, misunderstanding, or emergence of a more pressing need. When the important donors withdraw in mass, it can paralyze the operations of the firm.
In order to avoid such a pitfall, it will be necessary to maintain a regular communication with the donors. They should feel that they own the project. Another risk factor may be violence among the children living in this home. Some of the street children may be violent because this is what they learnt in the streets about survival.
Precautionary measures will be put into place to help arrest such violence before they can result into injuries. These children may attempt to steal some of the fittings and disappear into the streets. There will be tight security to eliminate such eventualities.
This is specifically so because these children will not be denied free movement into and out of the facility, especially when they are not in session.
Supporting Documents (Visio flowcharting of select operations)
The project will involve a number of activities that will be carried by different employees and volunteers in this organization. The flowchart below shows a sequence of activities from the time children are taken from the streets to the time they are transferred to other institutions after they have been transformed.
As shown in the chart, the first operational activity will be to recruit children from the streets. The next process will be to investigate their backgrounds before they are classified based on their age, gender, and time spent in the streets. The next important process will be the psychotherapy which will last for two years.
After this they will be assessed and then sent to learning institutions if it is established that they are good enough for such institutions.
Aptekar, L. (2014). Street Children and Homeless Youth: A Cross-Cultural Perspective. Dordrecht: Springer.
Aptekar, L., & Stoecklin, D. (2014). Street children and homeless youth: A cross-cultural perspective. Dordrecht: Springer.
Heinonen, P. (2011). Youth gangs and street children: Culture, nurture and masculinity in Ethiopia. Oxford: Berghahn.
Kloppenborg, T. J. (1990). Contemporary Project Management. Place: South-Western College Pub.