The following is a guest post by Daniella Graham of Giveacar:
Starting a new business is always a risky endeavour. But starting something new in the midst of a recession, based on an idea that has never been tested with your target market, can be suicidal. However, with a clear and strong concept and lots of commitment it is possible to create a successful enterprise even during economic turmoil.
In January 2010 recent university graduate Tom Chance started social enterprise Giveacar, a service that offers to take away your unwanted scrap vehicle and donate it to charity.
Chance had got the idea for the scheme during his studies when he had started to deal in old cars. Realising that people were willing to accept the smallest sums just for their unwanted vehicles to be taken away, Chance spotted a gap in the market.
Although car donation is an idea that has been going strong in the States for a while, in Britain it was non-existent. Chance, working out of his bedroom, created some initial interest over the internet and by word of mouth.
He began by donating the all proceeds from the scrappage or auction of the donated vehicle to charity. However, realising that he needed to grow his business he started taking a small percentage of the profits from the donation. After five months he was able to move out of his bedroom and employ another member of staff.
As awareness of his company grew and interest increased from the local press, more and more donations started rolling in. Today Giveacar is still able to give 75% of each car’s value to the donor’s chosen charity, with the remaining 25% reinvested. Just a year old, the scheme has already raised more than $300,000 for a host of charities around the globe.
Giveacar proves that there is success to be had during a downturn, and that a clear idea and lots of passion can go a long way.
To find out more about the scheme, please visit the Giveacar website at http://www.giveacar.co.uk/.