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What problem does your solution solve?
About a year ago, a few of my classmates and I went to Taiwan to compete in a robotics competition called VEX. (Images) It was such an awesome experience but, what was difficult about our journey around Taiwan was that we didn’t get the experience of interacting with Taiwanese people.
On the other hand, going on school trips around Cambodia, we’ve observed so many struggles Cambodians face on their everyday life especially their family’s economics. There are still 11 million people who are classed as ‘poor’ or ‘nearly poor’. Many of the ‘nearly poor’ would fall into poverty if they lost just 30 cents a day. It’s hard for them to leave for jobs and find money to support their family since they have too many children to take care of and sometimes they just don’t know what can they do.
We’ve put the puzzles of the problems together and came up with WeLocal.
What’s the market potential for your solution?
WeLocal is a platform that provides opportunities for foreigners to connect with the local people, tastes authentic food in a serene environment while also helping the local people to earn extra money from their homes on their free time.
We believe that foreigners should have the privileged to interact with any local people.
We believe that people’s lives can get better by doing what they can.
And we strongly believe that by creating this platform we are creating a community full culture exchanges.
Our target customers are tourists from all nationalities who are ages between 16 to 80.
In the first place, we believe that anyone can register to be apart of our local's cooks, however, we did not realize the fact that all Cambodia citizens must be 18 and above in order for them to work. So, we restrict our households groups to local Cambodians who are 18 and above with moderate cooking skill.
Who are your customers?
Based on our surveys 36 out of 40 of the people we’ve asked said they would love to interact with the local people. So our service will allow tourists to be able to connect with the locals, to get to know the lifestyle, culture, language, eat good food, and overall experience the Khmer authenticity.
On the other hand, we also found out that 18/20 of the Khmer people we interviewed said they are willing to cook for foreigners. For cooks who use our service, they’re able to get to communicate with tourist from different cultures since not many Cambodians have the opportunity to go outside of the country. By doing this, they are also able to earn some amount of money to help better their family economics.
How will you reach your customers?
At the beginning, we thought that the only way tourists know where to go for eating and exploring is through social medias, tuk tuk signs, and street signs. Though after the surveys, we found out they find hotels recommendations, google search, and traveling websites such as, Expedia and Tripadvisor very helpful.
With our new found informations, we reached out to Expedia to ask if/how we could get our business up there, but unfortunately they didn’t respond. So, we moved on to talking to hotels. We’ve called to ten hotels both in PP and SR to ask if we could advertise our business there. The majority gave really positive answers while others didn’t, due to the fact that they’re also offering food services to their customers.
We also have to find a way to make our website be one of the first to pop up when people search the tags “food in cambodia…” using SEO (search engine optimization).
How will you make money?
In the website there will be a “placed order” button that visitors can pay with their credit card. At first we want everything to be fixed, foreigners will pay $6 for a meal, but then after the survey so many of our customers requested cooking classes, so we’ve researched further and came up with three levels of packaging and experiences the tourists will receive:
Basic Package: foreigners will pay $6, they will receive a full meal with drinks. 4 will goes towards the household and 2 will be our revenue
Gold Package: tourists will pay $10 but this time they will receive two dishes with drinks and we’ll receive 4$ as a revenue
Premium Package: travellers will pay $15 to have two dishes, desert, and drink + a cooking experience with the local : 15$ with 6$ revenue
What kind of partners will you need to make, support and distribute your solution?
We contacted more than five food training center in Siem Reap, and three of them are willing to collaborate with us to help to train the local households who registered the app with hygiene and grooming courses. This means that all of our local cooks’ will be certified with a hygiene and food storage certificates from of one our partner. And Those partners are Friend International, Haven, Dream Training Center. (Images show one by one)
For the legal aspect of the business, we are in contact with Mrs. Diana Swartz. She specializes in international issues faced by charities. So, she will be our legal advisor and will help with the liability waiver.
The third biggest partner for us is ABA bank payment gateway, called PayWay. PayWay, will allow us to accept money from the visitors with Visa and Mastercard and send it directly to the households through, SmartLuy, PiPay, and payGo.
What will your expenses include?
Utilities cost (computer, internet, host, electronic)
Who is your competition and how do you differ?