Living in Luzern

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Living in Luzern

Luzern, Switzerland
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Living in Luzern helps expats connect with each other and the local community. Our goal is to provide free information to people moving to or living in Luzern. We see hear from people nearly every day who are impacted by the website and the information it provides.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

In Luzern, there are several companies hiring expats (expatriots - people who don't live in their native country). Often, their spouses come along but are unable to find work or are looking after young children (they are called trailing spouses). One of our initial goals was to help these trailing spouses connect with each other. Now, we have a much larger following and our audience is much wider and we are connecting more people all the time.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

We started out by offering playgroups for Moms with children under the age of 3. In Switzerland, there is hardly anything available to them and so this provided a place where Moms could connect. We then started a blog letting people know about things that they could do with children in the area and that expanded to information (in English) across the board. Nearly 90% of websites in this area are not in English and so to help people feel more at home in their new environment, we've tried to pass on as much information as possible about what is going on around town and what services are available to our followers.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

We have had a huge impact. For starters, the blog hits are increasing month over month since we relaunched in 2011. By using social media such as facebook, we've been able to see people connecting with each other. We also launched some print media (2 information booklets) for free which were widely received.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

The impact has been that people have connected with each other and that they are no longer isolated. They are also getting out in the community and doing and experiencing more things because they have all the insider tips they wouldn't have otherwise had. We've helped to grow several small businesses as well.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

We now have partnered up with local businesses and some much larger Swiss corporations who have given money to help us fulfill our financial obligations. We rely heavily on people to do a large amount of work for a very little pay. Typically, these are the trailing spouses who are seeking purpose so it has been a good solution. Slowly, we've been able to pay slightly better and yet keep the volunteer spirit.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

No one is addressing this issue to the degree we are. There are two local clubs (Swiss American Society and the International Women's Club). There is also a local church with services in English and a website called Our solution is very hands on, very live and has the largest following/impact in the area.

Founding Story

There was no real 'Aha!' moment, it has been slow and steady work over 4 years that has finally made everything click. Certainly a big piece of this was switching the website to WordPress and being able to track the reaches the blog was making.


Joy Foster's picture

Anyone have any ideas about online advertising? Trying to determine rates for our partners.