New Beginning

New Beginning

DominicaRoseau, Dominica
Project Stage:
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

NGCW aims to train 36 people in pottery, traditional straw craft, recycled craft materials by employing the knowledge of the older generation in teaching unemployed youth about traditional local craft techniques. The project provides venue, equipment and support to create craft products also guidance to form a co-operative of craft-makers.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Until recently Dominican young people did not enjoy universal access to secondary education. Therefore a high proportion of the generation aged 20 -30 did not get beyond a second form level. Many dropped out of school as a result of pregnancy, drugs or lack of family support. The need for this kind of initiative is two-fold; young people need training and employment and there is a gap in the market for selling craft products to tourists, hotels, shops and locals, which can be filled by locally-made produce. Youth unemployment (between the ages of 15-24) in Dominica is currently 26% (Index Mundi, 2011) and so the workshop will focus on providing this dis-advantaged age group with craft skills and the opportunity to join a sustainable and fair co-operative team.

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

The project aims to train 36 people in pottery, traditional straw craft and craft using recycled materials by employing the knowledge of the older generation in teaching unemployed youth about traditional local craft techniques. The project will provide a venue, equipment and support to create craft products as well as guidance to form a co-operative of craft-makers. This program gives vendors and craftspeople an opportunity to collaborate and increase revenue by increased capacity.
Impact: How does it Work

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

The need for a social intervention in Dominica, such as this, is great and the potential outputs justify the small financial input required.This project is unique because it offers products as well as a public service. The service is to offer free training to unemployed youth to equip them with skills to produce sellable crafts and the product is the craft items, which will be sold by the co-operative group of participants. This benefits local communities and economies as there is a need for young people to be trained in skills that can help them acquire an income because youth unemployment is high. There is also an opportunity to fill a gap in the local market for selling craft products to tourists, hotels, shops and locals, and this need that can be met by locally-made produce. Currently, many of these establishments are sourcing products from other islands or from the United States because there is not enough supply in Dominica, even though the materials, labour and capability all exist here. It is very unique for an organization to provide training to unemployed people with low earning potentials and thereafter continue to provide support and use of equipment for their craft making.

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

No other organization is under-taking this sort of program of training young people in traditional Dominican craft. Individual vendors cannot meet the current demand, as it takes time to produce craft by hand.The only competitors in Dominica are the existing craft producers who are mainly older women who sell their craft to tourists on the Bayfront on cruise ship days. The areas that require much focus is the ability to meet the demands and the capacity required for export, as well as the consistency of the amounts and the quality of the produce. My peers would have more experience which we intend to use, however if they refuse to train this would be a set back but they still wont beable to meet the demands of the market.

Founding Story

Roseau is the capital of Dominica and is densely populated, there are young people mostly women who are mainly unemployed. These young people often turn to drugs and prostitution as income generation.Vanessa identify with these young people as she has personally experienced some of the issues that they currently face.Vanessa’s drive to help people in poverty is fuelled by her own experience of raising four young children on her own with no employment. Vanessa turned her life around by starting her own business and now wants to help others in similar situations to earn themselves a living by selling craft. The inspiration for this project initially came about after Vanessa took on a teaching placement instructing craft to young men. She noticed that when the young men were focusing on making their craft, they were calm, relaxed and showed no signs of aggression. It was here that she realized the social benefits of craft, as well as the financial benefit of selling craft produce.
About You
New Beginning Craft Workshop
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Organization
Organization Name

New Beginning Craft Workshop

Organization Country

, GEO, Roseau

Country where this project is creating social impact


Age of Innovator

Over 34

Gender of Innovator


How long has your organization been operating?

Less than a year

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How long have you been in operation?

Still in idea phase, but looking to launch soon

Social Impact
What solution(s) does your initiative address to help emerging entrepreneurs and small businesses grow and thrive in underserved communities? (select all applicable)

Access to financing, Access to talent, Access to supply chains, Access to economic opportunity.

What has been the impact of your solution to date?

The project idea was recognized by a lot of persons as being very innovative as many found it could be applied in there parts of the world. Being one of the 38 plans to go to the TIC Americas finals the idea has gotten a lot of recognition.

What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?

Like many parts of the world, Dominica is currently experiencing very high youth unemployment rates, amongst women in particular. The Government and other stake holders, such as DEXIA (Dominica export import agency), Discover Dominica, OECS office, Ministry of Trade and the cultural division are all looking at ways to develop employment on the island, including the existing craft production on island. Women and girls are disadvantaged in the marketplace due to lack of income generating skills, so this project will impact better life and growth of and industry.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

The main hurdle of the plan is to acquire funding, which will allow the purchasing process to begin. Quotes have already been confirmed and volunteers have agreed to help with renovating the location. Once funding is confirmed, the training opportunity will be marketed to young people who are interested in furthering their craft making skills. The participants will be selected by an interview assessing their suitability and places will be awarded to those most in need. Participants will attend twice a week to take classes held by retired volunteers and, over the 13 week course, will be developed to form their own co-operative.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

36 young persons trainned

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Task 1

Acquire funding

Task 2

Workshop renovations & equipment purchased

Task 3


Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

Local and export sales and 36 young persons generating an income.

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Task 1

Co-operative formed and registered as a business with executive members

Task 2

Website developed for co-operative, including a system for online ordering &marketing

Task 3

Products advertised and sold in local and regional markets.

Tell us about your partnerships

The project is currently an idea of Vanessa Winston, the Founder of New Beginnings Gifts and Leather. It is anticipated that the craft workshop would lead to a co-operative of independent craftspeople, which would be registered within a year of training completion. However there are support agencies like Dominica Arts & Craft Producers Ass., Dominica Youth Business Trust and Lifeline Ministries that are working side by side to see this project be successful.

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list

Vanessa is the Vice President of the newly formed Dominica Arts and Craft Producers Association (DACPA) and was awarded most determined Female Entrepreneur for 2010 by the Dominica Youth Business Trust (DYBT). She is a highly motivated young woman and very willing to succeed, she has the support of the other craft members of DACPA, Lifeline ministries, and the DYBT.