1) 1 major stakeholder in our business is surely sweet potato farmers. Our product that we plan on making it a sweet potato muffin. We believe that the product will be more like a cake bite, or even a cake pop that the children will eat, but the main ingredient in the recipe is sweet potatoes. This means that in order for our product to be successful, we will have to acquire a large number of sweet potatoes. One organization we have identified is a small company working out of Western Africa called Ripple. Ripple is working to grow sweet potatoes in areas that don’t normally produce them. They are also working on a similar goal of increasing vitamin in the people of Africa so they will be a great resource and stakeholder. Another stakeholder will be the community health workers in the regions we sell the muffins in. In order to test the effectiveness of our product, we are going to have to develop a method of testing the nutrient values in the children eating our products. In order to do this, we will need community health workers to administer blood tests to check levels of the nutrients in their blood. This is a key step in our process and CHW’s are an important stakeholder. Another stakeholder in our project is Lehigh University. Lehigh has been providing us funds to not only do the research but also has helped to fund our trip to Sierra Leone. They have invested in our projects and want us to succeed. Besides just the monetary resource that Lehigh has provided us, they have also given us the ability to learn from some of their best professors, and use Building C as a workspace. Lehigh has been a key stakeholder in our project and is one of the few reasons why this is possible at all. Another stakeholder in our project is the children of Sierra Leone. The children are what our project is investing in, as we are doing this to help impact their lives and make them better by making them healthy. If we are able to make the children healthy, they can grow and develop properly, thus leading to a more prosperous country in general. We have faith that our project will make the lives of the people in Sierra Leone better, and hopefully, in return, they will buy our product and invest in our project. The last major stakeholder in our project is the street vendors in Sierra Leone. We will have to adapt to the market in Sierra Leone and will learn from the street vendors to help us sell more of our product. We also have to maintain the street vendors as a resource, as they are a key part of our business plan, and it will be very difficult to sell our product and make an impact without them. The street vendors in Sierra Leone are a key stakeholder in our project, and our vision of our product will change drastically without them.
2) One way we will be working to validate our process is by getting better data from our current resources in Sierra Leone. Originally, we had reached out and asked for market prices but in return, we got data that was too general and not specific enough. The data we received was results like, “20,000 leones for a bag of onions” or “10,000 leones for corn”. The data wasn’t able to convert into hard numbers that could be used in our software to calculate the approximate prices of our product. Another way to validate our idea would be to send our resources in Sierra Leone our finalized muffin recipe and ask them to make the muffins themselves before we get to Sierra Leone. We could then have the product be given to local children and mothers to look for approval from those 2 key demographics. Getting feedback before we travel to Sierra Leone could help us make the product more attractive to children and thus validate our idea. The last way to validate our project is to reach to business professors to give us advance and input on our business model. Our team only has 1 set of eyes that have a business background so it would be helpful to get input from a professor in that field to read over our plan, and make sure that we aren’t miscalculating anything, or making the wrong approximations. The final resource will help us to validate the different aspects of our project and give us more confidate in our solution.