When evaluating who our major stakeholders are, there is an entire tree with branches and branches of sources, for many different motivations. I think the ones that stand out the most would be ourselves, Khanjan and Lori, World Hope International, consumers, and even the people we will buy our product ingredients from in country. Of course, given all the passion, research, time and motivation our group has put into this project already, we all individually and holistically are highly invested. My biggest motivating factor is probably out of a little bit of selfishness—I want to be behind the minds and hands and creations that have an impact in the world and utilize the technical skills I am studying, as well as teach me the business intricacies behind developing a project from start to finish. My group as a whole is also certainly fervent about contributing a potential solution to a major, devastatingly all-too-common phenomenon occurring in Sierra Leone. As for Khanjan and Lori, as our professors and mentors I would assume(and hope) they are motivated by our potential success. They want to be a part of an inspiring project, just as we do, but they also want to help students grow and expose them to real life problems to help structure our professional development further and further. They, themselves, continue to invest a ton of commitment to our project, as well. World Hope is definitely a large stakeholder in our project as they continue to provide network connections and will be helping us over our fieldwork venture. They have been committed to helping battle malnutrition in Sierra Leone, so supporting a project that has the potential to help makes sense. The consumers have a large stake in our product as well, even if they are not aware yet. We will be reliant on their input, investments, and interest. The consumers are reliant on us to make our product tasty, affordable, attractive, and extremely nutritional. Lastly, once our product is in the manufacturing stage, markets in-country with our necessary ingredients will be stakeholders because supplying for our product means more money and potentially more jobs for them. It also means more business than usual which they would need to be prepared for, and we would need to be cooperative about.
Though our product is not complete, and we have not concretely decided on one route, we have many ways we are continuing to validate and enhance the credibility of our products. Thus far, a main source of credibility stems from our network of professionals in various fields. From Allieu Bangura at WHI, to Tei Mukunya at Azuri Health, to Gabby Gunderman and many others, we have a decent track of input and advice from professionals on how we should keep advancing our project. We are also planning on contacting a sensory specialist, potentially John Hayes and Greg Ziggler, and a nutritionist very soon. All of these people help defend routes we take, choices we make, and how we are going to pull it all off. Moreover, by working with Professor Pinter on AMPL codes, we have been able to explain calculations and recipe choices from a nutritional perspective. The program allows us to input the necessary food restrictions and bars to reach our goal with the most cost effective option. Finally, once our product is able to be taste-tested and displayed and “advertised” we will be able to gage in-country opinion of it—is it interesting, exciting, are consumers willing to buy it, etc. We can perform and distribute polls to show how our product is being received by others, even children and parents locally for taste and texture preferences. This will help validate our recipe choices and eventual packaging.