1) Funding sources for dissemination
Since Ukweli is a few years into the venture, our project is out of the design phase for the most part, and we are more focused towards developing our project currently in the dissemination phase of the project.
1: Crowdfunding: Ukweli Test Strips have been in discussion about pursuing funding for our project through crowdfunding efforts, and have taken the initial steps in order to pursue crowdfunding. The crowdfunding could be conducted through either of the two main crowdfunding sites available, which would be Kickstarter or Indiegogo. Although receiving a large amount of money through a health related venture such as Ukweli might be a little tough through crowdfunding, it definitely is not out of the realm of possibility to acquire. As of now, Ukweli has laid out a plan for a crowdfunding video, which will include both an animation that depicts the life of a pregnant mother in Sierra Leone who is living with the threat of contracting a UTI or having preeclampsia, and also outlines what our project is, what our team is doing right now, and what the goals of the project are. We have filmed our team members doing the speaking parts of the video, so once the animations and editing have been squared away we will be ready to launch our campaign to the public.
Our partner in Sierra Leone, World Hope International, has agreed to match funding we receive from outside sources up to $6,000, making them a source of funding for us as well. This agreement makes World Hope International a source of funding for Ukweli Test Strips as well, but this source of funding is dependent on us receiving an adequate amount of funding from other sources. This is why we are hoping to acquire a minimum of $6,000 from crowdfunding, in order to receive the full money that World Hope has offered to pay.
2: Saving Lives at Birth: The Saving Lives at Birth grant is a funding source supported by Grand Challenges Canada, USAID, NORAD, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, DFID, and KOICA. This grant calls looks to fund prevention and treatment approaches for pregnant women and newborns in poor and hard to reach communities, which is exactly what the Ukweli Test Strips venture is focused on. As a project that has been in the works for multiple years at this point, Ukweli Test Strips is looking to transition to scale in the near future, which is the type of venture and innovation that Saving Lives at Birth is looking to support. Saving Lives at Birth looks for projects that are affordable, accessible, and sustainable, which is something Ukweli has built their model around, and Saving Lives at Birth also focus on three different areas: science and technology, service delivery, and demand creation. While the physical product Ukweli offers is not a scientific breakthrough, our venture is made special due to the approach it takes on solving the last mile approach of getting the strips to the hard to reach and underserved communities in Sierra Leone, so this venture falls into the service delivery aspect that Saving Lives at Birth focuses on.
2) Income statement and assumptions
Pictured here is the Income statement that has been constructed for Ukweli for the first three years after it has officially launched as a venture in Sierra Leone. As you can see, we are expecting large increases in sales each year for the first three years, but all of the costs associated with the venture increase as well, leading to the losses in total income increasing. Although these losses may be concerning, it is not unusual for this to happen to non-profit and social ventures when assessing income just based off of sales.
One of the assumptions that was made in the creation of the income statement for the sales account is that the messaging and advertising for the venture is effective, and awareness of Ukweli and it’s services increases and spreads to other parts of Sierra Leone outside of the Bombali District that the venture is currently focusing on. With awareness of the venture growing, more women will know the importance of getting screened for UTIs and Preeclampsia, which will therefore mean more boxes of strips will be sold, which obviously would create more revenue for our venture. The assumption that the current mindset of doing nothing regarding UTI and Preeclampsia signs and symptoms will change during the time can also tie into the idea of sales increasing. Even if the workers on the ground follow protocol in advertising the strips, if people don’t change their attitude about not doing anything if they experience symptoms that could be related to UTIs and Preeclampsia, then the strips would not sell as well as we would hope.
Some other assumptions we have made that relate to the cost of goods sold account is that the rate we are getting for the test strips will continue to be roughly the same. This would most likely be the case if we continue to work with our current Original Equipment Manufacturer, WangCheng, so that is something we factored in.
We also assume that the overhead for the venture will continue to be high. From what Ukweli has observed, the overhead is very high for the venture, and we did not anticipate for those rates to decrease when the income statement was created.