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“Network is your net worth”: Managing resources and succeeding on a shoestring

Worlds Biggest Garage Sale Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Yasmin Grigaliunas, talked to Third Sector about the ways social enterprises can succeed on a barely inadequate capital.

Social enterprises find it constantly challenging to scale operations when the business is run on a shoestring. The longer the enterprise keeps their runway going, the more impact they have as a startup scaling up operations locally and globally. For some social entrepreneurs, that means creating an open and honest communication to a demographic of givers.

Third Sector spoke with Worlds Biggest Garage Sale Founder and Chief Executive Officer Yasmin Grigaliunas on creating a relationships within the network to succeed a shoestring.

“Our most incredible contributors have been those who live and breathe a ‘give first’ mentality. It’s embedded in the Queensland startup ecosystem, with some of the best founders scaling operations on shoestring budgets, well beyond successfully raising capital,” Yasmin said.

She adds that managing resources with agile methodologies, where core values are aligned and the team believes in the mission and long-term vision of the company is crucial to succeed.

Because they have targeted younger shoppers, volunteers and donors who are incredibly generous, Yasmin knows that they are tapping into a group that drives the circular economy principles and have a heightened awareness of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals).

“We have found that the younger demographic is incredibly generous and often come up with new innovations to scale the impact and outcomes of our business. They have energy to burn, passion for purpose and seek out new ways of doing business that helps others,” Yasmin said.

Connecting the younger and older demographic made Yasmin witness a collision that’s quite unique, where wisdom and willingness come together to scale impact and operations. “It’s hard to measure, but we know it’s a valuable part of what we do in business,” she said.

When her organisation had their very first garage sale as a ‘hobby’ back in 2013, she said they weren’t thinking about business models, or impact, or even the positive benefits for the community. They started using the strategy as means to raise money by selling ‘dormant goods’ lying idle ‘so she could make donations.

“What happened from this simple idea then evolved into something bigger than we initially thought, although with a name like World’s Biggest Garage Sale, I think in some small way, the vision was always bigger,“ Yasmin said. “The customer impact at our event was an immediate drawcard to come back year after year to evolve the concept. It’s truly the stories from the community, including donors, volunteers, partners and shoppers that provides continued motivation to work on a problem much bigger than ourselves.”

Witnessing lives change, Yasmin said is a constant motivator to leap out of bed every single day to scale the company. While in Australia there is no standardised classification of social enterprises, for now, Yasmin is loving that so many impact oriented organisations are being created, to solve real world problems across a wide range of business models.

“I believe strongly that when you focus on People and Planet, you will create profit for purpose. Social enterprises, or profit for purpose companies are bringing together mission led initiatives that have impact beyond just dollars, while being underpinned by robust business models that provide necessary financial returns,” she said.

Yasmin advises all budding social enterprise entrepreneurs to draw on experience and expertise from the network. This will lead to understanding how to structure the enterprise, to enable the most logical structure , NFP or otherwise, in the social sector.

“I often say that your network is your net worth….which means you can draw valuable knowledge by seeking it from those who have more experience than you,” Yasmin said. “While it’s expected that most founders know the ins and outs of their business, there’s also an element of knowing what you don’t know. I love being the dumbest person in the room, it’s when I learn the most. “

To learn more about how Yasmin Grigaliunas and how her company is manageing resources and succeeding on a shoestring, register for Third Sector Live.

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