To provide fair trade working conditions for head of household women in developing countries while raising awareness to empower women worldwide through the products it produces. The funds created through selling products will be used to create jobs with fair wages for single mothers where there is little opportunity. The overall vision of this organization is to promote fair trade ideals, practices, and values globally.
Women Wearing The Pants is an organization created as a response to the rise in women headed households in developing countries. The goal of this organization is to create jobs that guarantee fair wages and working conditions to the single mothers that it employs. WWTP’s vision it to create products that allow the WWTP consumer to use their purchasing power to support WWTP employees, ultimately empowering both.
To do this WWTP will set up affiliations with women owned cooperatives that create products with the “Women Wearing The Pants” brand name and logo to be marketed to the WWTP target market. Marketing will consist of online marketing, fair trade shows, press releases, ad campaigns, and college campuses. The profits from these products will go towards paying fair wages to its employees and financing community projects.
The idea for WWTP came about from a culmination of experiences had while volunteering in Nicaragua. These experiences range from a Spanish teacher who brought awareness to the amount of single mothers raising children in the country, to a peace corp. volunteer that taught women how to market their own businesses and told of the opportunities that women owned businesses create for single mothers. These experiences combined with further research and brainstorming sparked the idea of creating an opportunity for women in developing countries to work for themselves and have more control over their family’s future through economic empowerment.
Wearing the pants is a colloquialism for having control. Therefore the company name, Women Wearing The Pants is meant to convey that women are in control of their lives and their family’s future. This is an idea that will also resonate with the WWTP consumer who is in control of what they support through their purchasing power. To our knowledge there is no other non-profit that is offering services to single mother in developing countries through the sale of a designated product, but there certainly is a need for this service and a target market for this product.
WWTP is in the process of becoming a non-profit organization.
STATE OF THE INDUSTRY
Organizations receive non-profit status because their primary purpose is charitable, scientific, religious, or educational in nature. There are more than 1.4 million non-profit organizations in the United States with combined annual revenue of more than $1 trillion dollars. The industry is highly concentrated in that organizations that make more than $100 million account for less than 1 percent of all firms but earn more than 60 percent of industry revenue. Demand for non-profit organizations products and services are driven by the need to represent special interests or provide social services that cannot be met by the market or government.
The biggest threat for non-profits is uncertain revenues and not knowing for sure what group donors will choose to endorse. The success of non-profits often depends on efficient operations and their ability to match expenses with fluctuating revenue. In order for small non-profits to be successful they must serve a dedicated membership or have a dependable source of revenue. (Source)
A quarter of the families worldwide are headed by women. (“Mother-headed families and why they have increased” By Ailsa Burns, Cath Scott) In Nicaragua 31% of the households are headed by women (Case Study Women’s Network Against Violence, Nicaragua). Many of these women are forced to work in unfair conditions to barely make ends meet. WWTP was created as a response to this situation by creating a line of products whose profits will go towards providing fair working conditions to single mothers in developing countries. WWTP will be the vehicle to bring awareness of the rise of single mothers and allow female consumers to support female producers, ultimately empowering both the employee and consumer
There are two categories of WWTP competitors. The first category includes for-profit textile manufactures that focus on operating fair trade operations in South America, such as Peruvian Connection. The second category includes non-profit organizations that focus on single parents predominantly in the United States, such as SPAOA (Single Parents Association Of America). This is not to say that a direct competitor for WWTP does not exist, however it does demonstrate that a direct competitor is not obvious and evident. In this way it is unique in that it combines competitors from the for-profit textile industry to non-profits targeting single mothers.
PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
Although WWTP is a non-profit organization it’s mission is to create and sell merchandise whose proceeds will then return to the organization to help it operate, pay fair wages to workers, and address community needs. The first products will be created by fair trade cooperates already set up, such as worker owned cooperative factories producing tee shirts and other apparel.
The initial product line will include tee shirts made of fair trade cotton and labor with the WWTP logo. The tee shirts will be sold along with brochures and tags with the mission statement and stories of the women and the benefits WWTP will achieve. The product line will expand to include other items of clothing including business attire.
The goal is to have the consumer feel a sense of pride when wearing a product that has gone to help women in developing countries. The cycle will then be complete as Women Wearing The Pants employees will make and design products for Women Wearing The Pants consumers. Additionally these purchases will go on to help the community with projects such as prefab sanitation units and water filters.
Nicaragua will be the first country that WWTP will setup operations. It will work with Coops already established in the country, such as IDE and distribute products primarily in the United States. The first line of products will be casual apparel and tee shirts marketed to college students. Marketing will target this segment accordingly through email, websites, and on campus mailers. The University of New Hampshire will be used as a testing site for these marketing efforts in the first year and expand across the northeast and outwards. Additionally, after the brand name has been established, marketing will target an older audience by adding business apparel to the product line.
Initially WWTP goals will be measured by the number of single mothers employed full time by the organization. Benchmarks include the number of employees working through co-ops, then through our own factories. Based on the success of WWTP set in Nicaragua we will expand of our operations to other developing countries. Each of these benchmarks will be funded by the sale of WWTP products and donor donations.
WWTP will first set up operation and production in Nicaragua where there are already women owned coops which focus on the production of apparel, as well as a great need for full time jobs that pay fair wages to single mothers. Demographically speaking, Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and women headed households make up 31% of the population.
Once WWTP products are produced they will be shipped to our headquarters in New Hampshire. Since the North East will be our first geographic target market warehousing and distribution will first be set up in New Hampshire. WWTP will set up warehouses and distribution centers accordingly across the United States and Europe.
WWTP tee shirts will be sold for $20. Similar to “Life is Good” tee shirts, which sell for $25, WWTP will be sold because of a key phrase, which resonates with the consumer. However it additionally goes towards a cause, which will resonate with many consumers, being a fair trade product with profits supporting single mothers.
In order to successfully reach the WWTP target market a professional web presence and ongoing email campaign will be paramount. Primarily, the web site will serve as an online marketplace to purchase WWTP products, however there will also be web pages where interested parties can join the WWTP email list and make donations. Furthermore, the web site will describe the mission, vision, and values of the organization adding to the validity and character of the organization. Eventually the WWTP website will include a pages to post blog entries, video clips, and pictures of WWTP projects.
College students will be the first market WWTP will target with its fair trade tee shirts and Non profit message. Marketing will target this segment accordingly through email, websites, and on campus mailers. The University of New Hampshire will be used, as a testing site for these marketing efforts in the first year and college marketing will expand across the United States. Additionally, after the brand name has been established, marketing will target an older audience by adding business apparel to the product line.
In addition to internet and email marketing, WWTP will get the word out through the free advertising available in newspapers, magazines, and television by sending out press releases. The first press releases will be sent to newspapers across the northeast to spread the word on what WWTP is doing to give back to communities in Nicaragua. Eventually press releases will reach markets across the United States through magazines and television. Of course our dream would be to get on Oprah!
Being a non-profit we will seek to develop relationships with non-profits and organizations that will extend our presence. For example there are web sites that are devoted to non-profits allowing donors to donate through them. We will make extended efforts to get on all of the wed sites that offer this, as well as catalogs that market to consumers interested in fair trade products.
Members of the management team include:
Robert Carroll – Merchant Marine by trade, Robert uses his time off to take part in the expanding industry of voluntourism. During a volunteering effort in Nicaragua Robert came up with the idea for WWTP. After several trips to Nicaragua discussing his idea with locals and other organizations set up in the country he realized that he truly had an opportunity to effect change with this idea.
Volunteers – Business School programs. The next step in the organization is to have ambassadors in business school programs that help with the management and marketing of the program. This would create an endless supply of intelligent management and fresh ideas.
FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND PROJECTIONS
Please contact us if you would like to view financial information.