Business Model

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We know that if the economic well-being of women is raised, their families and communities will be lifted up with them. Sustainable employment ultimately gives women a stronger voice and more control over their lives. The result is long lasting and sustainable change.
 

 

We started Lotus Wonders as a for-profit social enterprise that would invest in women and at the same time be a force for social change by empowering women. We specifically determined the form of Lotus Wonders to be a social enterprise rather a charity or a traditional for-profit business. We like the definition of social enterprise published by Social Enterprise UK and as found on the Social Enterprise Canada website:
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 “A social enterprise is a business that trades for a social and/or environmental purpose. It will have a clear sense of its ‘social mission’: which means it will know what difference it is trying to make, who it aims to help, and how it plans to do it. It will bring in most or all of its income through selling goods or services. And it will also have clear rules about what it does with its profits, reinvesting these to further the ‘social mission.”

Our business model includes a holistic approach.  First, we invest in women in the villages, providing them with training opportunities and tools to handcraft our products to our high quality standards. We have partnered with an existing skilled artisan group of 30 home-based women in Cambodia who produce our fabric products now, and who will provide our training, and ensure our production capacity as we grow the company. We are training our first five women from our first village for our fabric production, and we are encouraged that many more women in villages are interested in working with us. We have also partnered directly with two highly skilled silver Cambodian artisans who produce our brass products.
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Then, Lotus Wonders employs these skilled women at above fair-trade wages. The minimum wage in the Cambodian garment factories is a mere $80 Canadian per month. Cambodian unions are fighting to increase the monthly minimum wage to the equivalent of $120 Canadian. Once fully trained, and working at full capacity, our women can easily earn between the union target of $120 Canadian per month, and $500 Canadian per month.
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We know we can succeed with a business model that does not come at the expense of the well-being of workers. Beyond providing training and sustainable employment income, Lotus Wonders is committed to contribute an extra 20% of the wages earned by the women to community development through what we call the “Wonder Fund”.  In these early days, Lotus Wonders is in fact contributing significantly more than this 20% with the investment in the training for the women. 

 

 

 
 
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