Example answer - Soup 'n' Go

Your enterprise may well be more complex than this example answer but we have kept it simple on purpose to help you understand what length & style of answer is expected for each question

About your enterprise

  1. A summary of your enterprise idea (max 200 words). Please note if your application is successful this information may be made publicly available on our website.

We will be making soup out of locally sourced ingredients, perfect for a healthy, nutritious and affordable lunch. To start with we will be selling the soup on a ‘pop up’ stall outside our students’ union twice a term time. We will only be creating soups where at least 70% of the produce can be sourced locally and all of the ingredients will come from the UK.

Any profit that we make will be used to run free training for students and the local community on how to make soup and to improve our campus community garden.

 

  1. Details of what you be will be selling and where you will be sourcing your produce from, including knowledge of any of existing food links in your area (max 200 words). If relevant to your enterprise proposal knowledge of some suppliers would be helpful. This could be food growing clubs or societies, nearby farms or other local suppliers. Not to worry, if you are selected NUS will advise and support you to further develop links with local suppliers.

The initial soups we will be selling are:

  • carrot and coriander
  • leek and potato
  • parsnip and apple.

We are aiming to source as much as we can locally (within a 30 mile radius of our campus). We have made contact with a local organic farm, which is only 12 miles down the road from our main campus. They are happy to sell us parsnips, carrots, leeks and potatoes in bulk. Additionally our nearby wholefood shop has agreed we can buy any produce coming to the end of its shelf life for 50% of the standard price so longer term we can introduce different soup varieties including ones with wholefoods such as wholemeal pasta, rice or lentils. We have however struggled so far to find a local supplier for coriander, apples and powdered vegetable stock. Our aim would be eventually to grow coriander, apples and other harder to obtain ingredients on site to reduce food miles.

We have also identified two local bakeries that we could buy bread rolls from to sell with the soups, we decided at this stage not to make these in house.

 

  1. How do you know people are interested in buying from your food enterprise (max 200 words)? A food enterprise will only be successful if there are customers to buy the produce. We would like to see some evidence that you have spoken to students, staff and/or people in the local community (30 people or more would be useful) and identified that there is an interest in buying sustainable food. Information should be gathered on whether your enterprise fits in with the type of food people would be interested in buying and when they would like to buy it. Don’t worry if you don’t have all of this information now, there will be opportunities to gather this during the planning phase.

We did a survey on campus, stopping people as they passed by the students’ union. The survey only took 2 minutes and focused on what people would be most interested in buying for lunch, we got answers from 39 people. Our results:

  • Soup came out as the most popular option with 47% saying soup would be their first or second choice.
  • 73% of people said they would be willing to bring their own container to collect the lunch in if there was a discount.
  • 61% of students and local residents asked said they would be interested in attending a free class on how to cook healthy food.

 

  1. How often & how will you be selling your product (max 200 words)? Make sure you give yourself realistic targets, starting small & growing your enterprise from there.

In the first term we will be holding two pop up stalls outside the students’ union. We will use these occasions as an exploration to determine which soup sells best and to identify the quantities of soup we can be expect to sell over lunch time (11:00-14:00). Our aim in term two is to hold monthly stalls at the SU, making Soup ‘n’ Go a more regular feature.

We hope being based outside the students’ union will help make our enterprise successful due to the high footfall in this area. Hannah, the SU volunteering coordinator who is supporting us in our application, has secured us a space and a power connection for our soup kettles (these keep the soup warm).

 

  1. Have you identified access to a suitable venue for your enterprise? The location, size and type of venue will affect the number of customers you get. The ‘perfect’ venue will differ from project to project but things you should consider are where to sell your goods, whether you require long term storage and if you require an industrial kitchen to prepare any food. 

Preparation
We will be using the kitchen in the SU owned café when it is shut to prepare the soups.

Storage
We have been allocated a cupboard within the SU where we will be able to store our soup kettles when they are not in use as well as all the ingredients.

Selling food
We have secured a space outside our students’ union which has a power supply.

 

a)   If you have acquired a suitable venue do you have permission to use it? [Tick box]

Box ticked

b) If you are planning to sell food on campus have you discussed your plans to set up a food enterprise with your institution’s facilities team? [Tick box] For example existing suppliers can have exclusive catering contracts which could restrict the type of food you can offer for sale. Please include further details below (max 200 words) [text box]

Box ticked

We spoke to Dave, the Sustainability Manager at our university, who is also supporting us, and he helped us identify the best person to speak to about catering contracts. We had a meeting with the catering manager, Dave and Hannah. By sitting down together were able to discuss any issues, the possible conflict of interest of selling hot food was raised but as this is a student led enterprise we were given the go ahead to sell soup and bread but no other products.   

 

  1. How do you plan to promote your enterprise (max 200 words)?

We will be advertising Soup ‘n’ Go in the following ways:

  • A6 flyers and some posters will be put up around campus
  • Hannah has agreed to put information on the SU website, social media feeds & notice board.
  • Advertisement in the local paper
  • A6 flyers will be dropped in the local area, including residences, local community halls, schools and places of worship.
  • Via the sustainability departments’ website, social media feeds & notice board.

 

  1. How will you involve local people outside of your campus in the enterprise (max 200 words)? We would like to know how you will promote your food enterprise to theses local people. We also encourage applications where students plan to work alongside others in the community in the development and running of their enterprise, particularly if they are working with local young people.

The campus has high footfall from local residents so we hope to make them, as well as staff & students, fully aware of our enterprise. To encourage local residents to visit our stall we will be making sure some of our promotion targets them e.g. flyers and adverts in the local paper.

Our aim as the enterprise develops is to offer free training sessions to students and local residents – from a variety of backgrounds – on how to cook creative soups as it is an affordable, healthy and easy to prepare meal. We will also highlight where we source our ingredients from in these training sessions to increase people’s understanding of the importance in buying sustainable food.

Local people (or staff or students) who have attended a training session would also be offered the opportunity to help with the delivery of the enterprise)

 

  1. Itemise your start-up costs for setting up your enterprise below.

a) Capital costs, we can provide up to £500 for capital costs such as equipment, cash tills or storage crates.

Total capital costs: £376.61

£ 163 – marquee & table (https://goo.gl/FTZfaY)

£ 71.98 – soup kettle x 2 (1 @ £35.98 https://goo.gl/5FPDNg)

£ 45.98 – 12 litre soup pan x 2 (1 @ £22.99 https://goo.gl/F3SFzG)

£ 8 – ladle x 2 (1 @ £4 https://goo.gl/25KESm)

£ 19.50 – hand blender (https://goo.gl/idXSD0)

£ 62.80 – vinyl banner for the front of the stall (from Vistaprint, 76cm x 244cm, outdoor materials with metal eyelets, includes delivery).

£ 5.37 - table cloth (£2.99 https://goo.gl/D7p0kK) & table cloth grips (£2.38 x 4 grips https://goo.gl/Sh7DM2)


b) Revenue costs, we can approve up to £500 for revenue costs such as training, cost of hygiene certificate, or travel to visit local producers.

Total revenue costs: £340.13

£ 100 – to buy initial vegetables, stock powder and bread rolls.

£ 48 – Level 2 food hygiene certificates for the team members x 4 (1 @£12)

£ 155.16 – 12oz disposable cups x 1000 (that can be composted, 500 @ £70.08, plus an estimated £15 delivery https://goo.gl/GNPI6N)

£ 36.97 - A6 flyers made of recycled materials x 1000 (https://goo.gl/uq28yQ)

Please note NUS does not necessarily endorse the above brands, they are merely being used as an example of what may be required for this type of enterprise.

 

  1. Outline how you plan to make an income and what your expected on-going costs might be (max 400 words). To run a successful enterprise long term you will need to make sure your costs aren’t higher than your estimated income.

 

Estimated income for our first pop up stall

Quantity

Total £

Soup sales @ £2.50 each (with a 50p discount if people bring their own container to put it in)

20 (we imagine most people won’t have their own containers initially)

£48

Selling fresh bread rolls @50p each

10

£5

 

TOTAL INCOME

£53

 

Estimated costs for our first pop up stall

 

 

Soup ingredients from local organic farm and local wholesaler

6kg

£30

Coriander from local supermarket (organic if possible)

2 bunches

£5

Powdered vegetable stock

X2 packet (we will buy in bulk or make our own later on)

£7

Bread rolls from local bakeries @30p each

15

£4.50

 

TOTAL COSTS

£46.50

We plan to start small to see how it goes and get ourselves known but would hope to make and sell more soup and bread rolls at our following pop up stalls which will increase our income. Our costs will also be reduced by producing some of the ingredients ourselves and/or buying in bulk.

 

  1. How do you intend to operate as a social enterprises i.e. what will be the social and/or environmental impact of your enterprise (max 200 words)? Please take into account the following definition of a social enterprise when answering this question: “Social enterprises trade to tackle social problems, improve communities, people's life chances, or the environment. They make their money from selling goods and services in the open market, but they reinvest their profits back into the business or the local community. And so when they profit, society profits.” www.socialenterprise.org.uk.

Our aim is to provide our customers with fresh, affordable soup, created with local produce. This will provide an alternative to unsustainable and unhealthy lunches currently available on campus. We will use the profits from selling soup to run training courses to improve the health and welfare of students and those in the local community as well as increase their understanding about the importance of sustainable food. Many students arrive at university with limited cooking skills, we hope by demonstrating how to make soup this will increase their access to nutritional food that can be made cheaply with fresh local ingredients. Soup can easily be bulked out with easy to obtain and affordable wholefoods e.g. wholemeal pasta, lentils, etc. We would also like to improve our campus community garden, so that more vegetables & herbs can be grown on site that we can use in our soups.

 

  1. How do you intend to use the profits from your enterprise (max 100 words)? 

After covering our running costs our aim is to use our profits to run our community soup training events and improve our on campus community garden, so we can grow harder to obtain ingredients for our soups on site.


Do you plan to scale up?

If no please skip to question 22. If yes keep reading.

Depending on what you’d like to achieve long term you may be interested in applying to scale up your enterprise. We will be supporting 7 enterprises to make their ideas big providing additional mentoring and up to £17,000 scale up costs. This opportunity will be available from 29th September 2017. Completion of this section will not affect your application but will help us understand your vision for scaling up, if you have one.

 

  1. What is your vision for scaling up (max 200 words)?

We would like to use our ‘pop-up’ stall as a proof of concept to demonstrate the demand for healthy soup at lunch time. Although we will start with three basic soups our aim would be to create a variety of exciting soups, selling two different soups at each lunch time using local seasonal produce.

We would like to use the scale up support to create a ‘soup & go’ van that would be based on campus two days every week and then in town on Saturdays. We would also like to expand our free training sessions to have in town soup cooking demonstrations by the van, so that we can reach more local people.

 

  1. How will the initial start-up costs of £1000 & mentoring help you prove that your idea can be run on a larger scale (max 400 words)?

The startup costs and mentoring will help us determine how our business can operate successfully and what our unforeseen costs or obstacles may be.

We plan to:

  1. Monitor which soups sell best, determining what recipes to use in a scale up model
  2. Determine the correct price to sell soup at, making sure we can cover our costs at a minimum while still providing a healthy & affordable lunch.
  3. Determine if the margins are enough to make this a viable business, especially with the cost of running a soup van.
  4. Carry out further customer surveys to establish what our potential market might be.
  5. Use all of the monitoring and evaluation data collected, together with advice from our mentors, to create an efficiently run scale-up enterprise model which is exactly what our customers want. Decide whether scaling up is right for this enterprise or whether we should stay with just running a soup stall on campus.

 

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