Graduates Development Program Update #1 : IJhallen

In the summer of 2017, 15 members of the GDP team will depart to the Ezulwini Valley in Swaziland. In cooperation with the All Out Africa Foundation, they will contribute to the development of local entrepreneurs by sharing their knowledge in the field of economics and business. Are you curious about their research phase? Are you curious how they will raise money? In de upcoming blogs we will keep you updated about every step of the process. Today, Marije will take you to the IJhallen where GDP set their first steps towards an exciting, but difficult, period of fundraising.  

It was 05.45 when the alarm went off. Amsterdam was still asleep, but some diehard GDP members were getting ready for the IJ-hallen. This was the day we were going to raise our first money for our project in Swaziland with a part of the GDP team. Before I left, I tried to shot a cup of coffee, which is relatively bitter for someone who just started to drink coffee. But anyhow, it kind of worked as a wake-up call. With a car loaded with hamster cages, skates, and a lot of other things people actually kept for too long, I drove in the direction of the NDSM-werf. At the entrance, we met with the other car ànd a van filled to the top with stuff to sell. We had almost too many things to sell and the 2 stands of 4 meter were actually way too small to display all of our wares.

Around 6.45 we were complete, and started setting up our stands. Before we even had the chance to sort everything out, there were already a bunch of bargain hunters in front of our stand (so early??). Without any agreed prices or sales tactics, we started selling our first items, while in the meantime trying to set up our stands. It was chaos! Soon it became clear that these bargain hunters are definitely not going to buy shoes for €10, or shirts for €5. So after some trial and error, and some benchmarking at the other stands, we lowered our prices considerably. The more we sold, the more we got used to the sales tiger feeling, and we started to get smoother. And it worked: our target was €400, but we already past it before 11.00 and we had until 17.00!

The later it got, the more discounts we invented to keep the bargain hunters interested. “5 pieces of clothing for €5”, “spend €10 and receive a free Christmas tree”, and towards the end of the day even “everything goes away for €1”. Our jackpot was a vintage, Spanish guitar. A lot of people showed interest in our showpiece, and we were eager to sell it. Eventually, a nice guy saved the situation by saying the holy words: I take it. We further sold an electric saw to a guy from which we knew for sure that he would come back to accept our offer. We had the GDP-banner in front of our stand, which made a lot of people interested and some even gave some extra money.

People were really nice, the setting was perfect and even the sun came through the clouds around midday. Towards the end of the day, we almost reached €800, and we did not want to stop before we reached it. With support from the rest of the GDP team by Whatsapp, we were able to eventually raise the first €800! We would like to thank everybody who donated goods for our IJ-hallen action, because this was the start of a very promising fundraising campaign!

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