The Issue: Local Merchants Competing with Chains for Customers
When big-box stores and fast-foot chains move into neighborhoods, they are backed by nearly limitless budgets. Local businesses, meanwhile, have comparatively limited resources, and may not be able to compete for customers even if they are offering comparable or even higher-quality products and services. However, with increased marketing, more local shoppers could be reached, and in turn spend their money at small businesses that contribute to the success of the local economy.
The Campaign: Producing Video for Local Businesses
If 50 people donate $10 to this Grassroots campaign, then Youth Speak Collective can produce a 30-second video promoting local businesses. Each additional $10 raised will go toward extending the length of the promotional video and adding more featured businesses.
Young people in the program work with a professional photographer or videographer and a local merchant to produce promotional videos. These youth-driven marketing campaigns help local businesses compete with chains without needing to spend extra money on marketing. The high-school students who pioneer and produce the videos also gain experience in professional design and marketing, and get the satisfaction of knowing they can make a difference in the makeup of their neighborhoods.
Youth Speak Collective
Nothing can inspire change like the unfettered creativity of the young mind. Using this philosophy, David Kietzman and Whitney Kasserman developed an eight-week seminar in 2005, during which students could build solutions for their own communities. They explored local needs, wrote grant proposals, and fostered a grassroots movement to create a community pocket garden. With a $10,000 city grant, the youth planted 12 trees and 300 plants and installed benches and a mosaic trash can, creating a green space that was open to everyone.
After the garden’s success, Youth Speak Collective began promoting more “for youth, by youth” year-round programs to help students gain confidence, contribute to their communities, and develop skills they could use to find jobs once they leave school. Subsequently, the organization’s reach has grown. The program sponsors a career internship program, family support, and 24/7 Dad class, which teaches fathering skills and financial literacy to young dads. Additionally, youth can play a fast-paced version of soccer in Club Futbolito or document and address problems in the community with the youth council. For the artistically minded, the visual- and design-arts programs teach youth basic street-design concepts and how to create short films for local businesses.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand at the Groupon Grassroots blog.