David met with the local councils (or Panchayats) who have told us the community most needs work. Feeling a little daft that we hadn’t thought of that ourselves, we’ve listened and decided to set up a training project for widowed women who are the section of the community most ostracised and socially marginalised.
It’s funny how a raft of very ignorant ideas and questions can be generated by a desire to help.
Do they need water? Perhaps they could use a well! What about bicycles so they’re able to travel to work. Do they need to learn english or basic math?
The fact is, none of us have any real experience of setting up something like this, we don’t know what THIS should look like, we don’t really even know what to call it other than the WBC India Project.
When we ramped up our Bags For Life business last year, we started to spend more time in West Bengal, India, where our cotton bags and jute shoppers are made and printed. India is an exceedingly friendly, welcoming and open country and we enjoy a warm friendship with our manufacturing partners there.
Danny Boyle’s Olympic image of Britain will certainly lure the tourists back to ‘blighty’. What an amazing, if not flamboyantly costly, advertisement for our country? And the corresponding sentiment backed up by the British people has a created a tremendous wave of publicity for this ‘green and pleasant land’. According to social media and retail news, many retailers across the country have not experienced the upturn in footfall that was hoped for (footfall in West End shops last week was down 4.5 per cent) but there can be no doubt that London 2012 has been the best possible endorsement for Great Britain, better than anyone could have imagined which will help small British businesses.
So is now the time for British independent retailers to bask in the afterglow and keep the Union Flag flying high; for days, months, and dare I say years to come?
With high streets across the UK struggling to keep their unique identity, there have never been more schemes and initiatives designed to breathe the life back in to UK retail. Love her or loathe her, TV personality Mary Portas has certainly helped to raise awareness of the importance of small businesses in the UK. However, there is a lot of hard work going on across the UK that is making a much more tangible difference to the grassroots success of small British businesses.