Former SVP Investee Olivewood Gardens returned to SVP as a Spark Team to explore the viability of a social enterprise business making salsa using products grown in the garden. The SVP team developed a framework for Olivewood to use to assess this venture as well as potential future endeavors. The “feasibility study” comprised sets of questions around production, staffing, expenses, and marketing that enabled Olivewood to make their own assessment of the project’s viability. The team also worked with Olivewood to develop an analysis of current organizational resources including staffing, other project priorities, timelines, and finances.
The conclusion was not to pursue production of the salsa product and to consider alternatives to achieve their goals of training and supporting their participants in social enterprise development and capitalizing on the upcoming release of their documentary film. The SVP team proposed potential alternative products, and now Olivewood has a tool to evaluate those and other social enterprise ideas going forward.
Executive Director Jen Nation reflected, “This made us look at our current projects in a new way. As we shifted in the pandemic, we hadn’t thought about how we were doing things and the time they were taking.”
Olivewood’s mission is to inspire kids and adults to live healthy and active lives through organic gardening, environmental stewardship, and nutrition education. A key program over the past eight years has been the Cooking for Salud program that teaches healthy cooking techniques and improved eating habits to parents.