Keep Kerala United: An Initiative to Support Small Businesses

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Covid 19 pandemic has spared no one from its out lash affecting people from all walks of life. Small business owners and entrepreneurs were among the worst hit as they lacked the resources to survive the uncertainty they met. Keep Kerala United is a campaign to support Kerala Based Small Businesses so as to bolster them during the rough storm. Brainchild of a team of entrepreneurs, founders, and tech leader, the campaign hopes to deliver the support needed for small businesses

Tell us about Keep Kerala United. What is the story behind this venture?

First of all, this is not a venture. It is a campaign that we are doing to support Small Businesses.

Now the story.

When COVID started spreading, most countries began enforcing lockdowns and social distancing measures. Because of this, it was clear that economies around the world were about to take a hit. And it did. Although most companies were affected, The worst part was for small businesses as they lacked the resources, team, or time to even think about trying to survive in this COVID hit world.

Fortunately, Global thought leaders understood this crisis and started rolling out global campaigns to Support Small Businesses. Global efforts were put into creating awareness about the importance of small businesses.

But unfortunately, these campaigns and efforts had no effect on Kerala. So we decided to run a campaign to support Kerala Based Small Businesses, and “Keep Kerala United” was born.

What are the startups and local businesses you have collaborated with? How exactly do they benefit from this association?

We have currently connected more than 500 Small Businesses with this campaign. Blite Cookies, Sunrise Foods, Olive Green Farm Fresh etc. to name a few.

We are helping the small businesses associating with us to survive the COVID19. Through this campaign, all their products get a market. They get an opportunity to showcase their products in front of all of Kerala. And for the buyers of these products, they get introduced to quality products that are sometimes better than their non-local alternates. Anyways since the money stays local, the final winner is our economy.

Our campaigns’ first target is to sell 10,000 boxes upon which Google & Facebook have pledged to sponsor free ad credits for these small businesses to take their business online so they can broaden their reach and continue to operate. They have also pledged to offer grants and learning programs for small business entrepreneurs to scale and succeed.

Tell us about your gift boxes. What are the different products you have added to them?

Each box consists of quality premium products made by small businesses in Kerala. The products range from daily essentials like coffee, tea, snacks, etc. to self-care products like scrubs and masks. This makes the box a perfect buy for yourself as well as a perfect gift for your loved ones. You can see a full list of products included in each box on our website.

How has the response been so far? How close are you to the 1 million smiles goal?

Currently, we are in the pre-release stage. but even now we were able to connect around 500 Small businesses and was able to sell around 100 Giftbox.

Our campaigns’ first target is to sell 10,000 boxes upon which Google & Facebook have pledged to sponsor free ad credits for these small businesses to take their business online so they can broaden their reach and continue to operate. They have also pledged to offer grants and learning programs for small business entrepreneurs to scale and succeed.

What are the ways in which you have been promoting this venture and how effective do you think it has been?

Right now, we are all out on mouth publicity. And we are also working with publications and influencers to get the word out about this campaign.

Considering that we are in a pre-release stage of the campaign the results are pretty promising.

What are your future plans? How do you see it in the next 5 years?

We are planning to finish this campaign by the end of March 2021. And as we told earlier, the end goal is to sell 1 Million Boxes and to make a meaningful impact on Kerala Small Businesses.

Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?

We are a group of problem solvers – founders, startup entrepreneurs & leaders at top tech companies who have joined together to make a change in the small business sector of Kerala.

We have around 25 people including volunteers and organizers as part of our team. Most of us met each other through some online communities and Whatsapp groups but the exciting part was all of us equally believed towards this cause that we are standing for.

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