Exciting times .. We have begun selling cucumbers into the market. The vegetable stand beside our apartment heard about our cucumbers and bought a batch a couple days ago. Later that night he called Jengish back and said that he wanted more, and will take all that we can grow. He says everyone loves them and he is afraid that we will start selling to others so he will buy and distribute for us . That will make things a hole lot easier for us then running around trying to find buyers .. he has connections with many of the other sellers so he will be our wholesaler . Its exciting to see them in market .
It seems like almost every day we are getting people contacting the farm to arrange to come out and see what we are doing, and possibly implement this as a model elsewhere. There is always that struggle between business and Social enterprise , or responsibility. Over the years We have been blessed with some incredible examples of business men and women who have strong businesses AND a strong care for the world around them. The example that they have been to us has helped us to understand that it IS possible to do both, in fact by taking on that social responsibility , a business will prosper .. it has to, to meet the demand.
One of the Universities in Bishkek is examining this, and Jengish has agreed to speak about this at a seminar looking at this very issue.
As we look at the connection between business and social, we always need wisdom. Take for example a struggling single father who has faced a long winter and has asked us to buy some of his animals from him so he can meet some needs. We have to weigh out the balance between the available funds, and the needs of this family. If we buy everything, we face two isues.. do we have the funds , and what will he be left with. We would love to just give him the money and tell him to keep the animals, but in an honor based culture that would not be right. I think that what is best is that as soon as we have the funds we will buy some, but pay top dollar for them. and trust that we will be able to make some of that money back in the near future. The other thing we will continue to do is work to get that daycare / kindergarten open so that the father can get back to work full time and this sweet little girl does not face the possibility of ending up in an orphanage .
Something that has always stuck with me is what a friend told me once .. "We are blessed to be a blessing to others " That is something for any business to remember.