Recovery Pledge!

Supporting entrepreneurs is about as American as watching the Detroit Lions football game on Thanksgiving. America is great at producing entrepreneurs, and indeed the spirit itself–supporting entrepreneurs.

“indiegogo” is a website where startups can seek funding. If you like the start-up, then you can pledge money to it. If the goal, say $40,000, is reached; then the start-up acquires the money–your pledge. If the goal is not reached, then you get your money back. This gives you a pulse on today’s entrepreneurs.

There is a start-up that went live earlier today: Recovery Pledge. The basic idea is: Where Consumers Take the Lead in Disaster Recovery. I absolutely love this start-up, because “the people” are able to directly involve themselves in saving small businesses post disaster. I’m putting $25 down. Perhaps you’ll go with $250? I really hope this company makes it!

Here’s a press release from the founder:

Letter to the Editor

Title: Can Consumers Take the Lead in Disaster Recovery?

According to the Insurance Information Institute, up to 40 percent of businesses affected by a natural or man-made disaster never reopen. What’s more, the entrepreneurial spirit around the globe continues to rise to new heights, but I just sit here and think about this sobering statistic. With 40 percent of small businesses failing after a disaster, combined with the already dismal survival rate of start-ups – I ask myself why we should even bother.

I listen to Elvis Presley during discouraging moments like these. I find the only remedy to the doldrums is a little less conversation, a little more action please. So I clearly annoyed a few old professors and mentors until they decided to help me design a social enterprise platform called Recovery Pledge. We designed this platform to solve the problem of small business failure after a disaster.

From Hurricane Katrina and Sandy to the recent fires in California and Colorado, disasters just happen. When they occur, charitable organizations respond with temporary shelter, food, clothing and social services. However, what we really need is a purely private sector approach to disaster recovery to compliment the work of charitable organizations. We need to redirect our consumption patterns to disaster areas. We need to build a marketplace whereby you can support small businesses by purchasing their products and services immediately after a disaster to stabilize their sales.

I came up with this outlandish idea to flip the B2C model to C2B. The goal is to encourage consumers to buy a Recovery Pledge membership for their favorite small business before a disaster actually occurs. Then, in the event of a disaster the small business can continue to sell goods and services through “recovery pledges”, which are simply same-as-cash vouchers.  Basically, we want consumers to take the lead in disaster recovery by redirecting their consumption patterns to small businesses that have been affected by a disaster.

So here is the big question. Can consumers take the lead in disaster recovery? We shall see. Recovery Pledge is launching an crowd-funding campaign on August 15th, 2013 to validate the idea. Life is about to get very interesting for this dreamer.

This is a business plan all people can get into! Best of luck! Go here.


2 thoughts on “Recovery Pledge!

  1. How do I as the investor make money? I don’t get it.

    Clicking through to the page, I see you share a last name person. Its probably good courtesy to disclose that you are somehow related to this dude!

  2. ask Chris, he’s real easy to talk to, though you’d need a real email address… If you go to my research page–we worked on a project analyzing 65,000 expenditures on Iraq Reconstruction. He has a Masters from Michigan and a BA in econ. from Michigan State. Indeed, I know him very well…

    My understanding is: When a natural disaster hits, and you–well maybe not you (jk)–or I want to help out the hard-hit community, I can purchase a “recovery pledge.” This is not a donation (i.e., Red Cross). I would actually be buying a product from the small business which was demolished– a product from any business of my choosing to send me a product at a future date. Businesses in his system, if he raises the money to build it, are registered with a local Chamber. It’s a benefit corporation.

    I’m not going “investor” status, I just pledged $25. But maybe it’s an option for you? Chris could better answer your questions.

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