Hello Loyal Reader!
Small businesses’ survival heavily relies on their local communities, as a country there is a lot we can do to facilitate their success, I am not a specialist, but here are five ways forward, that we can implement with little budget:
- Each of the three cities need an allocated location with very little rent (for running cost of location) so all startup businesses and entrepreneurs can showcase and sell their ‘Made in Kurdistan’ products in little shops. There are phenomenal small ventures with virtual shops on Instagram. They need to be supported to have physical locations, target wider customers, increase their income generation and hopefully provide employment opportunities.
- All supermarkets, shops and grocery stores in the Kurdistan Region must clearly displace locally produced/made products for easier identification by customers, also placed in the best shelf location with #Xomali visibility– not hidden behind product X at the bottom shelf picking up dust. It takes me fifteen minutes reading 12 types of yoghurt, half an isle of pomegranate molasses and an entire section of tomato puree to read the “made in” of each product. Yoghurt made in Iran have local Kurdish names, easy to fool anyone, until you get a magnifying glass and read the “made in”
- National #Xomali campaign on television, radio and social media to raise awareness on importance of buying local, for people to learn to read labels. This will go hand in hand with school teachers discussing #Xomali in their classrooms – no matter what age the students!
- When X product is in season, increase price or place an embargo on the same imported product.
- Summer Friday Farmer’s Market in higher end suburbs is a must. From the farm, to the people. With great marketing, packaging and shopping experience it will become a looked forward community event a few hours a week with street food and drinks (also showcased by entrepreneurs), win-win! Alternatively, arrange for open farms for school field trips and the community to hand pick the produce from the tree and soil of the farm itself. This will include an entry fee to the farm and then payment for what is bought. Children will learn, parents will enjoy the experience and it will be a learning opportunity. This can be similar to the strawberry picking farms in places like the UK.
My Nest in Kurdistan,