pool.farm is free for users.
On the platform, users can create or join "collaborative shopping lists" that we call "pools". The benefits are (1) people connect with other individuals for a real purpose and (2) users reduce the impact of transport on shopping, because they reduce the number of vehicles needed. This is an opportunity for people with disabilities to get help from other individuals in their neighbourhood.
The inspiration comes from families : before going shopping, the person in charge asks the other members "what can I get you from the shop?". We do the same thing, online, which enables to connect with people outside our home.
By doing this, pool.farm uses the digital to support communities, for free.
Another source of inspiration is the French AMAP, where groups of individuals place a collective, regular order to a producer. pool.farm is similar however there is no commitment to be regular.
pool.farm is supported by businesses who pay a small fee to upload their catalogue on the platform. The catalogue becomes "pool-friendly".
By doing this, businesses make it easier for their customers to "pool" orders, which significantly reduces the cost of transport or delivery. In Stockholm, over 4 months, businesses have experienced significantly better margins when selling directly to pools of customers through pooled orders, rather than to individual customers.
The typical case for this challenge in Angers would be for people with a disability to connect with individuals who can help them with the purchasing. By sharing the "shopping list", pool.farm makes it easy to communicate what pool members want.
pool.farm takes no commission, which means that the users who help people with disabilities can choose if they do it as a service (for money) or as a favour (for free). pool.farm does not get involved in that decision, which allows flexibility. We can anticipate 2 typical cases :
(1) for free : the "pool admin", in charge of the shopping, is not paid by the pool members. They can do that out of generosity, or because it is their job (a social worker for instance).
(2) for money : the "pool admin", in charge of the shopping, asks for money from the pool members to do the shopping. This can be a source of income, however pool.farm does not intend to be involved in this. The preferred option would be to have a partnership with platforms like "Lulu dans ma rue", which deal with such payments and the contractual obligations that come with this.
pool.farm was developed in English and is designed to be translated into other languages.
If PAVIC is interested by using pool.farm, we recommend the following budget :
- translation of the platform into French : 6 000 EUR
- creation of tutorials in collaboration with PAVIC : 14 000 EUR
- training and hiring a community manager in Angers or nearby, ideally working within the PAVIC environment, 3 months (or more) : 10 000 EUR
A community manager is very important : this is about changing habits!