I got a great email this morning from a local entrepreneur group. My social enterprise staff housing concept, CIVEKOS, has been selected for review by judge panel at the TiE Boston ForSE Conference this weekend. Civekos is a type of housing for people who are working in social enterprise space, so folks from a variety of organizations and backgrounds can live together and benefit from social, financial, logistical and other cooperative lifestyle efficiencies. I believe these types of places exist all over, but are only somewhat organized. My idea is to focus on the international non-profit “space” where orgs cluster in places like Port-au-Prince, Haiti, or Layaounne, Western Sahara, and pitch to them for Civekos to be a partner in providing an amenity rich, community-integrated, outsourced housing option for their staff and volunteers. Something like a cross between a hostel and long-term apartment, with a dash of soup kitchen or health clinic and cooperative house thrown all together. My pitch is for funding to do some survey and outreach work to understand the particular market gaps and network with potential partner organizations to become their branded, outsourced, superior housing partner.
My friend Anuradha Yadav, (from our old student government days at UVM) is one of the organizers, though not one of the selection committee or judges. She basically said I had to submit a pitch summary (see link above) and so now I have a pretty cool opportunity.
I will be building out the Civekos website and doing more networking on the idea, since it has been with me a long time and I do have a passion for it. It links international development, service-oriented work, green buildings and housing, and cooperative living arrangements. I will be keeping you posted.