Following receipt of grant funding from the European Social Fund and the Skills Funding Agency, M3 Project’s new social enterprise for young people, Dirty Products, got underway in August 2012.
An initial 3 day course involving 2 young people from M3 began looking at the different aspects of the planned work and the skills young could acquire from the process. Product design featured prominently in the initial stages and a trip to a local mountain bike shop was arranged to gain feedback. Following further work, the initial idea to produce soap based washing products for mountain bikers and other outdoor activists was expanded to incorporate a towel/washbag element. It was this washbag product that has formed the basis for the development of the project so far.
Further weekly sessions, including a new young person, have concentrated on the design of the bag, what its contents might include and the business, marketing and distribution models that could be used. Contacts and visits to potential raw material suppliers, manufacturers and other distribution outlets have resulted in the fabrication of some prototype/sample ‘Dirt Bags’….
Current work that young people will be involved in to progress the project includes:
- A presentation by young people to local business leaders to garner support for product development.
- Patenting the product to protect it’s unique niche product placement
- Collating feedback from 4 product testers, experienced in outdoor sports in order to tweak final design and materials.
- Sourcing further raw materials for washing products and bags.
- Securing a manufacturer to cost effectively make the bags.
- Running a further group course in Feb to introduce new young people to the project who will work on the manufacturing and marketing of the bags to take them to market.
- Securing a wider distribution network for bags once they are ready for sale.