The Mission

Other case studies

How did you come up with the idea for your enterprise?

Miranda: The idea for Food Drop stemmed from spending a lot of time spent studying in cafes like most students. My friends and I noticed that vast amounts of food is often thrown away at the end of the day. Over the summer I wanted to know more about why this food was not going to those in need, so I contacted both local food retailers and charities. It quickly became apparent that charities do not always have the means nor time to collect food from retailers regularly and organise these drop-off. This acts as a barrier preventing those in need accessing available surplus food.

I returned to the university eager to make a change and got in contact with Everest as I knew he had experience in entrepreneurship.

Everest: Food Drop seemed like an inevitable solution, we provide a logistical solution that delivers surplus food from the high street to local charities. We rely mainly on our network of wonderful volunteers who are predominately students and are in search for volunteering work that is flexible and not too time-consuming. Food Drop provides them with this opportunity while benefiting both food establishments and local charities.

What is your educational and professional background?

Miranda: We are both current undergraduates at the University of Bath, Everest studies Mechanical Engineering, and I am Psychology student. We both have experience with volunteering and community involvement.

What were the reasons and purpose for setting up your social enterprise?

Miranda: Approximately 1.3 billion tonnes of food goes to waste per year, of which on average 7.5 million tonnes comes from the U.K. This is shocking when considering that 1 in 8 people in the world suffers from food poverty. Given the discrepancy between food demand and supply in developed countries, it is evident we have the resources to make a change. Food Drop aims to address this global issue at a local level, which will contribute to forming a national solution. Our ethos ‘showing love through food’ works in conjunction with our three goals which are as follows:

- Reduce food poverty and limit food waste

 Provide an efficient service

- Deliver good quality food

How did you start putting your idea into action? e.g., business planning, etc

Everest: Food Drop’s growth may be traced back to our determination to help others beyond the borders of Bath. As a result, the project that initially started as a project which was meant to last throughout our stay at Bath quickly reestablished to become a venture. To jumpstart our remodelling process, we started off by producing documentation to capture our idea and visions. In doing so, we were able to run the business plan past many people in or linked to the field of ventures for the better of the community which, over time, resulted in a well-iterated business plan.

How did you let people and potential clients/customers know what you were doing and market your organisation?

Miranda: Networking may take up quite some time as it often results in spending several hours emailing, calling and attending events. However, the lessons and advice that we reaped were most certainly worth all the time that we invested in networking. We have established a good relationship with Pret a Manger and are in talks with other national food establishments. On another note, we swiftly realised the importance of online networking so much that it spurred us to quickly develop a website and social media accounts. This has helped local food establishments, the community and students see what we’re doing to combat the problem.

How did the Startup Bootcamp help you to develop your business/strategy etc?

Everest: The support we received from the boot camp was unparalleled; the two days spent helped us reconsider our ideas and strategic planning from the bottom-up. By doing so, we were able to reprioritise some of our plans, filter out what was no longer needed, and of course, it gave us space for us to be creative and share our newly formed ideas with experts.

What are your long term goals for your organisation and aims for the future?

Everest: Food Drop seeks to stretch its services to as many places as possible; whether that be UK, Europe or beyond. The identified problem is not confined to one particular region, and so we will not be limited either.

What do you do in your spare time?

Miranda: We both love Bath and and find it a pleasant change from the busy cities we grew up in. Like most students, we enjoy spending time with friends. Everest enjoys exploring new cities in his spare time, and I enjoy trying new foods!

What advice would you give to someone thinking of setting up their own social enterprise?

Everest: There is, of course, no secret to setting up a social enterprise or business in general. Having said so, there are some approaches which one should simply not discount. An example of such is to be each other’s biggest critic to stimulate organic growth. Besides that, be very open to learning from other individuals or organisations in a transparent manner so you can ask for their feedback, whether that be constructive or destructive (which is as important). Lastly, network, network and network!!

Would you recommend the Startup Bootcamp to others and why?

Everest: Quite simply; of course! It is a great opportunity for individuals or start-ups to gain support when they are still subject to external influence. We found the experience invaluable, as it helped to focus our plans for the future substantially.

Supported social business:

Food Drop

Redistributing excess food to the community

Interview with Founders, Everest Ekong and Miranda Khamis


"We have some exciting plans and we are that crucial stage where we can get out of working in the spare room and progress into an office space. It can be a very rewarding experience, however it won’t be without problems, so make sure you have everything as well organised as possible before you start."

Urban Car Spa

Jonny Rees-Davies - Business Support  2017

"WPA will have been providing free play services supporting the needs of BANES communities for 25 years, and we want to make sure we will be here supporting local communities in another 25 years!"

Wansdyke Play Association 

Stacey Pottinger - Startup Bootcamp March 2017

Home / Case Study - Fooddrop

Food drop in a nutshell serves to handle the logistics behind the redistribution of surplus food to those in need from selected sources. This is done so with the full support of young people/volunteers seeking for opportunities to give back to the community in a very transparent and brief, yet effective way. Not only does this benefit the volunteers and the charities but it also serves to better the corporate image of all the business involved as a bi-product.

 

Find out more and apply for the Social Enterprise and Innovation Startup Bootcamp or Business Incubation