The Kalu Yala Blog

Business Goals: Spring 2013

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January 6, 2013

by Alix Tingle
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Business Program
The Business Program at Kalu Yala provides interns with an array of opportunity in many different areas allowing them to learn, grow, connect, create value and leave Kalu Yala with something tangible.  The business interns are provided with resources and connections to make something happen for themselves and create some sort of value towards Kalu Yala, whether that be starting up a small business in the valley, fostering new relationships within the community, or working on current business projects within Kalu Yala. Interns aren’t required to do any of these projects, and are welcome to propose their own project which I will help facilitate. These are just a few ideas to get the ball rolling!

Facilitation Goals


Kalu Yala CEO Jimmy Stice also has several ideas for the Business Program this year for those who want to be more directly involved with the Kalu Yala land development company. I will put these in front of our interns as well:

Real Estate Related

  1. Kalu Yala’s Builders Program
    1. Define builders program structure, including conceptualizing the Builders Guild
    2. Profile potential builders
    3. Create promotion plan to find and attract appropriate builders
    4. Design screening process to vet builders
    5. Design Kalu Yala Builds incubator to aid local and international builders make a successful transition into the world of Kalu Yala
  2. Cottage Sales Program
    1. There are 20 special cottage lots in the Founders Village reserved as the only lots for non-investors in that village
    2. Create profiles of target audiences for this special offering (ie people under 35, entrepreneurs, farmers, etc)
    3. Design sales program to find and attract the best of this target audience
    4. Define the cottage product in a way that is of high value to the target audience
  3. Plan the infrastructure charrette
    1. Learn the problems that must be solved using the conceptual master plan, prior to beginning architectural design (power, waste water, potable water, roadways, etc)
    2. Learn about the multidisciplinary design workshop format called a charrette
    3. Create an event plan based on plugging the appropriate attendees into the workshop format, including planning for investors roles in the workshop
  4. Securities Sales Program
    1. Learn about Kalu Yala’s financial structure, target investor audience, business model, and current promotional plans/activities, as well as securities regulations in the US and Panama
    2. Create a separate promotional plan for finding and attracting investors to add another prong to the arsenal
  5. Investor Business Plans/Pitches
    1. Use the Kalu Yala master plan, share structure, and community model to pick a building type(s) to match a business plan to
    2. Perform a feasibility study and create a resulting business plan
    3. Potentially package that business plan into a pitch deck to solicit investors

Economics Related

  1. Define Kalu Yala’s business principles required of all businesses doing business in Kalu Yala or using the Kalu Yala brand (i.e. regional producers who are part of a Kalu Yala co-op).
  2. Plan the first Kalu Yala Co-Op
    1. Co-ops are a big part of how Kalu Yala will enable small businesses to compete in a big business world.
    2. Identify opportunities for creating early co-ops that can include already existing regional businesses/producers at Kalu Yala
    3. Define Kalu Yala co-op goals and principles
    4. Use local context and co-op goals to identify comparable examples and blueprint Kalu Yala co-op structure and business plan
  3. Local Resource Index
    1. Radiating from Kalu Yala to San Miguel to San Martin, identify and catalog locally available resources
    2. Either choose a particular resource and map its occurrence in the region or work from Kalu Yala outward cataloging all the resources that can be identified in a particular area further before expanding the study
    3. Resource examples include human resources (i.e. political leaders, craftsmen of different types, large local financial stakeholders), natural resources (i.e. extraction industries, aquifer and water resources, timber), and products (ie. locally produced food products, unique crafted goods, medical, educations, etc)
  4. Draft Economic Development Plan
    1. Use Michael Shuman’s books The Small Mart Revolution and Local Dollars, Local Sense to identify the required components (guiding principles, institutions, financial and human capital) of a successful local economy that supports entrepreneurs and small businesses at Kalu Yala
    2. Chronologically order the development of these components
    3. Propose development plans for each component, starting with the first

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