Alistair’s blog: Voluntourists? No, not us!

As i mentioned in my pre-departure blog, the issue of “voluntourism” is something I am concerned about and I am determined to ensure that my experience in Ghana will not fall under this title. While it is acceptable to have a good time while volunteering, the main focus of my time is to facilitate the success of small enterprise and I am committed to this. So to shed some light on how we as Challenges Worldwide volunteers aim to do this here is a blog about what we will be doing:


What is it we will be doing with our enterprises?

There are 10 compulsory pieces of analysis we are required to do with our enterprise as a volunteer with Challenges Worldwide as well as enterprise specific projects. The majority of the analyses will be completed in the first 6 weeks, with the entirety of them and specific projects completed in the 12 weeks.



Many of the analyses below have not been previously conducted by the enterprises. We will use the results of the analyses to deliver a presentation to the owner of the enterprise and as evidence for tailored recommendations after the initial 6 weeks. The analyses are also designed to assist the business owners to better understand their business and to help the business to have a better chance at receiving finance from investors. Following our presentation, action points will be created and the final 6 weeks will be used to implement enterprise specific projects. The ultimate purpose of our work is to increase the chances of these enterprises to grow, fulfil a need in the market and ultimately to benefit the people in their local communities.

Below the 10 required analyses are explained briefly:

  1. PEST(LE) Analysis
    • A table of Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental external factors affecting the enterprise
  2. Organisational Structure Analysis
    • A graphic to depict the functional areas of business and lines of reporting/management to understand roles and responsibilities of employees
  3. SWOT Analysis
    1. A table of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats internal and external of the enterprise to identify risks and profit-making potential as well as methods to mitigate and exploit these respectively
  4. Supply Chain Map
    1. A graphic which flows from the original supplier to the end customer. The journey of the product our enterprise sells which includes all the businesses that handle any component of the product between these
  5. Breakeven Analysis
    1. A calculation which finds the quantity of products the enterprise needs to sell in order to make a profit using the fixed cost, variable cost and unit cost
  6. Cash Flow Analysis
    1. A breakdown of the physical cash which goes in and out of an enterprise over a specific time period to determine a business’ liquidity
  7. Marketing Mix
    1. A method of determining whether a new product or service will be successful analysing the price of sale, place of sale, options for promotion and factors affecting ‘personal selling’ (brand loyalty)
  8. Production & Process Map
    1. A graphic depiction of the inputs, processes, decisions, delays, documents, link and finally outputs involved in the production of the enterprises product
  9. Competition Analysis
    1. A breakdown of how our enterprise operates and the product it sells in comparison to its local, regional, national and international competitors including factors such as price, quality, market share, distribution networks and customer service benefit (brand loyalty)
  10. Pitch Deck
    1. Help the owner of the enterprise to create a pitch in order to secure financial assistance

Other analyses are possible and encouraged with resources available to assist in their completion.


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