Atelierul de Panza enables people to use fewer plastic bags and offer decent wages to people with disabilities
Most social enterprises in Romania are still at their early stages of business development. Often, they lack the know-how about product marketing and even if they offer good quality products that address customers’ needs, they struggle to find the right channels to access the market.
Committed to improving this situation, Atelieru de panza set out to develop a social webshop that gathers and sells the products of social enterprises in the country. The company also builds and shares know-how about branding, social impact and other topics of interest to the enterprises using the platform to sell their offer.
Atelierul de Panza has both an environmental and social mission. By providing 100% cotton bags, they enable consumers to use fewer plastic bags. Adding to that, they offer jobs to people with disabilities, with wages 75% higher than the national minimum.
The social enterprise’s environmentally friendly bag is made from textile waste, donated from various suppliers. With recycled textile waste, these bags are a good-quality, sustainable alternative to the usual plastic bags. Atelieru de Panza also uses recycled cardboard as packaging and labelling materials for the products sold on the digital platform.
Profits from Atelieru de Panza are reinvested into other social projects run by the social enterprise’s founding organisation. These projects include afforestation projects that have planted 1,122,000 square meters of forest in 14 communities in Romania, and recycling services and education programmes that have trained more than 3,000 high school students.
NESsT and IKEA Social Entrepreneurship will help Atelieru de Panza to launch and amplify the reach of its online platform, increasing the number of impact-first enterprises it supports while growing its corporate customer base.
The Poland and Romania accelerator will also enable the social enterprise to diversify its products and improve its processes to measure social and environmental impact. Atelieru de Panza will receive tailored business mentoring in strategy, marketing, communication, and governance to scale up the growth of its webshop and enhance its support to social enterprises that use the platform to reach customers and promote social and environmental sustainability across the country.
This programme is a good opportunity for us to level up and further consolidate our sales platform and increase our support for other social initiatives in the country. It will allow us to raise awareness of this sort of special business with a meaningful purpose among the Romanian public.
Doris Stroiescu - Board executive Member, Atelieru de Panza.