Heather and Dom Ridout have upped sticks and swapped their London lives for a brand new venture in Brazil! A brave move indeed, so Snoochie Boochies, asked them to tell us exactly why they’ve decided to do this – and apparently it all hinges rather importantly on bees! (Yes, buzzing bees!)
They’ve started up Beeconomics, and if you like what you read from their very first post for us, then good news! There’ll be more updates in the coming weeks! Also, if you feel inclined to support the cause, you can find out all you can follow them on Facebook and Twitter
Most importantly, they’ve also got a fantastic newsletter so make sure you sign up to it to keep up to date on everything related to Beeconomics!
Hi! We’re Heather and Dom Ridout – its always been our goal to live and work in Brazil and now we’re doing it! We’re setting up a social enterprise in Pernambuco, northeast Brazil – and we’ll be powered by bees! This venture is a product of our experience in youth work and social enterprise in various contexts, over the last ten years. In 2011, we visited eleven social projects and five social enterprises across Brazil. We kept hearing a familiar story from the project workers that we met – the need to broaden the employment prospects of disadvantaged young people. The majority of social projects we visited were experiencing similar issues of income stream volatility that we had experienced in London. It was this experience that provided the impetus for us to adopt an enterprise model which can generate its own income as well as access appropriate grant funding.
For now, we are calling the initiative Beeconomics because we cannot resist a good pun but we are working on Portuguese/Tupi names for the business and our products. The venture is based on the production, marketing and distribution of bee-product-based cosmetics and aims to have positive social, economic and environmental impact, here’s how:
Beeconomics will provide employment and training to young people who are facing considerable barriers accessing emerging social and economic resources. You can read more on this issue here beeconomics.org/youth-unemployment/. Beeconomics will provide opportunities to develop transferable skills and gain experience within two growing industries in Brazil: beekeeping and natural cosmetics.
Beekeeping is vital, both ecologically and economically. Approximately one third of global crop production (our food!) relies on animal pollinators and the contribution of honey bees to worldwide food production is valued at a whopping US$50-100 billion per year. However, there has been a decline in global honeybee populations in the last 10-15 years. Honeybees and other wild pollinators have become subject to a range of debilitating factors including starvation/poor nutrition, loss of habitat, invasive species, insecticides and disease.
So what does all this have to do with bathtime? There is a global buzz around bee products in the beauty industry (see what we did there?), especially honey and propolis. The medicinal and nutritional properties of bee products have made them key ingredients. Whilst there has been a recent surge in celebrity patronage to the handiwork of the little buzzers, bee products have established longevity in the beauty and personal care industry (notable enthusiasts include Cleopatra, Queen Anne and Madame du Barry) – outlasting many skin-care ‘fads’ and so-called ‘miracle’ ingredients.
So there you have it, if you want to keep up to date with Beeconomics, remember we’re on Facebook, Twitter and have a newsletter which you can sign up to (its at the top of this post!)
Thanks for reading!