Interview with GiveDish
Zain Alkhatib, Anna Lelashvili and Rein Samarah
Givedish is a social enterprise working with restaurants and cafes to tackle food insecurity, both nationally and globally. For every GiveDish meal sold, a meal is donated to those in need! Cian McGlynn and Olwyn Patterson discuss the story behind their social start-up.
How does it work?
A GiveDish meal can be purchased at any of GiveDish’s partner restaurants: Bread 41, Mad Yolks, Chimac, and most recently, Sumaki. The social enterprise partners with Mary’s Meals; a school-feeding programme owned and run by community volunteers in countries to provide free meals. With Mary’s Meals, it costs €18.30 to feed a child for a school year. GiveDish breaks down this cost to fund the free meals provided by Mary’s Meals. On GiveDish’s website, viewers can see the number of meals donated by each partner restaurant. In September alone, GiveDish’s three partner restaurants donated 1,096 meals – and this is only the start!
Cian is a second-year Global Business student who became involved with Trinity Entrepreneurial Society. After a few months with the society, he decided to participate in LaunchBox, making his dream to set up a business a reality.
Olwyn is a third-year MSISS student who always had a desire to make something of her creativity. She fondly recounts that as a child that she used to make loom-band bracelets with her friends to sell at charity day in school. Now, she tie-dyes jumpers, socks and t-shirts to sell for charity on Instagram. Upon starting in Trinity, she began to think “about business and entrepreneurship more seriously” and realised that she “could have a larger impact through business than just donating money myself.”
Where they are now
Cian and Olwyn took part in Trinity’s Launchbox, with their start-up, GiveDish, winning 3rd Prize. Launchbox is an accelerator run by Tangent every summer, where ten teams are given office space and €10,000 to work on a start-up. Cian and Olwyn believe that they met some of the coolest and most interesting people through Launchbox. Great speakers such as Dan Hobbs from Protex AI, and Eric Risser from Artomatix (both Launchbox alumni), worked with the start-up groups.
During the interview, Cian and Olwyn revealed that they came up with their enterprise idea “by chance”. Having entered LaunchBox with a “completely different idea”, the team pivoted after some early discovery and research different business models. One of their mentors, Conor Leen (founder of Stampify), introduced them to a Canadian company with an interesting model and, after conducting some customer discovery, the team were set on taking action.
With regards to the name of the business, the team experimented by typing “as many variations of names that could work into GoDaddy to see if the domain was available”, before finding givedish.com to be perfect. They have since changed their domain to givedish.org, however, can still be found at the original givedish.com domain.
Currently, GiveDish is working on building a software application with some help from a developer, as well as slowly refining their processes and making it more transparent. Furthermore, they are looking to help locally; with the rising cost of living, there are problems on Ireland’s doorstep that must be addressed.
GiveDish’s vision is to make donations seamless for people and increase the ease and convenience of donating by making donation part of a daily activity. GiveDish also solves the problem of decreasing profit margins for restaurants by increasing sales of higher profit-margin items. This is achieved primarily through social media; gaining new followers and new partners, and ultimately, donating more meals.
Plans for the future
GiveDish’s goal is to donate 1 million meals to children in need. The social enterprise have many more partners in the works and will continue to tackle food insecurity both globally and in Ireland. To keep up to date with how many meals GiveDish donate, keep an eye on their website.
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