With a common fund, the SMEs can master key challenges such as reducing greenhouse gas emission
The basic idea of my proposal is to show a way to better respond to the challenges in this time. An achieve the highest possible result with the lowest possible own contribution. Therefore, my proposal for the more than 400,000 SMEs in Ontario is to deposit an average of CAD$25 in the month into a common fund, that would be then around CAD$120 million a year. This is an optional calcuIation example, it is important that my proposal is no tax, no compulsory fee or the like. It would be an opportunity for the SMEs to invest in Ontario, reducing emissions can then be an important part of this investment. The participating SMEs have the same voting rights irrespective of their size or the number of their employees and the full power of decision on these funds remains with SMEs. This will allow all SMEs to benefit from it without putting a real burden on them, thus ensuring the interests of all SMEs involved. This is important because participation in a common fund would be voluntary and would only make sense if all the participating SMEs benefit from it. My proposal has the potential to give the SMEs the opportunity to grow and reduce their emissions.
For example, the solutions you select for this competition could be funded with the help of such a fund.
How do you know that your solution is desirable to SMEs, and will reduce GHG emissions?
The fact that, in my proposal, the SMEs can directly or indirectly with influence all major decisions is an important argument in favor of my proposal. With the financial possibilities offered by my proposal, the SMEs are able to foster and implement a variety of greenhouse gas emission reduction projects. There are plenty of good ideas around the world on this topic, and with my proposal, the SMEs would have the financial resources for this. For example, these funds could be used to insulate office buildings. Wood waste from Ontario`s important wood industry could be used to produce biofuels and used by SMEs and their employees. On behalf of the SMEs could develop technical facilities that can prepare the old frying fat from the gastronomy and then use it to produce biodiesel. Two young entrepreneurs in Copenhagen are collecting and using the coffee grounds from the coffees and restaurants for growing oyster mushrooms in the middle of the city. Such or similar projects could be supported by the Ontario SMEs. In conurbations, especially in parking garages, would new charging stations for electric vehicles built and could be used by employees of the SMEs at a favorable tariff. The cities in Ontario could be financially supported in the expansion or development of emission-free public transport, and in return, for example SMEs employees will receive correspondingly cheaper tickets for this the public transport. On behalf of the SMEs own electric powered commercial vehicles could be developed or built. These could then be acquired or leased by the SMEs on betters terms. Especially in this day and age, where the mail order business or the service sector is gaining in important advantage. My proposal certainly offers many other opportunities that can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Ontario and benefit the SMEs. I am therefore sure to be able to present you an interesting proposal that meets your requirements and wishes.
What actions do you propose?
First of all, a concept would be worked out with the help of a local team. This concept is intended to inform Ontario SMEs about my proposal and to to convince SMEs of my suggestion, this concept would to include a commercial solution approach based on the idea of my proposal. It would be an investment opportunity with a very low risk for the SMEs involved. For example, this possibility would allow it the SMEs to lower their electricity bill and open up a new source of income. In this concept would suggest to the SMEs not to be listed as a individual electricity customer but as one large customer. This would give the SMEs the opportunity to get their electricity at a cheaper price.
to one calculation example: 100,000 SMEs pay CAD$ 1 per day or CAD$ 365 per year into one common fund, so the would be CAD$ 36,5 million
Each of the participating SMEs decides how much they want to spend. It applies who gets paid more gets more, which is the main difference to my proposal. This solution approach would be particularly interesting for office, wholesale and retail companies. In addition, this solution approach gives the SMEs the opportunity to build their own independent energy supply in Ontario. This would be particularly interesting for the established and larger SMEs ( with an annual turnover of CAD$ 250000 or more ).
to one calculation example: 100,000 SMEs pay CAD$ 1,000 a month for 5 years into common fund and that would then be total of CAD$ 6 billion
The participating SMEs could use, sell or both the generated electricity for their own use. This fundamental principle can also be applied to other areas and would give the SMEs the opportunity to act as an investment group independently of this proposal. For my proposal, this principle would be used to convince as many SMEs as possible of my idea. The number of SMEs willing to contribute to this fund depends largely on the success of the pilot project in Toronto. If it succeeds in convincing the hoped-for 10,000 SMEs in Toronto of a common fund, this should also be possible for the vast majority of Ontario`s SMEs.
Originally, a corresponding pilot project was planned for this competition in the time frame from November 2018 to June 2019. About 10,000 SMEs (about 2,5%) in Toronto should be contacted in order to win these for my proposal. However, as competitive conditions have changed and financial support from the Center for Social Innovation has disappeared, the elaboration of such a concept is only a theoretical thought. Regardless, my proposal could help Ontario`s SMEs reduce their GHG emissions while promoting their success.
Should the SMEs agree with my proposal, they would agree on the level of the financial contribution of the SMEs in order to set the financial budget. There are no requirements in these negotiations. I am sure the SMEs are experienced enough to know how high the individual contribution can be. It is important that the voting rights of the individual SMEs are equivalent for all. The total budget alone is relevant for planing and only from the moment the participating SMEs have deposited a certain amount into a common account someone would become active. That is also the difference to the format in this competition, with my suggestion first a financial basis is created and only afterwards purposefully searched for suitable projects. A website would be set up to keep the participating SMEs informed about everything and they can comment on all decisions through this website. Everything is decided together with the SMEs. Once a common budget is set, an appropriate team will look for suitable projects. The selected projects will then be presented to SMEs for coordination. Ultimately they decide what to do and what not to do. As a concrete example, a real project from Germany could be used. In this project, Deutsche Post developed and built its own electric vehicle together with the university in Aachen (Germany), as the interest of German vehicle manufactures was lacking. The resulting subsidiary "StreetScooter" of the Deutsche Post has become so successful that other companies also order and buy electrically powered commercial vehicles there. You can find out more about it in the internet at "streetscooter.de". According to a press release, the company "StreetScooter" from the Deutsch Post produces 20,000 e-vehicles per year and even plans an IPO. I think that`s exactly what you`re looking for in this competition. With my proposal, such electric vehicles could be developed and built in Ontario. Such or similar projects would be selected with the help of my proposal and assessed by the SMEs.
Regardless of my suggestion or the contest, should be sure to check out review the history of "StreetScooter".
Who will take these actions?
If my proposal is taken into account, an appropriate local team would be selected to develop suitable concept for the SMEs within a given timeframe of about one year. An account for a common fund would be set up and everything prepared for realization. Furtermore, this team (to convince as many SMEs as possible) would plan and carry out a pilot project. With the aim of informing 10000 SMEs in Toronto about my proposal and encouraging them to participate. This means that an attempt should be made to negotiate a Memorandum of Understanding with the SMEs. In these, the SMEs agree to pay a self-determined amount monthly into a common fund. It should to help Ontario SMEs solve key issues such as the reducing of GHG emissions in the SME environment. The selection criteria for the people working in this team will depend essentially on the assessment and consideration of my proposal. Since the financial support was canceled, someone would have to be found who is willing to support my proposal. If the pilot project in Toronto is successful and about 10000 SMEs support my idea within a one-year timeframe, then a subsequent organization such as a foundation or similar could take on the has responsibility of such a fund. This organization then has the task to convince the SMEs in Ontario and beyond of my idea of common fund. The selection procedure for the employees of this organization is determined by the SMEs or their representatives. This organization then manages the fund and will take over all tasks from planing to execution on behalf of the SMEs. Since such an organization is funded solely by the SMEs, a financial dependency on third parties can be avoided.
Where will these actions be taken?
For this competition, my idea and its planned implementation are concentrated on Ontario. The focus is at site selection on the planning and development of the pilot project in Toronto for a year. The following organization decides in the sense of the SME from where they become aktive. My suggestion offers enough flexibility to be of use in Ontario but also elsewhere.
What are the proposal’s projected costs?
The planning as well as the drafting of my proposal, the pilot project in Toronto and the necessary team would be the main cost factors in my proposal. For the pilot project it was planned to use tendered funds, if my proposal was taken into account. As the financial resources for this competition have been canceled, it would be necessary to lock for another way to finance it. Under the question after one financing model, I have submitted an idea. On the other hand, this results in the opportunity to plan with a higher budget. The later realization would then be financed from the fund of the participating SMEs.
A estimated itemization of evidence to work out a business plan:
- Administrative and legal costs of setting up a business and registering in the Ontario Register of Commerce / Canada approximately CAD$ 50000
- Staff costs an average of CAD$ 36,000 per year and per employee around the CAD$ 400,000
- Cost of renting premises in Toronto, necessary office supplies and equipment per year around the CAD$ 100,000
- Costs for the elaboration of the concept such as the research work on the topic, looking for suitable projects, setting up an account for the common fund, develop strategies to convince as many SMEs as possible, check on-site feasibility, if necessary, looking for solutions overcoming obstacles, looking for suitable locations for later realization of projects, preparing and carrying out events on the subject, establishing contact with the Municipal Chamber of Commerce and Local Autorities, invite representatives from industry and chambers of commerce to discus this topic, preparing a web presence, a website create and much more that could help suggest my proposal: around the CAD$ 500000
- Cost of the pilot project in Toronto for one year around the CAD$ 150000 plus office and staff costs: a total of about CAD$ 250000
Once the solution is built and implemented describe a path forward for it to scale to other users/companies.
My suggestion lives off it that many SMEs as possible participate in it. In the long run, it would be a desirable goal to win over SMEs for my proposal beyond Ontario. If 1 million SMEs Canada contributed CAD$25 per month to my idea, that would be CAD$300 million a year. I think it is a worthwhile goal to convince SMEs of my suggestion. The individual contribution of each individual SME remains variable and depends solely on the possibilities of each individual SME.
Phase 1: Developing and drawing up a concept for a pilot project in Toronto for a year. The focus is on helping Ontario`s SMEs reduce their emissions without restricting their business.
tasks and goals: - formation of a corresponding team to realize my proposal - work out a concept to convince as many SMEs as possible of my proposal - work out the conditions for the financial base with the help of the convinced SMEs and set up a corresponding fund - working out and develop opportunities to keep the SMEs informed about everything in real time at any time - surch a way for the SMEs to comment on everything and then vote on it - seek and prepare for initial concrete projects for Ontario SMEs - reduction of emissions - make all prepparions for transfer to a subsequent organization and make the selection of staff for this organization in consultation with the SMEs
Phase 2: Foundation of a foundation or a company acting on behalf of and in the interests SMEs
Tasks: - Management of the entrusted financial funds of the SMEs - looking for suitable ideas and projects that might be of interest to Ontario the SMEs - develop tailor-made solutions and strategies for the selecteds idea or projects in order to support the SMEs - accompany, support and regularly review selected projects during the realization - assist individual SMEs, as far as possible and in consultation with the other SMEs or their representative
How will your solution lead to change on a larger scale over time (i.e. 3 to 5 years out)? How many businesses can potentially be affected by your solution?
The longer the corresponding protagonists use my suggestion for themselves, the more independent they can act in their undertakings. It would create a certain momentum with which one can respond to developments and challenges accordingly. Part of the financial resources made available could for this be used to be very professional present in the media. That would certainly help to present my solution to a wider public and raise awareness of the interests of the SMEs. Especially in the first years so many companies or private supporters could be won for my solution. And that will certainly lead to visible positive changes. The answer to the second question: In principle, all SMEs can be affected by my proposal and in a positive way. Everything should be done to encourage the SMEs to participate. As a European, can I really not find any reason why an Ontario SME should be unwilling to pay a individual and relatively small amount of money into a common fund on a monthly basis. Especially since this fund is used to promote the SMEs and is used in their interests.
What business and funding model have you considered for your solution to become sustainable?
My proposal is in principle a business or financing model that can be used relatively accurately for nearly each claim. The essential difference to other models is the fundamental approach. As already described, a financial basis should first be created and only then be searched for suitable opportunities. Since the individual contribution is relatively small and variable, it is easier to respond to specific circumstances ( financial crisis, weather extremes, US presidents, etc.). Many good ideas and projects have to be stopped and terminated because they have underestimated the financial risks. In Germany, for example, several large manufacturers of solar modules had to file for bankrupty because across from the not competitive. With my proposal, the financial risk can at least be lowered. In my calculation example of an average of CAD$25 per month, I assume an average of 20 working days. That would be CAD$1.25 per working day or CAD$120 million per year for 400,000 participating SMEs. I think that I can convince the SMEs in Ontario to invest in a common fund. A personal goal would be to convince 200,000 SMEs to spend an average of CAD$5 per working day. That would be CAD$ 240 million a year, and if the other 200,000 or so SMEs spent an average of CAD$1.25 per day, it would even be CAD$300 million a year. I think that in this way the dependency on third parties (for example banks) and the associated financial risk can be significantly reduced. With my proposal,a stable and sustainable financial base can be provided with which much can be achieved.
To finance the pilot project, an offer would be made to the banks in Toronto. As the money for the fund is paid into an account, the appropriate bank would receive a relaible new major customer. Also, all transactions would be handled through this bank. In particular, the use of the commercial solution by SMEs could be of interest to the Bank. Funding the pilot could therefore be good business for the bank in question.
What impact will the proposed actions have on reducing greenhouse gas emissions?
The biggest impact of my proposal on reducing GHG emissions would probably be in the area of commercial vehicles. Funds from the joint fund could be used to increase the proportion of electrically powered commercial vehicles in the SME sector or to convert SME commercial vehicles to use biogas. The infrastructure needed for this could also be developed and set up with the commercial solution approach of my proposal. A successful urban development project from Stockholm in the district of Hammarby Sjostad could serve as a model for further positive effects on the reducing of GHG emissions. With an innovative waste management, where the infrastructure and waste disposal was buried underground. These funds could finance, develop and realize such a project in metropolitan areas. With the corresponding positive effects. In addition, for example, such a project would certainly go well with the underground city in Toronto.
What are other key benefits?
A advantage is that my suggestion can easily be transferred to all areas of our lives. And that my proposal theoretically has the potential an includes significant contribution to solving the key challenges of our time. Another advantage is that my proposal very simple and understandable, almost every person in the world could do something with it.
A potential benefit could be that the contributions of the SMEs would be tax deductible.
About the Authors
My name is Attila Deutsch and I live near Budapest. My motivation to participate in this competition is an opportunity publish my proposal in an appropriate setting. I would like to find out if my idea is more than just a theoretical thought and I would be happy if my proposal for many people would be of use.
Related Proposals (optional)
My proposal would be a very good complement to the Mr Manohar Lal Baharani proposal for "Grazing senior citizens skills & competencies for the purpose of GHG reductions".
Press release and reports on the "Streetscooter" at the German Post