Our team of social workers, innovators and entrepreneurs created this concept because we all recognize how incredibly difficult it is for small businesses (including non profits organizations) to make it during the Covid-19 crisis. With non essential business shut down and the highest unemployment in our nation's history, we wanted to resurrect a centuries old model keep businesses, alive.
What it does
The Impact InterChange allows small businesses to list current assets, services, products resources (technical and human resources) that they currently have and assets, services and products that they currently need.
They enter this data in a market place where other small businesses can also list what they have to give and what they need. So for instance, if a business has plenty of office space, but needs an accountant, they would look on the Exchange for a match ( that has an accountant to loan, and may need space or something else that that business has to offer) and form an agreement through an app.
In a non-profit environment, bartering can help in great ways too. If a non profit needs a grant writer and can offer administrative support staff in exchange, they can find their match on the InterChange similar to the small business example above.
If a regular consumer sees that a business needs something that they have, they can also reach out to that business via the InterChange.
How we built it
We will use Moqups to conceptualize and validate our ideas. Then, we will use a stack to build (Linux, Apache, MySQL or MariaDB, Perl, PHP, or Python) or possibly RubyonRails.
Challenges we ran into
Educating each other on the potential of bartering, but recognizing its emergence as a legitimate means to keep businesses and non profits alive.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Offering a practical solution to help businesses right now. Even non profit organizations who are on the front-lines helping our most vulnerable.
What we learned
More relief is needed for small business owners during this time and it will require immense social innovation to solve their problems.
What's next for Impact Interchange
Refine our beta version and prepare to launch in 3 weeks.