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Making a difference one initiative at a time

On Thursday 14 April, Brownies & Downies in Long Street played host to the Community Edition of Out of Office, organised by Stretch Experiential Marketing.
This edition was all about cause-related marketing, which made it fitting for the hosts as their restaurant offers sheltered employment for people with down-syndrome and autism. Brownies & Downies owners gave a presentation about the initiative which started off in The Netherlands.

The restaurant provides skills such as waiting tables, barista training and assisting in the kitchen. All essential skills to have to find employment in the future at other cafes and restaurants.

Mike Silver from Stretch Experiential Marketing introduced the first speaker, Sibu Shangase, head of marketing of prestige brands at Pernod Ricard, who said that today it seems that most big brands do social good just to slap their logo on it. He's been coordinating the Chivas: The Venture competition which features start-ups who have are all about doing social good and making a difference to people's lives. He says that globally there's a gap between entrepreneurship and socialism, and finally businesses are starting to do things the right way.

The winner of The Venture competition was the next speaker, and Shangase introduced him to the front - Jaco Gerrits, CEO from Crash Detect.

Providing safer roads


Crash Detect is a mobile app that aims to reduce the number of road deaths. It is a major world issue, not only in terms of the medical and emotional repercussions but also the economical side (it costs approximately R300bn a year). Crash Detect aims to stabilise and reduce road problems by 2020.

So what does Crash Detect do? It sends an automatic alert to the nearest ambulance centre if you're involved in a crash and unable to call for help. Once an alert has been issued, a correspondent will try call you, and if there's no answer an ambulance will be on its way to your coordinates thanks to GPS settings.

The app works by using an algorithm that can detect a crash. He mentions the golden hour after an incident, which is the most important time to have medical assistance arrive at an accident.

Gerrits says that up to 12.5% of victims receive the wrong medical care because they're being taken to the wrong hospital, especially if they're on a medical aid scheme.

Other functionalities of the app include lawyer request, security assistance, logging back for claims and more. Find out more about Crash Detect from their website and follow them on Twitter: @CrashDetech.

Riders and drivers


The final speaker of the night was Samantha Allenberg, marketing manager at Uber, who spoke to us about UberGiving and the initiatives they've been working on in South Africa and around the world.

Uber has grown significantly within the last few years in SA, doubling in the number of users from 1 million to 2 million in 2015. Allenberg mentioned the evolution of the UberGiving campaign, which started out as UberAssist - this was introduced during the Cape Fires last year. People could bring resources together and request an Uber driver come fetch supplies and take them to the firefighters.

It then evolved to UberForGood, a partnership with the ForGood foundation, giving old products and clothes to charities by using the same method of calling upon Uber drivers to assist in deliveries. A percentage of the proceeds have been going to various foundations such as Reach for a Dream.

UberGiving began during the refugee crisis last year in Europe, as millions of people ran from war-torn countries. European civilians used Uber to deliver supplies to families, and the initiative was used in 46 cities and 19 countries in Europe.

Allenberg stated that the product first has to have an impact, and with the formula of riders giving and Uber facilitating, UberGiving is doing some great work and making a difference in countries around the world.

About Beverley Klein

Beverley Klein is the editor of the Marketing Media South Africa section on Bizcommunity.com. With a background in journalism and historical studies, she's dived into the world of industry news, curating content, writing and interviewing thought leaders. She's often spotted in a forest on the weekend and rarely seen without a camera. Follow @BevCPT.
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