Open Field Launches Equipment Rental Business

Common Goal Community member Open Field, which delivers a range of health & personal development programmes for disadvantaged young people in Cameroon, has launched a new equipment rental social enterprise.

Open Field Rental Services will generate income to support the organisation’s Football for Good programmes, as well as providing job training opportunities for young people. The enterprise has been launched with support from the team at Social Enterprise Assist who provided remote coaching including idea generation and business planning.

The enterprise utilises existing and new programmatic equipment used by Open Field, including outdoor furniture, canopies, speakers and football resources such as goals and kits.

Divine Kowa, Global Partners Coordinator at Open Field, says: “There is constant demand for chairs, tables, cutleries and other rentable accessories for events in the city (Kumba). Through our contacts from organisations, individuals, meeting groups, churches we working hard to publicise the business and create partnerships. So far we have been able to rent canopies and chairs to those having birthday parties, marriages, funerals and football competitions.”

Young people from Open Field’s programmes are also gaining work experience with helping to set up equipment for their own football events. Divine says: “The youths help in building the canopies and chairs, after usage they still volunteer to dismantle the equipment and carry it back to the storage facility.”

Reflecting on the support process from SEA, Justin Forzano, Founder of Open Field, says: “Through the RAFT program, Open Field staff in Cameroon & the U.S. worked with the SEA team to analyse potential opportunities for social enterprises to (finally) come up with an action plan to move forward. For years we have brain-stormed and created wish lists but never been able to select an idea and move on it. This time, through mentorship and utilizing RAFT resources provided, we were able to prioritize and create a plan of action for the most viable option for our organization.”

Steve Fleming, one of the SEA team, added: “It has been great to support Open Field and we hope the rental enterprise grows and makes a significant impact towards helping them to grow and sustain their high impact Football for Good programmes.”