Welcome to Good Market Info!

Click the logo to return to the Good Market app

Welcome to Good Market Info! Click the logo to return to the Good Market app.

About

Good Market is a curated platform that makes it easier to find and connect with social enterprises, cooperatives, responsible businesses, civic organizations, networks, and changemakers who are creating a better world. It functions as a marketplace commons.

The goal is to catalyze the transition to a new economy by making the movement more visible and by making it easier for people to get involved.

 
The core of the platform is a curation process and crowdsourced monitoring system that works across economic sectors, income levels, language barriers, and regional divides.

Good Market is set up as a self-financing, not-for-profit social enterprise. Any surplus is reinvested to expand services for the community. 

Contents

Why, How, What

WHY

An economy that is good for people and good for the planet.

HOW

Curation, connection, community

WHAT

A curated platform that makes it easier to find, connect, and exchange with other participants in the new economy

Starting with Why

Approach

Good Market is based on the idea that we create the world we live in. We make decisions every day that affect our health, our loved ones, our community, and our environment. If we stop and think about the consequences of our actions, we have the opportunity to make better choices and create a better world. The following principles are at the core of the Good Market approach.

We Make the Road by Walking
Make the Road by Walking
The only way to make progress is to start walking and learn and adjust as we go. Developing an enterprise that is financially sustainable and good for people and the planet is not easy. There are many obstacles and trade-offs. Instead of waiting for perfection, Good Market focuses on minimum standards and continuous improvement. This applies to both the platform and the community. Applicants are never “rejected.” They are encouraged to make improvements and reapply.
Transparent
Support Transparency
Many traditional business models are based on proprietary information. Companies hide details on their suppliers, keep ingredients and sources secret, and sign exclusivity agreements. Purpose-driven enterprises focus on creating value rather than on controlling information or intellectual property. They give people all the information they need and let them make their own decisions. Considering the scale and urgency of the global challenges we face, Good Market favors transparency and the open exchange of information. Sharing information improves learning, builds trust and relationships, and speeds the rate of change.
Ecosystem
Think Ecosystem
As purpose-driven enterprises emerge and partner with one another, a diverse and resilient new ecosystem is evolving. In this sense, enterprises are not competing with one another. They are differentiating to fill a gap, address needs, and create value. Good Market makes these ecosystem niches visible and reaches out to entrepreneurs who can help fill gaps in a particular sector or geographical area. We recognize and celebrate enterprises that partner with other participants in the new economy because this drives co-evolution and strengthens the overall system.
Hold Space
Hold the Space
Good Market Approved enterprises, networks, and other community members are creating a new economy and a better world. The Good Market team just holds the space. They focus on improving services, maintaining the marketplace, and ensuring that the minimum standards and rules are applied consistently. The goal is a marketplace commons that is community-driven, self-governed, and self-financing.
 
Celebrate (1)

Celebrate the Process

Raising awareness about social and environmental crises is important, but fear can paralyze people. It’s easier to catalyze change and engage new people when we focus on creating the type of world we want to live in and incorporate all of the beautiful things that make us human: social gatherings, food, storytelling, music, dance, art, and play. If we want a better world, we need as many people involved as possible, and we need to celebrate the steps along the way.

Structure

Good Market operates as a not-for-profit, self-financing social enterprise. It generates revenue, but it does not have private shareholders and does not issue dividends. It exists to benefit the community. Any surplus is reinvested to expand services for the Good Market community.

 

Social enterprises can be seen as a hybrid between conventional charities and for-profit companies. Like a charity or non-profit NGO, a social enterprise is purpose driven. It is created to address a social or environmental problem. Like a for-profit company, a social enterprise has a financially sustainable business model and is not dependent on grant aid or charitable donations.

Conventional Charity

Purpose-Driven
Created to address social and environmental problems

 

Not Sustainable
Depends on continued institutional grant funding and projects

Social Enterprise

Purpose-Driven
Created to address social and environmental problems

 

Sustainable
Self-sustaining revenue model

 

Conventional Business

Profit-Driven

Created to maximize profit for owners

 

 

Sustainable
Self-sustaining revenue model

 

Good Market has community members around the world but is legally registered in Sri Lanka and the United States. In Sri Lanka, it is registered as a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee (GL2276). In the United States, it is registered as a 501c3 nonprofit (EIN: 81-1498211).

History

The original concept for the Good Market was a curated online platform that would make it easier to find and connect with social enterprises and responsible businesses. The curation process, minimum standards, and initial design brief were developed in 2011, but the co-founders did not have resources for software development, and because of past experience with donor-funded aid projects, they were committed to a lean startup approach and self-sustaining model.

Weekly Events
Good Market started weekly marketplace events in Sri Lanka as a way of testing the curation process and the concept. Interested consumers and social entrepreneurs volunteered their time to help find a venue, identify potential vendors, review applications, and spread the word. Approved vendors pre-paid for their stalls, and these funds were used to cover venue costs and all event logistics. The response exceeded expectations. The plan was to have 10 to 15 vendors, but the weekly event started in December 2012 with 33 stalls, and it rapidly expanded from there.

PGS Producer Group

Organic Participatory Guarantee System
From the beginning, the minimum standard for farm products was organically grown. One of the most common questions from early visitors at the weekly event was “How do I know this is organic?” Large organic exporters had third-party certificates, but small-scale farmers who were growing organically out of personal conviction couldn’t afford the cost of export-level third-party certification. In February 2013, an organic participatory guarantee system was started to improve their market access and help make organic products more affordable and accessible.

Good Market Reid Avenue

Retail Outlets
When Good Market started, there was no intention of opening a retail outlet. The original plan was to link Good Market approved enterprises with institutional buyers like retail outlets, restaurants, and hotels. This worked relatively well for apparel and housewares, but perishable products were a challenge. Buyers were interested in organic fruits and vegetables and natural food, but the farmers and entrepreneurs did not have experience consistently filling larger orders. In July 2014, Good Market opened a retail outlet to fill this gap and serve as an incubator for small-scale producers.

Good Market Platform

Online Platform
In 2016, Good Market finally had enough resources to start software development for the global platform. If the planned software had been developed in 2011, it would not have worked. The curation process, crowdsourced monitoring system, and marketplace connections were all tested in person with a physical community before going online. Every aspect of the design and development has been informed by Good Market community input and feedback. The online application form went live in August 2016 and www.goodmarket.global began rolling out in 2017.

The Lanka Good Market team continues coordinating marketplace events, organic PGS, and the retail outlets within Sri Lanka, but Good Market has no plans to replicate these initiatives in other parts of the world. There are many marketplaces, retail outlets, membership organizations, and ecosystem service providers in the Good Market global community. The Good Market global platform focuses on highlighting and connecting these existing local enterprises and community initiatives. Check out the Network page for examples.

 

If you are interested in starting a curated marketplace event, organic PGS, or retail outlet for social enterprises and responsible businesses in your community, the Good Market platform can be used as a curation tool, and the team is happy to share experiences and lessons learned from Sri Lanka. Check out the Sri Lanka section of this site or get in touch.