Remember that time we spent 2 years building a youth driven social enterprise that looked like a tree? Yeah, that was pretty amazing! Now, we’re making our secret sauce –> Open-Source and giving all we have created over to the community. Wait, what? Sauce? Open Source? Yep. Whilst we are sad to announce that we don’t have the resources to keep Milaana going ourselves, we want to share everything we’ve created so that our work and passion can be paid forward.
With Milaana, we didn’t just build an organisation or validate a market opportunity. We built a tribe, united by a culture of ‘doing WELL’ personally and professional AND ‘doing GOOD‘ for our community.
We added one more case-study to the growing list that shows today’s youth don’t have to wait to be tomorrows leaders. We’ve achieved a lot and we’ve learnt, SO, MUCH. We were able to show ourselves, and the world the beginnings of our capabilities and with this freedom, we could find our limitations without fear or bias. On several occasions, as founder, I recognised that I was the limiting factor to Milaana’s growth and ultimately, to it’s success.
Like most startup wind-downs, it was the combination of a lack of resources and founder burnout that got us. You can push through one of these but the combination is hard to beat. Milaana needed investment to upgrade the platform and employ a sales/marketing team. We could then achieve the volume that we needed, to be self-sustaining. Despite our efforts, we are not in a position to get this funding due to the nature of our organisation and the lack of impact investment sources (especially for an org at our stage). And as founder, I ran out of steam after 2 amazing rollercoaster years. That we made it this far is purely testament to our incredible team who have been my main source of inspiration. Our collective passion and energy got us to this stage but sadly could not get us through the next. Ultimately, the spread of Milaana’s concept and model of connection would always be limited by our resources and that just isn’t ok. We are not letting a lack of resources or my limitations get in the way of an idea whose time has come. That is why we are open-sourcing all we have learnt and giving it to the community. It is only thanks to this community that our crowd funded platform exists and to be true to their support, we are ensuring any young change-maker around the world can bring Milaana’s idea to life in their own community.
What will live on?
As of the 17th of July (exactly 2 years since Milaana was officially founded) the site will no longer be operational and instead we will host this blog there. It’s through the blog that we will open source all our systems, ideas and even code so what we have learnt can be shared and live on. The hope is that;
- Community organisations can use our tools to scope great projects for students and share them directly with university career advisers
- Students and all epic humans can use our blog as a platform to share their diverse stories of ‘doing well and doing good”, to celebrate their success and to inspire others to do the same. Contact our editor Lucy if you have a story to share.
- Startups and Social Enterprises can learn from our journey (we’ll be writing some articles about our journey and lessons learnt) and finally,
- Anyone can start their own Milaana in their community as we will be open sourcing the code. Indeed, any charity needing a ‘connection platform’ with similar functionality will be able to utilize this software. If you would like to pick up what we’ve created and run with it, express your interest here and we will be in touch.
This is a social experiment, just as every stage of Milaana has been. We’ll be publishing some articles in the coming weeks sharing our story, our successes, our failures and lessons learnt so that others can draw some insights from our journey. Subscribe if you want to be kept in the loop.