The Locals: Bridge between  Home-Based Manufacturers and Buyers


Talking about creativity is like dancing about architecture, – Fionn Dobbin tends to say when asked about how to promote creativity. As an instructor at the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga (SSE Riga) and founder of the educational agency NotPerfectEducation, Fionn rather prefers getting down to brass tacks and doing practical work. Fionn and his students have estabqlished a universal marketing platform that will allow small producers of farm products to find buyers more effectively. For

home-based operations to come up with their own brand is a complicated and time-consuming process, a fact which led Fionn and his students to come up with an “umbrella” brand for all of them. Each individual enterprise is able to supplement the brand with the product’s name and origin, as well as other information. Known as The Locals, the brand concept was developed by NotPerfectEducation, students of the SSE Riga and the social business agency Grameen Creative Lab. All home-based manufacturers are invited to join the movement.


“These products have an outstanding level of quality and are too good to be ignored,” says Fionn. He learned about Latvian farm products several years ago when output had increased substantially because of the economic crisis and a threefold rise in unemployment in Latvia. People were able to earn more money with these products, but this requires thoughtful communications, an attractive brand and modern packaging. SSE Riga students learn about such issues, and Fionn, as their instructor, actively popularises business ideas. It was clear to him that all these things could be successfully merged. “We became free consultants for small manufacturers so that they can find buyers,” he says. “For students, this is an excellent opportunity to check out how these things really work.”


SSE Riga already has extensive experience in facilitating entrepreneurship. NotPerfectEducation is an educational design agency developing hands on learning experiences for cooperatives, organizations and academic institutions.


Fionn is sure that The Locals market platform has global potential. He has lectured on the concept at business schools in Brazil, Germany and France. This summer, Fionn will organise a major social business festival in Riga the summer of 2015 to present The Locals to the public at large, after which the first products bearing the new brand name will be made available in Latvian stores.