Hi everyone, I'm experienced in grass roots small business start ups and charity communications including social media, PR and corporate photography. I can help you with business plan development and communications. Come and say hello!
Kirsty Barnby started her own eco adventure holidays company in Fiji after volunteering there as a Communication Manager for a year in the capital, Suva, in 2009.
I can help with business plan development and communications.
I am currently running http://www.island-spirit.org/">www.island-spirit.org which involves:
I worked in communications for the charity sector for about seven years. I loved my job but went with a number of opportunities that came my way to start my own venture.
When I registered as a company on January 2012.
For two years! I spent a lot of time on my business plan as there are many people who go to tropical countries with great ideas that don't work in the long run. I wanted to be different.
My volunteering role in 2009 allowed me to learn slowly but surely how the Fijian communities work; what their needs are, who else is helping them and where there was a niche. That time was invaluable.
I funded it from my rental property and a small inheritance from my Grandfather.
Worst bits: Not earning anything for three years so living off very little. The distance from the UK is a major hindrance and costs a lot.
Best bits: Coral gardening on my quieter days. Beneath the water (where I snorkel around picking up broken staghorn coral and plant it into rock crevices and holes) I am at one with mother nature. All the everyday stresses disappear and I'm reminded why I have done such a crazy thing!
I also absolutely love drinking kava (ground rood drink) with the locals, they are such amazing singers, are so laid back and are wonderful people to be around. They love what I'm doing because I have ensured that they are part of the model, that they benefit from Island Spirit. I have made sure that local income generation is at the heart of everything I do.
The other best bits? The realisation that this is forever, not just a blip or idea, its a way of life and it can expand to other countries!
"Life is funny, you pump out energy into the world and things come towards you."
"Act decisively, people will follow."
Online conservation documents, my friends' advice and recommendations, local knowledge.