Pragulic is a social enterprise that challenge the stereotypes associated with homelessness by enabling people to experience the world from a homeless perspective. Below you can know more about the experiences of her founder to achieve this goal and help to improve the life of homeless people.
How do you define yourself? Who are you?
I’m a Social Entrepreneur working on a project called Pragulic, which it’s a startup that offers touristic tours in Prague through the eyes of the homeless people. Our main mission is to change the public opinion of the homeless and make it easier for people without homes to return to ordinary life.
How Pragulic gets started? What inspired you to make Pragulic?
It all started as a simple idea during my 1st year of studies at the Charles University and later on, I started with my classmates implementing the concept into what’s known as Pragulic now.
At that moment, I decided to implement my idea as a Social Startup, and no like a non-profit organization, since I considered it would be more feasible to accomplish the purpose running my project as a private company and not depending on donations as the normal model for non-profit organizations. Happily, it has worked. Pragulic is already 6 years old and we are doing well.
Is Pragulic your first startup?
Yes. It’s my first startup. Before working on Pragulic, I was a volunteer of different projects of non-profit organizations in Ostrava and Prague. These experiences gave me valuable knowledge that I currently use in my startup.
What’s the problem you are trying to solve and what’s your long-term vision?
When we started the project, the main idea was to make homeless people return to ordinary life as soon as possible while cooperating at the touristic tours with us. Although we realized really soon it wasn’t so easy to reintegrate them at the society. We keep doing this as a long-term goal that we keep achieving step by step. Then, clarified this situation, we started to focus on the tourists to make them understand the different causes of homelessness of the tour guides and that way raising awareness that the homeless people are in need and that the society should be more sensitive for this situation and help them too.
To complement our help to the homeless people, we created complementary projects that integrate the society to cooperate with them, like a public wardrobe where people can give away their second-hand clothes to be used by people in need and every Friday a lunch where the homeless people can get meals for free.
Based on your current business experiences, what would you recommend to an aspiring entrepreneur who wants to start a Social Business?
I would recommend looking for acceleration programs nearby your city. In Prague, you can find the Social Impact Awards, which can be really useful to receive valuable knowledge to kickstart your project.
Furthermore, I would recommend using all your project financial resources into promoting your business and improve your processes to grow. Keep reinvesting your incomes into the project.
How much impact do you consider Pragulic has made till now?
We have been improving the lives of our tour guides through the salaries that we have been providing them for their job. Furthermore, we offer help to find them accommodation, legal counseling, psychological help, cell phone service, and computers.
Also, we have been improving the society awareness about the homelessness problem and the necessity of helping these people. Currently, we don’t have the exact numbers of this impact but we’ll be setting up metrics to measure it during the next months with the help of the Impact Academy program by Ashoka.
How can aspiring entrepreneurs reach you for more questions or pieces of advice?