Growing Green Feasibility Study and Business Plan.
Growing Green is a collaborative project of MRCI WorkSource and Putting Green, Inc. Its purpose is to develop a sustainable, commercial farm located at Putting Green Park in New Ulm, Minnesota. MRCI WorkSource is a provider of vocational services for people with disabilities and/or disadvantages. In recent years, key employers in the New Ulm area have shifted from contracting labor locally, to organizations such as MRCI, to contracting to offshore labor sources. As a result of this strategic shift, MRCI began to consider locally controlled employment options for its clients. Georg Marti, manager of MRCI New Ulm, approached the staff of Putting Green, a local environmental learning organization, with the idea of collaborating on an entrepreneurial venture that promised to combine employment and revenue opportunities with mission-driven practices for both organizations. A feasibility study was begun in the spring of 2007 to systematically analyze the opportunities and challenges of the business idea and its ability to meet the objectives desired by both MRCI and Putting Green. The study resulted in a set of measurable, operational objectives that address three bottom lines (economic, social, and environmental), and produced a viable business model with a three-year financial plan that will guide the start-up and future development of Growing Green.