About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Oscar Ranzo, The Oasis Book Project

Before involvement in CEP

Before participating in the Creative Enterprise Programme (CEP), Oscar split his time between writing a weekly children’s comic book series and running his enterprise, The Oasis Book Project. Oasis produced educational literature and worked with teachers. It had published 13 books retelling local stories, with books being printed in several languages to support language learning. One hundred schools were using these books as part of guided reading sessions. Oasis had also opened a dedicated office but were only generating enough money to cover the cost of rent and the publishing of new books. Without staff, the office was closed for most of the week.

Realising that his business had the potential to be scaled up, but in the knowledge that they “lacked the skillsets and experience to turn a promising passion project into a well-run large-scale enterprise”, Oscar applied for CEP.

Interaction with CEP

Reflecting on his time as part of the programme, Oscar placed particular emphasis on the value of the worksheets that were completed. These worksheets encouraged him to think about his enterprise in ways, and with an intensity, he had not done previously. He highlighted that the SWOT analysis, which encourages assessment of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to a business, was particularly valuable to Oasis.

“Before CEP we had never done anything like this. Now we subject every idea we intend to implement to a SWOT analysis. This has helped ensure that we only implement ideas that have been well thought out and are guaranteed to help us fulfil our company mission while also leading to growth of the business.”

Oscar Ranzo

Impact of CEP

Following the programme, Oscar used the Creative Enterprise Toolkit to train current and future team members in areas such as company values and the importance of building long-lasting relationships with customers. Oscar has been able to publish more books to reach 30 titles, and the number of schools using Oasis books for their guided reading sessions has doubled to over 200. Sales in 2019 also grew by 30% and were projected to grow even further in the coming year.

The Oasis team has grown to eight fulltime and several part time members of staff, with 200 teachers trained on the basics of conducting guided reading sessions in the last 15 months. Oasis books are now looking to set up a governance board, increase the rate of their teaching training through video tutorials, and to expand their programme to reach schools in rural areas through partnering with companies who will purchase and donate their books as part of corporate social responsibility initiatives.