View Full Version : Ubuntu - Small Business Community Outreach

January 12th, 2011, 07:53 AM
Hi Texas Team,
I recently came across the Texas Team and I thought I would do what I could to help increase awareness.

Currently, I am a math major at the University of Dallas. I would be a Comp Sci major but unfortunately UD got rid of the comp sci major about two years ago. Anyways, I recently concluded an internship with a non-profit company in Dallas. (The PLAN Fund) The company is dedicated to providing small business loans and business basics training to low-income Dallas residents.

As a Ubuntu user, I had an idea that I have been considering for quite some time. Small business owners usually lack the technology, expertise, and support to utilize the benefits of a database, e-mail, or software in general. Many of these low-income residents don't use e-mail at all or don't even know how to use the e-mail. Many don't even speak English.

My idea is essentially this: If the small business owner could purchase hardware (Laptop, server, desktop, etc.), we would install the necessary OS, setup their network, e-mail accounts, etc. for free. We could also provide support via the forums here or through e-mail.

I think this would be a great way to increase awareness of Ubuntu and it's benefits while also giving back to the community.

January 12th, 2011, 08:08 AM
A lot (all?) shop purchased laptops come with Windows pre-installed and folk might have the view that if they've bought it (the operating system) why not use it.

What I'm suggesting is a tweak to your plan ...

Using your corporate contacts, get redundant hardware donated to your project. Wipe the hard-drive and install Ubuntu. Offer these laptops to businesses at nominal charge with Ubuntu & other suitable software pre-installed.

January 12th, 2011, 08:20 AM
I like your suggestions. Although I don't have very many "corporate contacts", I like the idea of contacting organizations for recycled hardware.

January 13th, 2011, 06:16 AM
First... hello everyone.

I have been trying to do this for a while in San Antonio :)
You might want to consider something as such...

There is restrictions on how local government can dispose of their hardware, by local government I mean city and county (school districts too). Pretty much by standard these entities are on a 3 to 4 year hardware refresh. Dell, much like hp, usually makes these entities return their hardware after this period, usually to a small, local company (that works for dell). These companies in turn are allowed to sale the returned hardware for a profit. All while charging local governments for "properly disposing" of this hardware.

You could...

step in the middle properly dispose of the hardware at no cost, Selling the workstations at a MINIMAL rate to cover transportation, storage, etc...

just thinking out loud...

Please let me know what happens with this

January 13th, 2011, 08:05 AM
I do know of a company that sells refurbished laptops and pcs at a reasonable rate.


I like the donation of hardware idea, however, I think we might lack the IT capability to get these components up and running. Also, since we are all spread out, it might become complicated to work jointly on such a campaign.

I will research more opportunities and see how we can branch out to companies about getting hardware donated. I will also check with local universities for hardware as well.