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As part of a new educational support's development, a Belgian woman entrepreneur specialized in the development of educational and playful learning methods for children seeks European partners able to provide suitable and secure personalized magnetic metal boxes for children's (similar to metallic colored pencil boxes) in order to finalize and market its finished product. Cooperation would take place under the framework of a manufacturing agreement or supplying agreement on a long-term basis.
The recently-established Belgian start-up designs scalable and personalized educational planning support products for children aged 5 to 8 and other family members. This tools is based on a new family method linked to the organization of the child's days in a balanced way and its interaction with other family members ensuring the development of children and parents in a fun and educational way. The family is understood in the broad sense since it can be foster families, adoption centers, education professionals, psychologists, etc. The method includes an innovative and fun weekly planning box presented as a game so that the child can have fun alone or in a group by developing curiosity, autonomy and benevolence.
The founder has extensive experience in the education and culture sectors. Each weekly planning box contains: a colored and printed magnetic metal box (similar to the children's colored pencil box), metal pawns and activity sheets.
The start-up is testing its market and is having great success. In this regard, the company has developed a pack prototype with children, families and education professionals. The flagship product is currently a basic type box of colored pencils on which company's visual is glued. Unfortunately, the test boxes used does not correspond to the desired dimensions and expected quality regarding the resistance. This prototype enabled the SME to test its method and its product by many families and to collect numerous orders.
To respond to its pre-sales, the Belgian start-up is looking for establish manufacturing agreement with a trustable European partner willing and able to provide them with colored and printed magnetic metal boxes manufactured to its own design specification. Alternatively, it would consider a contract supplying agreement to enable it to have high quality magnetic metal box supplied with a stickers relative to the company design.
Belgian company is able to provide quantitative data and an illustration regarding the wished boxes. Also, the founder is in position to place an order quite quickly with the right partner and conclude partnering decision to meet promptly pending orders.
Product dimensions (L x W x H): approx. an A4 format 310 X 220 X 25 cm
Color: the first option is boxes with brand visual printed. The second option is basic colored as white, black, ... boxes with printed brand visual stickers.
Type of material: metallic and magnetic (from reusable or sustainable materials is a plus but not mandatory).
Quality: Resistant with good hinges. The boxes are intended to be handled regularly by children between 5 and 8 years old and their families, placed on a piece of furniture, taken to sports activities or hung on the wall with a hook.
Price: approx. 5 euros with printing included. The offered products must have a competitive price regarding the quality offered and in comparison with the competition despite the small first order quantities.
Quantity: first order will be 100 pieces to test the product. Orders will be higher and more frequent in the future.
Language company skills: Limited founder's English language skills reduce her ability to negotiate and understand the product on offer. She will be assisted in English during the partnering process. Based on this situation, a partner with French speaker employee or company with French distributors or agent able to make the connection with the company is a plus.
Regulations and certifications: the provider must be able to prove that the boxes are European certified (CE label) and that they comply with basic safety rules: physical and mechanical properties, flammability and chemical properties. The Belgian company must be able to prove that the boxes have been designed and manufactured according to the requirements of the European Toy Safety Directive (TSD) 2009/48 / EC.
Sustainability: respect the core labor standards of the ILO in the manufacturing. To be sensitive to the women entrepreneurship and educational sector’s values is a plus. Providers with environmentally friendly and made from ethically sourced raw materials or components products would be also more appreciated.
Technical specification: of course the company should have adequate machinery and have experience in supplying in accordance with independent testing and certification system for children.
The potential partner must be an established and experienced manufacturer or a supplier of the products sought and be willing to supply the items with technical specifications and expertise mentioned by the Belgian start-up.
The firm is looking to build a long term relationship, to ensure product quality, consistency and safety for children.
Providers is expected to have the capacity to export to Belgium with relatively short lead times and be flexible according to the growth of the company.
It's prefer to work with European partners to be under the regime of the intra-community acquisition of goods. However, if a non-European partner is able to help the entrepreneur with customs, a partnership can be considered. The start-up already searched its domestic market for manufacturers of A4 metal boxes without success but Belgian providers could be also an option.
The cooperation would be envisaged in a long term commitment. As the activity begins it is very important that the future potential partner to understand the Belgian inventor needs and to be able to advise it as much as possible in order to obtain a quality end product that is safe for children.
Also, if the box dimensions are already available, the partner should consider offering a free sample in order to try it out. The founder is also open to the proposal of manufacturing complementary products to its product such as plugs, pins, magnetic accessories, ... in order to reduce production and delivery costs and promote a privileged partnership.
Partnerships will take the form of a manufacturing agreement or supplier agreement.