ANDn There are several million street dogs in Europe. They lack water, shelter and medical care. Dog group Luis Kesten & Fabio Lehnert GbR, founded in 2019, helps suffering dogs in Romania; the situation is particularly bad there. A social start-up wants to show that money can be earned in a social and environmentally friendly way. There are two friends behind the company, students Fabio Lehnert and Luis Kesten.
The company is headquartered in Troisdorf in North Rhine-Westphalia. The business idea was born when Luis returned from his trip to Asia. At the pizzeria, he told Fabio about the suffering animals he had seen. He and six employees now sell bracelets, dog bowls and clothes online.
Bracelets are made of stone beads of various colors. An Australian Shepherd owner can purchase an “Australian Shepherd Bracelet” in the correct color combination. The price is 25 euros each. There are also T-shirts for 35 euros and hoodies for 59 euros in black. The dog bowls are made of stainless steel and cost 30 euros.
A good € 100,000 for animal welfare
The newest product is the book of the founders. In it, they describe their experiences in Romania and give an insight into the lives of street dogs. The production costs are around 10 euros; From just 12 euros, buyers can decide for themselves how much they want to pay. For example, if you spend 47 euros, castration at Clinica Veterinara AIIVet will be financed.
According to Lehnert, sales between 2019 and the end of 2021 were around € 400,000, of which 25 percent, around € 105,000, was donated to animal welfare. So far, almost 700 castrations have been carried out and 48,000 kg of feed have been distributed. The number of orders per day ranges from five to seven items. According to Lehnert, 51 percent of the product’s price is made up of production costs, as the launch of the new hoodies alone cost around 12,000 euros. The clothes are produced in fair conditions in Cambodia from the remains of fast fashion companies.
The start-up published its Impact Report for 2021: Out of a total donation of EUR 74,814, 35,133 kilograms of dog food were purchased, a castration campaign was promoted and EUR 13,387 was invested in the expansion of the animal shelter.
The customers are mainly dog owners between the ages of 20 and 40. “The economic system needs new values: the younger generation has to fix it,” says 24-year-old Lehnert. In early February, the founders achieved their main goal and joined their company full-time.
The article comes from the student project “Youth and Business”, which is organized by FAZ together with the Association of German Banks.