NORTH-EAST businessman Peter McAteer expects his latest venture – not-for-profit organisation Dreamaid – to give him the most personal satisfaction.
It is an idea that has been brewing for several years but is now up, running and taking off at a faster pace than Mr McAteer – the managing director of Aberdeen firms Sysmax and Allomax – ever imagined.
The aim is to help people in poorer countries to get their art and craft products to markets outside their normal reach and receive most of the selling price.
Handcrafted items from around the world can often end up on the shelves of fashionable retail outlets at prices which bear very little relation to what the people who make them are paid.
Dreamaid was set up to facilitate internet access for people around the world to sell their artworks online.
Sellers using its website are asked to pay 10% of the price they receive for their products, which Mr McAteer said was modest and a substantially smaller “marketing cost” than they would pay using more recognisable sales channels.
As well as the socio-economic aspect to Dreamaid, the business also operates as a charity – raising funds to develop its work globally.
Mr McAteer said he had seen a staggering response around the world from companies interested in providing the infrastructure.
Sysmax provides risk management systems and competence assurance services to clients in the oil and gas industry, while Allomax supplies well-engineering personnel to the energy sector.
Mr McAteer has travelled widely both in his career and in his personal life, and it is these journeys – often to very poor areas – which sparked the desire to help artists and craftspeople get properly rewarded for their work.
A business deal some years ago left him with a big payout but he said he wanted to do more than make money in his life. “I want Dreamaid to be my legacy,” he said, adding: “We now have products from 17 countries and are steadily growing.
“Poor people are not our only target market. We need successful people to sell on the site and we need buyers from around the world.”