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Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, Marriott International, Avendra, and Walmart Launched a Local Sourcing Assessment in Puerto Rico

Posted By Gabriela Millard, Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, Thursday, June 20, 2019

At a meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery hosted by President Bill Clinton and Secretary Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (CGEP) announced a commitment to launch an assessment in Puerto Rico that would evaluate feasibility to increase sourcing from local farmers, connecting new customers and improving incomes for farmers in the region. Marriott International, Avendra, and Walmart have already committed as partners for this project, supporting the assessment and committing to source products meeting quality and price standards once the pilot has begun.

The commitment aims to provide a boost to Puerto Rico’s agricultural sector after Hurricane Maria hit the island in 2017. In recent years, the agricultural sector has been growing at a 3 to 5 percent rate annually – however Hurricane Maria impacted approximately 80 percent of the island’s crop value and caused estimated losses to crop, livestock production and infrastructure of more than $2 billion. Before Hurricane Maria, 85 percent of Puerto Rico’s food was imported – since Maria that figure has jumped to 95 percent.

This assessment will chart agricultural capacity across the island, identifying both potential crops that could be sourced, tropical fruits like watermelon and pineapple, and companies that can serve as buyers for these products. Following research and feasibility analysis, CGEP will work to establish a social business that will purchase these crops and source them to buyers – creating new demand and higher income for smallholder farmers on the island.

CGEP, an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, brings twelve years of building social businesses, including supply chain building in the agricultural sector. “Our social businesses have had significant positive impacts on the lives of farmers in El Salvador, Colombia, and Haiti,” said Frank Giustra, co-founder of CGEP. “I am excited to see our successful model being assessed for other regions, like Puerto Rico, where I hope we can help bridge the gap between farmers and buyers.”

Steve Contos, Senior Vice President, Caribbean and Luxury Portfolio Caribbean and Latin America for Marriott International added: “We’re proud to support Puerto Rico’s farmers and these efforts, and our partnership with CGEP reinforces our longstanding commitment to the island and to empowering the local community. Marriott’s sustainability and social impact platform, Serve 360, also aligns with this project and our global goal to locally source 50 percent of our produce, in aggregate, by 2025. It’s a win-win.”

“We are excited to be a part of this CGEP effort and see it as a foundational building block toward a better supply chain in this region, “said Patrick Poncet, Vice President, Caribbean, Mexico and Central America, Avendra. “As a leading procurement and supply chain services company, this initiative provides us an opportunity to lend our expertise and collaborate with key stakeholders across the value chain to deliver a locally-focused, effective solution.”

Walmart brings both support and years of experience working with a network of local farmers to the partnership. “We are very pleased to be part of CGEP's efforts because our commitment of more than 25 years to Puerto Rico and the well-being of its communities is directly related (aligned) to the organization’s objectives. Currently, Walmart Puerto Rico is working very hard to increase the annual million-dollar investment in products harvested on the Island to contribute to the development of the agricultural industry and, therefore, promote job creation and greater local economic activity," said Iván Báez, Director Public Affairs & Government Relations.

The assessment and potential agribusiness will build on CGEP’s expertise in building social businesses that help smallholder farmers and fishers around the world, including in Haiti, El Salvador, and Colombia. In El Salvador for example, purchasing by partner buyers from local farmers has increased by over $7 million since launch of CGEP social business in 2014. CGEP builds social businesses to generate social impact and financial returns by addressing market gaps in developing countries’ supply chains. Through this model, CGEP seeks to help people work themselves out of poverty.

The commitment was announced Wednesday, January 30 at the CGI Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery, which brings together leaders from government, business, and civil society to make commitments to help communities impacted by the 2017 hurricane season. At the meeting, participants discussed the current recovery efforts in the region, progress to date, ongoing challenges, and made Commitments to Action – specific and measurable projects that address critical issues such as food security, access to healthcare, small business support, sustainable tourism, and renewable energy.

# # #

About the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership

The Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (CGEP) is a social business builder that brings entrepreneurial solutions to global poverty – building from scratch, investing start-up capital, and managing agribusinesses that work with smallholder farmers and fishers. CGEP’s agribusinesses provide sustainably-sourced, high quality local products that meet buyers’ demand at competitive prices and help improve the livelihoods of farmers and farming communities by improving agricultural productivity, creating job opportunities, and facilitating long-term linkages to high value markets.

About Marriott International

Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and encompasses a portfolio of more than 6,900 properties in 30 leading hotel brands spanning 130 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world. The company also operates award-winning loyalty programs: Marriott Rewards®, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®, and Starwood Preferred Guest®. For more information, please visit our website is external), and for the latest company news, is external). In addition, connect with us on Facebook and @MarriottIntl on Twitter and Instagram.

About Sustainability and Social Impact at Marriott International 

Marriott International embraces its global responsibility and unique opportunity to be a force for good. Guided by its sustainability and social impact platform, Serve 360: Doing Good in Every Direction, Marriott is committed to making a positive and sustainable impact wherever it does business. While integrating sustainability across its value chain and mitigating climate-related risk, the company is working to reduce environmental impacts, build and operate sustainable hotels, source responsibly, advance human rights, and create opportunities for the communities where we operate. To learn more about our efforts and our 2025 Sustainability and Social Impact Goals, is external)and follow @MarriottPOV onTwitter(link is external).

About Avendra

Avendra is North America’s leading hospitality procurement services provider. Our supply chain management solutions are tailored to our clients’ business strategies and deliver benefits beyond great savings. We combine years of procurement expertise, purchasing power, services and software to help customers impact the bottom line, improve operational performance, and better serve guests. Avendra is headquartered in Rockville, Maryland and has regional offices throughout North America.

About Walmart

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better - anytime and anywhere - in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, nearly 260 million customers and members visit our 11,535 stores under 72 banners in 28 countries and e-commerce websites in 11 countries. With fiscal year 2016 revenue of $482.1 billion, Walmart employs more than 2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting is external)on Facebook at is external)and on Twitter at is external). Online merchandise sales are available at is external)and is external).


We are looking for additional ecosystem partners across the value chain to join or fund our work in Puerto Rico. We are currently raising $250,000 that will directly fund farmer capacity building and pilot activities involved with setting up the agribusiness.


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Tags:  Agriculture  Latin America  small and growing agrobusiness  Social Entreprenuership  supply chain 

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Codifying "What Works" in Social Venture Business Planning

Posted By Jim Koch, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University, Sunday, January 13, 2019
Updated: Sunday, January 13, 2019
Revolution is not a single event.  
Revolution is finding True North and walking toward it. 
Knowing that you will be walking for a very long while, 
Or always . . .   ”
— From Revolution the Day After, by Carrie Newcomer

On November 2 I was invited to give the opening keynote for the 15th Annual Social Entrepreneurship Conference hosted by USC’s Marshall School of Business.  My remarks described the evolution of Santa Clara University’s efforts to advance the potential for solving the urgent unmet needs of humanity through innovation at the crossroads of technology and business model innovation.  Because this was primarily an academic research conference, I focused on the evolution of Miller Center’s business planning paradigm and its emergence as a practice-based theory for building successful social ventures.  I began my talk by specifying that the business planning process must empower social venture start-up teams:

    1. To raise money
    2. To maximize the social impact of the enterprise
    3. To operate the enterprise with a surplus (positive cash flow)
    4. To grow (scale) the social impact (and income) of the enterprise at a rate faster than the growth of expenses
    5. And, to ensure their enterprise provides a needed solution to a real problem in an effective and efficient manner

The first four of these criteria speak to the ability to achieve both social benefit and financial viability.  The fifth factor speaks to the importance of organizational learning and entrepreneurial adaptation.

In addition to specifying these criteria I cited compelling evidence of Miller Center’s efficacy in supporting the scaling up of social ventures and advancing the social entrepreneurship movement:

    • $940 million dollars has been raised by ventures accelerated through Miller Center’s Global Social Benefit Institute (GSBI®)
    • Since their graduation, 320 million lives have been positively impacted by GSBI alumni
    • From 7 ventures served in its 2003 pilot, by 2018 the GSBI has grown to serve more than 900 ventures across 60+ countries


Most importantly, from its pilot in 2003 to today, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship has been a learning organization.  To scale its delivery capacity, it has segmented its market and developed alternative delivery modalities—including a mentor-supported distance learning process and other adapted forms for serving the needs of ventures in a wide range of geographies, with varying local resources, and at the different stages of development and investment readiness illustrated below:


    • Early Stage
    • - Viable product or service

    • - Potential market quantified

    • - Evidence of market acceptance                                       

    • Early growth
    • - Successful market trial

    • - Product or service can be replicated                                                       

    • Rapid growth
    • - Ventures processes can be scaled to volume

    • - Evidence of significant market

    • - Product or service can be delivered with positive cash flow

From the beginning of our work, Eric Carlson and I realized we had more to learn from social ventures embedded in diverse cultures with severe resource constraints than we had to teach.  To illustrate the importance of humility and learning, I asked an award-winning documentary producer and colleague, Mike Whalen, to capture the experience of social entrepreneurs and their mentors in the 2006 GSBI cohort. His short video, A Pedagogy of Accompaniment vividly illustrates how the lives of both social entrepreneurs and their mentors are transformed by the experience of collaborating to create a better world through the development of sustainable and scalable solutions for serving urgent unmet human needs.  I shared this video with my academic colleagues at the USC conference and have been amazed by the many comments I’ve received from them about how this historic video evoked imagination about the “possibilities” for systems change and the potential for value-added scholarly work across the diverse cultures and many countries represented by conference attendees.

For a look back in time here’s a link to A Pedagogy of Accompaniment:


In writing Building a Successful Social Venture—A Social Entrepreneur’s Guide, Eric and I sought to capture the informal knowledge of the more than 200 mentors who have worked with social entrepreneurs at Miller Center, with a particular focus on the roughly first 50+ individuals we vetted during the first decade of the GSBI program.  These individuals were selected based on a variety of factors with a particular emphasis on C-level or senior management experience in Silicon Valley start-ups, general management or P and L experience, and/or acumen in marketing, finance, or operations and supply chain management. An additional “intangible” factor proved to be critical to the success or failure of GSBI mentorsthe ability to listen with humility in order to understand how their knowledge could be bridged to efforts to serve unmet needs at the base of the economic pyramid.

Mentor 2.png

There is an important distinction between explicit (formal) knowledge—the kind possessed by scholars attending the 15th Annual Social Entrepreneurship Conference—and the implicit (informal) knowledge of successful entrepreneurs.  Mentors in the GSBI rely primarily on implicit knowledge.  The learning organization emphasis in Miller Center required that this knowledge—honed in the munificent environment of Silicon Valley—be adapted to the specific characteristics of markets in poor communities, including local culture and environmental constraints.  Similarly, it required mentors to bridge technology knowledge rooted in the Silicon Valley to the available appropriate technologies and management capabilities within cultural parameters. In Building a Successful Social Venture (BSSV) we codify the accumulated implicit knowledge of GSBI mentors over more than a decade in the form of explicit or basic knowledge needed to complete each element in the 9-factor social venture business planning process summarized in the figure below.

Building a Successful Social Venture
A Social Entrepreneur's Guide

Eric Carlson
James Koch

Berrett-Koehler Publishers
September 2018 


For each of the elements, BSSV also taps the collective intelligence of mentors in the form of a “Minimum Critical Specifications Checklist” for what needs to be included in that element of the business plan.  In systems thinking, a minimum critical specification is a condition that is critical to the overall viability of system design.  For social ventures this translates to the ability to achieve both social impact and financial goals. For example, in element 1—Mission, Opportunity, and Strategy—the collective intelligence of Silicon Valley mentors from their work with hundreds of ventures posits that a focused (10-word) mission statement with a specific outcome measure will increase capital efficiency and the likelihood of venture success. 

This and similar takeaway examples from BSSV are summarized below:

The “minimum critical specifications” concept was originally articulated by Albert Cherns in 1976 as a pivotal construct in socio-technical systems design thinking.  It has since been used by numerous scholars and practitioners, including this author, in the design of high performing work systems.  According to Cherns, the principle of minimum critical specifications has two aspects—one negative and one positive: 

    1. The negative aspect states that no more should be specified (in structure, formal systems, and bureaucratic rules) than is absolutely necessary.
    2. The positive aspect states that we need to identify what is essential.

In writing Building a Successful Social Venture—A Guide for Social Entrepreneurs, Eric Carlson and I have sought to do just this—to clarify what is essential¸ while respecting and continuing to learn from the work of social entrepreneurs  who seek to rewire our systems, our practices, and our mindsets.  Our framework intends to contribute to the gradual elaboration of a new model of socio-economic development—one that is better fit for two thirds of humankind at the base of the pyramid than current approaches to economic development. We hope that Building a Successful Social Venture, based on Miller Center’s framework, will help thousands of social entrepreneurs.

Here’s to a future filled with hope!



James Koch.jpg

James Koch is Professor of Organizational Analysis and Management Emeritus and former dean of the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University, where he also served as acting dean of the School of Engineering. He is the founder of Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship (previously the Center for Science, Technology, and Society), co-founder of the Tech AwardsTechnology Benefiting Humanity, and of the Global Social Benefit Incubator. In addition to entrepreneurship and social innovation, his research and consulting focus on organizational change and the design of high-performance work systems. Prior to coming to Santa Clara University, he was director of Organization Planning and Development at PG&E, a recipient of the American Society for Training and Development Award for Excellence in the Organization Development Professional Practice Area. He began his academic career at the University of Oregon where he was associate dean of the MBA and PhD programs before leaving to join PG&E. Jim has served on a number of for-profit and nonprofit boards, including Commonwealth Club of Silicon Valley and the Board of Trustees of Bay Area Council Economic Institute. He received his MBA and PhD in Industrial Relations from UCLA.


Tags:  Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship  Social entrepreneurship  Social Entreprenuership 

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