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Social Enterprise Franchising Webinar

Posted By Stage Six, Friday, April 6, 2018
https://www.unh.edu/social-innovation/social-sector-franchising-initiative-webinar-1

Register for this webinar about using franchising to scale SGBs here:  https://www.unh.edu/social-innovation/social-sector-franchising-initiative-webinar-1?platform=hootsuite

 

Social Sector Franchising Initiative 2018 Webinar Series

 

Replication and Scaling for Impact: What are the options?
Does Social Franchising have a competitive advantage?  


 

Image of Family at a Supply Hope MarketWednesday, April 11, 2018 
10:00 a.m.  - 11:00 a.m. (-5 GMT)
Online 

 

 

 

 

In this first webinar of the Social Sector Franchise Initiative 2018 Webinar series we will explore a variety of issues and questions about scaling social enterprises. There is an urgent need to scale promising social enterprises that can meet vital human needs. But are we making headway in identifying the most effective pathways to scale? What do we know about the various options for scaling social enterprises, in terms of their relative abilities to reach significant numbers of customers while holding true to their social mission? Why do many social enterprises fail to scale?  What are the roles of industry facilitators and service providers in enabling scale? We often assume scaling equals replication—what are other routes to scale?

Reaching scale can be challenging and some research says fewer than 1 percent of startups scale. This is due to many factors including: the team and leadership’s ability to manage scale; the enterprise’s business model and technology readiness; fit in new territories; and access to or quality of funding and partnerships.  Organizations often use several strategies, depending on opportunities and geographic differences. Does this complicate scale, or does this help the enterprise adapt in new markets? 

What about social sector franchising as a potential gamechanger for scaling social enterprise? Franchising enables a business to grow exponentially while maintaining standards and achieving economies of scale. Franchising drives economic development by increasing opportunities for jobs and business ownership, and creating pipelines of social enterprises capable achieving higher returns for impact investors.  Franchising   has   an advantage when the business model, technology, and market changes little. It also helps with the uptake of business models by aspiring entrepreneurs. Yet, could there be challenges for franchising when scaling requires more changes?

Bill Maddocks our webinar moderator will explore these issues and more with our four guests who represent a wide range of experience in scaling and replicating social enterprises around the world.

 


 

Webinar Guests:
 

Image of EmmaEmma Colenbrander
Emma is the director of a new initiative at Practical Action that is coordinating a wide range of distribution models to coordinate learning and look for economies of scale. The Global Distributors Collective (GDC) is a partnership-based model that acts as a ‘one stop shop’ for last mile businesses, offering support, information and expertise to overcome the challenges of accessing life-changing technologies. It provides a collective voice for distributors to ensure their voice is heard; drives research and innovation across the sector; facilitates the exchange of information, insight and expertise; and helps pilot, test and scale innovative solutions.

Image of NeilNeal Harrison 
Neal A. Harrison is Associate Director of the Replication Initiative at Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship. In this role, Neal is focused on scaling-out business models and technologies by developing sector-specific playbooks to spread best practices, as well as supporting entrepreneurs design their scaling strategy. He has over 10 years of experience building start-ups and leading innovation projects in Sub-Saharan Africa, North America, and Europe.

 

Image of DavidDavid Koch 
David Koch is a partner and co-founder of Plave Koch PLC, a boutique law firm focused on franchising, licensing, and branded distribution. He has over 25 years of experience with clients in foodservice, hotels, educational services, entertainment events, veterinary, staffing, car rental, homeowner services, retail, and other industries. His work involves structuring franchise and license programs, supply chain arrangements, private equity investments in franchising, corporate and commercial transactions, regulatory compliance, antitrust counseling, and cross-border expansion.

David holds an adjunct faculty appointment with the International Transactions Clinic at the University of Michigan Law School, his alma mater, and serves in a similar but informal capacity with the International Transactions Clinic at NYU School of Law. He has spoken at numerous franchise legal and business conferences, including programs in Japan, India, Guatemala, Poland, Romania, England and Canada, and he has authored or co-authored more than 40 published articles and conference papers. Before entering private practice, he was an Attorney-Advisor to the Chairman of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.
 

Image of JulieJulie McBride
Julie is a thought leader in the field of social franchising and was recently named one of “Five Innovative Consultants that are changing the world” in Inc. Magazine.  Julie’s experience using the franchise model to scale social businesses spans 20 years, five continents, and several industries including healthcare, water, sanitation, agribusiness, clean energy, and education.  She was instrumental in designing and operating PSI’s pioneering reproductive health franchise in Pakistan (Green Star) and supported the expansion of social franchises into 27 additional countries.  As a franchise consultant at MSA Worldwide Julie helped social business owners and NGOs design and execute franchise systems.  In her most recent venture as founder and CEO of Stage Six LLC, Julie is building and supporting a portfolio of investment-ready social franchises across a range of sectors and geographies. Her efforts to inform and inspire potential actors in this field have included several high profile speaking engagements and publications.  Julie earned her Masters in Public Health from New York University and her Bachelor of Science from the University of Washington. 

Tags:  replication  scaling  Sector Trends  social enterprise  social entrepreneurship  social franchisingsocial entrepreneurship 

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Risky business: how to de-risk your fintech startup before it’s too late

Posted By Akansha Kasera, Bankable Frontier Associates, Friday, April 6, 2018
Updated: Friday, April 6, 2018

By Maelis Carraro and Elizabeth Davidson

If you’re a fintech entrepreneur, it’s probably not news to you that failure is more likely than success. After all, an estimated 70% of tech startups fail, typically within the first two years after their first round of financing.

Catalyst Fund has been working with inclusive fintech startups, a field that presents unique challenges for entrepreneurs, over the past two years. In many countries, it is a sector that presents more regulatory constraints, limitations as to how companies can handle information, and stringent operational and capital requirements.

Different startups, common risk challenges

Despite working with a wide variety of fintech startups across different geographies and sectors, we have seen some themes emerge on the most common risks that can pose a threat to the success of the business at the early stage. All startups mention they lack the financial and human capital they need to grow their businesses. “Finding funding is a huge burden. The average startup CEO spends 70% of his time fundraising, which remains the number one challenge faced by local startups,” says Yoann Berno of Flowigo.

Finding people with the right skill sets who are willing to give up more secure job alternatives is also big barrier, yet fundamental to raising capital and ensuring smooth execution. “The biggest challenge is getting the team with the right skill set at first, especially when you’re a young company and don’t have a system or protocol for hiring and then you start growing rapidly,” says Destacame’s Jorge Camus. “It then gets challenging to manage the team, train them and really build a culture that allows you to get to your goals.”

Over 70% of our fintech entrepreneurs also noted that not getting to product-market fit is a major challenge they face. They felt they did not have a full understanding of their customers needs to build strong value propositions. Additionally, 40% mentioned they faced technology risks, including lack of accessible data to refine their products, and 33% pointed to specific ecosystem dynamics that might threaten their business ability to scale.

Want to mitigate risks? Start early!
Early identification of key risks can help fintech startups invest in the business support they need early on before a risk takes down the business. These risks can scare off investors, who want to ensure that entrepreneurs understand the key challenges they face. Instead of waiting for entrepreneurs to identify key risks, early stage investors can work with startups to tackle these risks before or in conjunction with their investment.

Catalyst Fund has taken just this approach. By working with our entrepreneurs to identify risks, we can tailor technical assistance to solve these risks so that investors are more confident in the future success of the business.

Taking an honest look at their own key risks can be difficult for entrepreneurs, who may be too deep in the weeds to step back and look at the bigger picture. This is why the Catalyst Fund developed a risk diagnostic to help startup leaders get a better grasp on their challenges, and understand those within or outside of their control. The tool offers a checklist of possible mitigation strategies for the entrepreneur. Here are a few strategies we applied through our technical assistance engagements:

Understand your customer to offer strong value propositions
For Miguel Duhalt at Comunidad 4uno, that meant better understanding what his customers valued most about its product in order to focus on high value customers and tailor their offering. When we first met 4Uno, a financial services distribution platform offering insurance, health benefits and payments services for domestic workers in Mexico, they struggled with picking the right product offering for the right customer segment. After working with them on customer research, we helped them segment their customer base to refine their product offering and marketing strategy. Since then, they tailored product packages for insurance to specific client profiles and also offer salary payment services via an app, which resulted in a growth spurt.

Figuring out the right way to engage with customers is also a challenge for entrepreneurs in these markets and a big risk to the company’s ability to take off. How can a mobile-based startup communicate its value proposition clearly and consistently with a rural customer base when only 50% own phones and only 20% are literate? WorldCover, a platform providing insurance to low-income farmers around the world, used a marketing MVP, or minimal viable product, composed of simple and clear images to cater to the illiterate majority of potential customers. They tested various solutions, from SMS systems to a “microphone man” going to communities to play a recorded message and frequent community meetings. Community meetings, with 95% attendance rates, allowed WorldCover to maintain a human touch with customers. Farmers trusted WorldCover more after more face-to-face interactions because “an impostor wouldn’t show up at your house every week after taking our premium money,” said WorldCover’s CEO, Chris Sheehan.

Build a product vision and roadmap that meets your business needs
On the other hand, PayGo, a pay-as-you-go gas solution in Kenya, realized they were struggling with technology risks. They needed to integrate with a scalable payments solution, track key gas system indicators, and find tools to measure, monitor, and run their field sales team and customer service, yet they did not have the tech skills in the team build the necessary back-end software technology. We worked on designing their product architecture and built a new version of the app they are still using today. “The architecture we built with Catalyst still holds,” says Nick Quintong, PayGo’s CEO. “It was fundamental for a team that doesn’t have software expertise to bring someone in to show us how it can be done with off-the-shelf software modules.” Without these key technology investments early on, PayGo would not be poised for the growth it’s enjoying today.

In Colombia, we helped Escala, a savings fund for corporate employees and their children, with similar challenges. Initially, technology was holding Escala back and preventing them from reaching more clients who could benefit from their services. We worked with Escala to identify and integrate the right tech processes to match their stage and helped them avoid spending important resources on expensive and unnecessary CRM tools. 


“We believe ESCALA Educación’s story proves that a model like CF is very valuable to get a company investment-ready.” 

Escala used their new tech structure to more successfully manage their two sets of clients — companies and their employees — and to raise a seed round, which included members of Catalyst Fund’s Investors Committee such as Accion Venture Lab. “We believe ESCALA Educación’s story proves that a model like CF is very valuable to get a company investment-ready,” said Tahira Dosani, co-managing director of Accion Venture Lab, at the SOCAP conference this year. “ESCALA combines a strong management team and exciting customer acquisition and engagement strategies” says Vikas Raj, co-managing director of Accion Venture Lab.

Get the timing right
Unfortunately, not all risks can be mitigated. For Flowigo CEO Yoann Berno, “timing is everything.” Flowigo, a SaaS company seeking to enhance operations of pay-as-you-go product distributors in Africa, faced timing risks that ultimately backfired. Its markets lacked the client density necessary from them to scale, and key infrastructure issues like connectivity posed an ongoing challenge. SaaS companies like Flowigo need dense networks of businesses to flourish, but in Africa, industries that count more than a few dozen major players are rare. Scaling a SaaS business while addressing 10 to 15 customers is a hard sell. Ultimately, Flowigo succumbed to the timing risk, deciding to pivot and wind down this line of business.

Overall, while not all risks are avoidable, you can’t avoid the risks you don’t know about or aren’t focused on. So for fintech startups and investors alike, identifying and mitigating risks early is key to success. To get started on identifying your fintech startup’s key risks and think of your mitigation plan, check out Catalyst Fund’s new risk diagnostic.

You can also check out De-risking your Fintech startup webinar where we go over the toolkit and risk assessment for Catalyst Fund companies here

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Tags:  Business  emerging markets  entrepreneurship  finance  impact investing  inclusive business  inclusive innovation  Incubation  Risk; Risk Assessment; ANDE Members  SGBs; Environment; accelerators; energy  social business  social enterprise  social entrepreneurship 

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SKOLL ECOSYSTEM EVENT - STREET BUSINESS SCHOOL

Posted By Amy Yanda-Lee, BeadforLife, Saturday, March 24, 2018

THE ART OF SOCIAL FRANCHISING * SKOLL WORLD FORUM - ECOSYSTEM EVENT

Thursday, April 12 - 4:00 PM @ The One Pub

There is growing interest in using social franchising in the global development sector as a means to scale:
• NGOs see franchising as a way to add proven program to their work without reinventing the wheel.
• Donors see franchising as a tool to reduce the costs of each group having to invent their own program.
• Groups/Organizations with a proven and scalable model use social franchising to develop an earned income stream to lessen their dependence on philanthropic funding.

Join us over a pint as we examine social franchising with a case study on how to scale impact of a program proven to alleviate poverty. Through aligned partnerships, Street Business School (SBS) shares how it has successfully scaled its proven model of entrepreneurial education for women living in poverty from Uganda to seven countries across East Africa within the past two years. This example of social franchising has operationalized through funder and NGO partnerships in which locally led organizations are joining a movement to achieve ambitious global impact.

Come with your questions, ideas and experience to this highly interactive session. We will rely on YOU, the audience, to ponder the challenges, surprises, and greatest opportunities that exist in social franchising. We will also hear from panelists who have experience using Street Business School’s franchise model to magnify their own impact. Panelists include:
• Segal Family Foundation CEO Andy Bryant who will share how Segal leverages the partnership with SBS to scale impact while supporting other Segal grantees and grassroots led organizations.
• Street Business School CEO Devin Hibbard who can speak to the strategy of social franchising and the execution of this specific case and these strategic partnerships.
• Dandelion Africa Executive Director Wendo Aszed who can speak to the franchise customization process as she is currently implementing SBS in Dandelion’s community as both a Segal grantee and an SBS Global Catalyst Partner (franchisee).
• Fourth panelist – to be announced at Skoll World Forum
• Moderator, Joahim Ewechu Street Business School Board member and Founder of Unreasonable Institute East Africa.

Refreshment and gifts provided at 4:00. Come early for a drink and chance to network. The panel will begin at 4:15. Thank you to Segal Family Foundation, Moxie Foundation and Street Business School for their fiscal sponsorship of this event.

 

Tags:  social enterprise  Social entrepreneurship  social impact 

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Three Powerful Tools for Fintech Practitioners

Posted By Jane Del Ser, Bankable Frontier Associates, Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, January 17, 2018

By David del Ser

(Watch our video)

Since we launched the Catalyst Fund in 2015, we have helped 15 fintech entrepreneurs deploy novel approaches to bring products and services to their customers. We have distilled the successful patterns and behaviors we have observed into toolkits and posts for those considering fintech methods for their businesses, whether they be startups or established players.


At a high level, successful fintech startups adopt principles of Design, Risk Management and Product Management, and also put modern technologies like smartphones, artificial intelligence and cloud computing at the core of their value propositions. At successful fintech startups Designers, Product Managers, CEOs and Engineers reinforce each other in multidisciplinary teams to explore the overlap between what customers find desirable, what engineers can build, and what the business requires to grow.

Design

The function of Design is to represent the voice of the customer at all times to make sure a company stays centered on what matters most. Design is not a one-off process. In the spirit of customer validation, designers keep tight feedback loops with customers throughout the product development process, from early prototypes to usability testing of new features.


Through user research (UX) techniques like online surveys and one-one-one interviews, designers invest heavily during initial stages in order to know their customers like the back of their hand; what are their problems and pain points, and how can their company help? In fact, designers segment customers into personas to allow the team to constantly keep in mind different user profiles and needs.


Aesthetics matter. Designers work hard to perfect a product’s UI and its look and feel, so it can live up to the high expectations created by WhatsApp or Google. But great design goes beyond just user research and visuals during early product design stages. Successful inclusive fintech startups map out the Customer Journey and Service Blueprint in detail to fully understand the perspective of the user each time they  interact with the company.


Ultimately, great design creates trust, that elusive quality that all startups are chasing and that distinguishes them from their competitors. We’ve captured our lessons for startups to build trust with their customers through their products or services in our Design for Trust Toolkit.


Product Management

But designers can’t work in isolation; they need someone to lead the orchestra - and that’s where a product manager comes in. The PM takes a big picture view and works to ensure that designers, engineers and marketers all work towards the same goal. Crucially, she makes sure the product or service goal is backed by data and evidence. She keeps the whole process nimble through quick agile iterations focused on the activities of users, from initial onboarding to the retention phase. For example, using A/B Testing and usage analytics she captures details of how each users is interacting with every screen to inform engagement.


The effective product manager is very focused on the key metrics for the business, such as customer lifetime value or acquisition costs. She also works hard to explore the best channels to find new customers, including viral referrals and social media. As an example, our portfolio company Destacame has seen lead acquisition costs dropping to less than $3 through these types of digital channels. We explore some of the different tools and frameworks to help startups focus as they chart their journey from idea, to minimum viable product (MVP) and growth in our upcoming product/market fit toolkit.

Modern Technologies

And finally, you can’t have good fintech without the “tech” that is enabling these new approaches.


Most important are the smartphones, which run fintech apps and also act as channels to find and interact with users. For instance, several of our startups use WhatsApp to offer customer support and drive virality, communicating with users in the way they prefer. Smartphones can also be used to generate and capture user data, which is particularly valuable when targeting low-income consumers who traditionally have been anonymous. In that vein, our portfolio company Smile Identity validates and authenticates customer identities using selfies taken on their phones.


In addition machine learning and other artificial intelligence systems can improve customer value propositions and to automate internal processes like credit scoring using data from smartphones and other new sources like satellites. As an example, our portfolio company ToGarantido is exploring chatbots for sales of their insurance policies and customer support. Harvesting is using satellite data to understand credit and insurance risk with just a GPS read. Worldcover doesn’t even need customers to file a claim as their satellite systems award them automatically.


And software engineering helped Escala and Paygo Energy to automate most of their back-office processes to be responsive to their customers. It is easier and more affordable than ever for startups to leverage affordable SaaS solutions to architect their systems. Likewise, cloud computing is also a powerful technology that offers simplicity, lower costs and flexibility. There is no need to commit capital to purchase hardware and the team requires less engineering talent to keep the servers going.

Conclusion

In our experience, companies that harness the powerful combination of design, product management and modern technologies create better and more tailored value propositions. That makes for happier customers, which is what makes businesses thrive. By driving more usage, the fintech triad can create more impact in low-income populations. And digital channels and automated processes can significantly lower costs of serving customers, allowing for expansion to new markets and reducing exclusion.


Learn more by joining us for our webinar on the Catalyst Fund toolkits during the ANDE Sector Update call in January. Register here.


Tags:  Acceleration  accelerator  accelerators  Africa  ANDE Africa  Base of the Pyramid  brazil  Business Models  capacity development  early stage ecosystem  emerging markets  entrepreneurship  finance  financial inclusion  fintech  Grants Rockefeller  impact investing  impact investment  inclusive innovation  India  India; ANDE members  innovation  Kenya  Latin America  mentoring  Mexico  SGBs; accelerators; East Africa  smaholder farmers  smes  social enterprise  social entrepreneurship  social innovation  webinar  West Africa 

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Millennials Seek Shift in Workplace Culture

Posted By Peter Ptashko, Global Social Entrepreneurship Network (GSEN), Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Updated: Friday, August 11, 2017

Today GSEN: the Global Social Entrepreneurship Network is delighted to launch the next blog in its 'Summer of Talent' series.

Rafael Achondo is founder at 'Matteria' and writes on how to manage a new generation of human capital eager for purpose and culture in the workplace. 

Considering the ambition and volatility of this growing workforce, attracting and retaining the best talent will depend on the ability of management to build teams with shared values and beliefs.

According to the 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey, 66 percent of professionals between 25 and 35 years old are considering leaving their current jobs before 2020; 13 percent will leave in the next 6 months. A symptom of the disconnect between employers and employees is the perception that a search for work- life balance indicates a lack of interest in the job, or that impatience for advancement comes from arrogance and hubris. There are misunderstandings between managers and millennial workers because the workforce is changing, while the workplace is not.

The LinkedIn Job Switchers Global Report 2015 shows that the number of active job seekers has increased by 36 percent in the last four years, and that 34 percent of these ‘job switchers’ are expected to move not only to a new employer but into different industries and positions altogether. Yes, they want to be elsewhere, doing and learning something different. “Why should I keep working in the banking sector if I can also work in the energy, IT, or retail industries?” “Why should I learn only from finance if my skills allow me to gain knowledge in marketing, logistics or human capital management?”

Managers might wonder: “Why do our employees have this insatiable curiosity, flexibility and ambition?”

The answer is simple: because they can. We are dealing with young professionals who descend from the generation with the greatest purchasing power in history, the offspring of abundance and citizens of an increasingly connected global village, less ideological, modern and tolerant to diversity, and with access to inexhaustible sources of information, every day more democratized. This context empowers them to believe that they can achieve more: 77 percent of young professionals feel partially or absolutely in control of their professional future and 81 percent are willing to travel anywhere in the world in order to find a job to fulfil their expectations, according to 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey.

The main challenge today is to see this labor turnover as a real trend that gives organizations the opportunity to develop management strategies that really add value to human capital and to every person on a team. To use millennials’ ambition and diversity to bolster an organization’s vision and fulfill its purpose of doing business.

What kind of organizations have taken advantage of this ’problem‘? Those who appreciate this new generation and their drive, both individual and collective, those who understand their personal quest for purpose, and even further those who value their aspiration to belong to a culture and a community. Purpose and culture are the current and future keys to managing the most important asset any organization could have: human capital.


Millennials take pride in contributing to something that really matters. Well-educated and with no shortage of opportunities, their ambitions go beyond job security or earning a large salary with benefits. Employment is not only about making enough money to enjoy leisure activities in one’s free time. Another key factor to happiness is personal fulfilment and self-esteem within work. This evolved perspective includes a society where individual behavior has consequences and in which each person contributes to the greater good. Millennials want their employers to be in tune with this world, the world they want to build, regardless of the product, service, or industry in which they operate.

Beyond purpose, millennials also have the human need to communicate and interact with others around a collective welfare goal. Young professionals are inspired more by causes rather than ideologies, by
convictions rather than religious beliefs. Many of these individuals have little confidence in current political establishments and economic systems that breed inequality, which is why they want to be part of organizational cultures that break these paradigms and solve these challenges. They are eager to be a part of work teams with values, behaviors, language, beliefs, and power structures that positively impact their lives and the lives of others. They seek a different, more holistic way of doing business.

The following strategies can help organizations create an environment that will attract and retain young professionals:

  • Generate a vision and culture that Millennials want to see reflected in society
  • Create collaborative environments
  • Encourage leadership that empowers individuals, providing opportunities both for innovation as
    well as failure
  • Manage global, multi-disciplinary teams and innovative projects where employees can contribute
    their talents and fulfil roles that enable them to grow and advance
  • Equip teams to work on common goals towards a better society
  • Measure performance by goals achieved rather than hours in the office

Most importantly, an employer’s invitation to future employees should not only be to fill a position, but to enter an open space where they can learn and become the best version of themselves, both personally and professionally.

What if after all this effort employees still leave the organization? While these strategies should help turnover rates to decrease, human capital management goals should target each professional passing through an organization individually. Investment in the talent of your employees will make a difference in the problems they might solve and the impact they create in the future. Equipping employees to become change makers will benefit society, even if that benefit is created with another organization. When young professionals have been proud to be part of a team, they will take the culture and values to other causes and organizations.

The trends are evident and growing. Society is evolving and with it the aspirations and demands of the new generation of professionals. The organizations that take risks and innovate in this area will attract and retain the best talent. To achieve this we will need leaders who not only understand sustainability\ as a competitive strategy, but who also adapt their management to develop professionals for a new
economy, focused on economic, social and environmental positive impact. Understanding this will allow leaders to become real cultural contributors, as they promote in their employees and teams the same positive values we want to see in society.


About Rafael Achondo

Founder at Matteria. Co-Founder and former CEO at Pegas con Sentido Chile. Former
Executive Director of Development at TECHO (Un Techo para mi País). Co-Founder and former CEO at TECHO U.S.
Twitter: @rafoachondo

 

Tags:  ANDE Members  social entrepreneurship 

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Toilet Accelerator India Edition Challenge - open for applications until 10th July!

Posted By Claire Balbo, Toilet Board Coalition, Tuesday, June 20, 2017
 
Do you have a business or business idea for toilet innovations and service models, circular economy waste management and resource recovery, or mobile, digital and e-heath applications for sanitation in India?

Apply for over 100,000 Euro in support from global brand companies by 10 July 2017!

APPLY HERE!
The Toilet Accelerator India Edition challenge calls for applications from businesses that are addressing the most challenging water and sanitation issues in the country. 
Top 3 winners will be announced at the 9th Sankalp Global Summit from 6-8 December, 2017 in Mumbai. The winners will receive over 100,000 Euro of in-kind support from leading companies over a 12 month period, as part of the 2018 Toilet Accelerator cohort of the Swiss based Toilet Board Coalition. The Toilet Accelerator Program provides expert mentorship and support, as well as access to the TBC-Sankalp investor networks. The Toilet Board Coalition is supported by some of the largest multinational corporates like Firmenich, Lixil, Kimberly-Clark and Unilever.  

THE ACCELERATE INDIA SANITATION BUSINESS CHALLENGE IS OPEN UNTIL 10 JULY 2017
The Toilet Board Coalition brings together experts from business, investment, and the global sanitation community through our platform to cross-fertilise experiences, innovate at all levels, and catalyse the growth of profitable sanitation businesses that deliver sanitation to all.  The Toilet Accelerator is a corporate accelerator program to facilitate private sector engagement and mentorship to sanitation businesses and entrepreneurs serving low-income markets. For more information on the Toilet Board Coalition, please visit the website.
Sankalp Forum is one of the largest platforms promoting innovation and entrepreneurship in emerging markets and building the ecosystem for business-led inclusive development. Over the past nine years, Sankalp has showcased over 400 sustainable enterprises across India, Africa and Southeast Asia, enabled 500+ mentoring connections and facilitated over USD 240Mn of equity investments. For more information on Sankalp Forum, please visit the website.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us by contacting Claire Balbo: balbo@toiletboard.org
#WeCantWait to know about your business!!

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Tags:  entrepreneurship  India  sanitation  Sankalp  SDGs  SGBs  SMEs  social entrepreneurship  sustainability 

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Ennovent invests in Bengaluru-based Hasiru Dala Innovations

Posted By Aditi Natarajan, Ennovent, Tuesday, April 18, 2017

 

Ennovent’s Impact Investment Holding (IIH) has invested an undisclosed amount in Bengaluru-based Hasiru Dala Innovations Private Limited. The company was incubated earlier by the Foundation for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship (FISE), a Tata Trusts initiative. This is the sixth investment made by Ennovent’s Impact Investment Holding.

Hasiru Dala Innovations is a for-benefit, not-for-loss social enterprise that is dedicated to creating reliable and sustainable livelihoods for wastepickers through innovative, circular-economy centric businesses (www.hasirudalainnovations.com). It currently offers total waste management services for the responsible bulk waste generator, event waste management services for the eco-friendly host and easy to use home composter kits for the environmentally conscious. The enterprise therefore focuses on social impact through livelihood creation for waste pickers and environmental conservation by diverting waste away from landfills and processing it usefully .The company was co-founded by Nalini Shekar, Shekar Prabhakar and Marwan Abubaker in Bengaluru.

Bengaluru generates a reported 3500-4000 tonnes of waste everyday, which has led to overflowing, closed landfills and illegal dumping of waste in open landfills. This has created an enormous strain on urban local bodies, which are unable to cope with the mounting levels of waste and the consequent environmental and civic fallout. Further, the lives of the city’s 25000-30000 waste pickers who deal with this issue on a daily basis is deplorable- harassed by citizens and the police alike, with unpredictable livelihoods and no social security, they have an average life expectancy of 39 years.

Hasiru Dala was started in 2013 as a non-government organisation (NGO) with the aim of integrating waste pickers into the city’s solid waste management system. Since its inception, it has worked towards improving the working conditions of thousands of workers in the informal economy, including waste pickers, sorters and itinerant waste buyers. Hasiru Dala focuses on social justice issues covering social security, identity, dignity of labour, healthcare, education and affordable housing through policy advocacy, grassroots mobilization and leveraging assistance provided by the state and central governments and other relevant institutions.

Since its inception, Hasiru Dala has created over 800 full and part-time jobs and impacted over 22,000 households which now have access to better waste management services. Both organisations put together manage over 40 tonnes of waste every day.

With this investment, Hasiru Dala Innovations plans to expand its operations in Bengaluru and invest in technology in order to streamline its operational processes. It will also use the funding to improve on its service offerings, which currently include solid waste management, urban gardening services, waste management services for events and home composting kits. The investment will be also be used to scale up Hasiru Dala Innovations’ reach and impact within Bengaluru, as well as expand its services to other cities in India.

The contribution that Hasiru Dala Innovations makes to enhancing the lives of waste pickers is the primary reason for the investment. This is because the organisation’s impact is not just limited to their working lives but also to their holistic growth (through health, banking and insurance facilities) and the lives of their children through educational loans and scholarships,

Speaking about the investment, Joel Rodrigues, Senior Manager – Finance Services at Ennovent said “The problem of inefficient solid waste management in urban areas can be solved by using technology and formally integrating waste pickers into the city’s solid waste management system. Ennovent Impact Investment Holding is optimistic about the impact Hasiru Dala Innovations will have in delivering waste management services to urban households while improving the lives of waste pickers.”

Shekar Prabhakar, Managing Director, Hasiru Dala said “Hasiru Dala Innovations is delighted to have Ennovent Impact Investment Holding partner with us on this journey. It is heartening to have impact investors like Ennovent recognize that social enterprises like ours are trying to maximize social impact while keeping the business viable and sustainable. We hope to not just transform waste picker lives but professionalize and set benchmarks in every business that we are in. We look forward to Ennovent’s continued support in realizing our vision of a just, opportunity-rich world for waste pickers.”

Tags:  entrepreneurship  Environment  impact investing  India  sanitation  social entrepreneurship 

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​Agora Partnerships Launches Application for 2017 Accelerator Cycle 2 Class

Posted By Elysa Neumann, Agora Partnerships, Thursday, March 9, 2017
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKRdMGQbY_Q&feature=youtu.be

 
Agora Partnerships has launched applications for its 2017 Accelerator program.
 
Through its flagship Accelerator program, Agora Partnerships strives to accelerate the shift to a sustainable economy by providing entrepreneurs who are intentionally building businesses that solve social and environmental challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean with the resources they need to grow. Since 2011, 125 companies working in 19 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have participated in the Agora Accelerator, raising USD $52MM in capital and creating over 5,000 jobs. This year, in solidarity with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Agora Partnerships is aligning our Accelerator tracks to advance the SDGs.
 
The Accelerator is a 4-month program designed to provide high-potential entrepreneurs with the knowledge, network and access to capital necessary to create system change, through in-depth, personalized, 1:1 consulting; access to the Agora Partnerships’network of mentors, investors, and capital opportunities; and a global community of peers.
 
Agora’s Accelerator program is designed for companies who are solving social and environmental challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean, matching the following criteria: 
 
  • early or growth stage, past proof-of-concept; 
  • currently looking for investment to scale; 
  • legally incorporated as a for-profit structure with basic accounting systems in place; 
  • average annual income of USD $50K to $2MM; and, 
  • with a clear, measurable and sustainable impact.
 
Agora Partnerships looks to work with entrepreneurs who embody the leadership qualities of agency, empathy, curiosity and perseverance.
 
To apply to Agora Partnerships’ 2017 Accelerator click here.
 
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Agora Partnerships is a network committed to leveling the playing field for entrepreneurs by finding innovative ways to drive more human, social, and financial capital to the leaders and ideas that will make our world a better place. To learn morevisit: AgoraPartnerships.org

Tags:  Acceleration  accelerators  Agriculture  Business  Caribbean  central america  energy  Entrepreneurship  Environment  impact  impact investing  impact investment  innovation  Latin America  nicaragua  SGBs; Environment; accelerators; energy  small and growing agrobusiness  social ent  social enterprise  social entrepreneurship  social impact  sustainability  talent  Women 

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Social Entrepreneurship: A Look Back, A Look Ahead

Posted By Patricia Haines, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University, Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Leaders in social entrepreneurship, from Miller Center, Skoll, Toniic, Acumen, FSG, and more, take stock of 2016, look ahead to 2017.

The cusp of the new year naturally prompts reflection about the past and speculation about the future. Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship invited some leaders in social entrepreneurship and impact investing to share their thoughts about the current state of the sector and some trends they see for 2017 and beyond.

“As social entrepreneurship evolves, we need to continually be creative about how we address our ultimate goal, which doesn’t change—and that’s to discover the best ways to help social enterprises worldwide collectively lift billions of people out of poverty,” said Thane Kreiner, Ph.D., executive director, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University.

Measuring Impact of Social Entrepreneurship

One of the big challenges is how to measure the impact of social enterprises on the communities they serve, as well as how to attribute what factors lead to particular outcomes.

“Is social entrepreneurship really making a dent in the big problems facing the world today? 2017 would be a good time to talk about this,” said Harvey Koh, managing director of FSG.

Sasha Dichter, chief innovation officer for Acumen, oversees the organization’s work in leadership and the spread of ideas, including Acumen’s work in impact measurement, called Lean Data. He said: “In 2016 we saw huge strides and appetite for impact measurement that was fast, cost-effective and useful to entrepreneurs. My belief is that in 2017 we will start to see widespread adoption of Lean Data and similar nimble approaches to impact measurement—and for the first time we will start to hear, at scale, the voice of the customers we are serving.”

“In any given year, financial returns can go up or go down. Up, we feel great; down, awful,” said Adam Bendell, CEO of Toniic. “Measured impact also has volatility, whether you look for social impact or carbon reduction. But values alignment—the process of aligning our investments with our values, across asset classes—that can go up each and every year, until it reaches 100%. And that steady progress is a source of tremendous psychic income to the conscious investor—one that mitigates the emotional volatility of investing and brings lasting joy.”

On the other hand, Lisa Kleissner, co-founder of KL Felicitas Foundation, observed that the notion of impact washing became more prevalent in 2016. Impact washing is when a company or organization spends more time and money claiming to be “impactful” through advertising and marketing than actually implementing business practices or producing investable products that truly deliver positive social and environmental impact. “To avoid impact washing, impact networks such as Toniic become so much more important—to provide clarity on what is and what is not impact,” she said.

One of the “goal posts” that Miller Center and others have identified for benchmarking the impact of social enterprises are the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs, which celebrated their one-year anniversary in 2016, provide specific goals for ending poverty, protecting the planet, and ensuring prosperity and well-being for all.

Marshaling Capital from Across the Investment Spectrum

Carolyn Woo, president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), acknowledged the crucial role of financing in the success of social enterprises. She said: “CRS has taken some bold steps to become an active participant in the impact investing landscape, focused on leveraging resources, taking risks in new financing models, and helping to unlock entrepreneurial capital in the sectors and geographies in which we work. We see a number of trends that continue to inform our forward momentum on impact investing, including an increased interest from our traditional donors to catalyze the sector.”

As an example of these trends in impact investing, Woo described a CRS partnership with USAID to develop a fund that will make grants and loans to community organizations in Guatemala’s Western Highlands. This fund will be paired with technical support for communities to develop robust, inclusive development plans and projects—and it will be augmented by $50 million of additional public and private support for the target communities.

“As we move into 2017,” Woo continued, “we are looking forward to new partnership opportunities to create similar innovative financing solutions. We have also committed our own funds to make mission-aligned investments that create sustainable solutions for the poorest and most vulnerable worldwide.”

KL Felicitas Foundation’s Kleissner noted that 2016 saw “a remarkable uptick across the ecosystem in the increase of financial product offerings, impact intermediaries and new capital moving in. Impact investing definitely arrived in 2016,” she said.

To help explore new ways to address the funding of social enterprises, particularly as they scale, Miller Center has identified the “Transformative Frontier,” which spans the entire investment spectrum from approaches focused purely on investment returns to pure philanthropy.

“The trend line for social entrepreneurship has never been more promising,” said Sally Osberg, president and CEO of Skoll Foundation. “Increasingly, investors across the spectrum—commercial, impact and philanthropic investors—recognize the imperative for innovative solutions to societal challenges, knowing that the very future of democracy and free enterprise hang in the balance.”

Focusing on Replication and Taking a Systems Perspective

One potential avenue for making investment in social enterprises less risky, while creating pools of talent to expand the reach of social entrepreneurship, is to replicate validated social enterprise technology solutions and business models.

“We see strong potential in efforts to scale tried and tested models, while reaching deeper into the strongest pools of entrepreneurial talent. That would be great for accelerating impact, and it should also be interesting for investors,” said FSG’s Koh.

KL Felicitas’s Kleissner expressed a new urgency for impact investing and social entrepreneurship: “It has to be mentioned that the recent U.S. election underscored the importance of our work and that we are not working fast enough to solve domestic issues such as lack of access to education and sustainable job opportunities, both of which are key to a healthy democracy,” she said. “The relative ease with which Russia and social media manipulated U.S. voters laid bare how fragile our democracy is. My hope is that in 2017, the fourth sector—the emerging ‘for-benefit’ sector of the economy combining the private sector’s market-based approaches with the public and nonprofit sectors’ social and environmental aims—will strengthen and become a force in healing our democracy.”

Skoll Foundation’s Osberg highlighted the challenges to social entrepreneurship from larger cultural issues: “Knowing the imperative for innovative solutions to preserve the future of democracy and free enterprise, those stakes raise the ante for social entrepreneurship. If social entrepreneurs are to fulfill the promise of their innovative solutions to social challenges, then more social entrepreneurs must be able to demonstrate results at scale, and more investors must be willing to make bigger and more sustainable bets.

“When one adds in populist uprisings in both developed and developing world countries—fueled by globalization, demography, climate change and automation—it’s easy to see just how much more challenging the task of the social entrepreneur becomes,” Osberg continued. “It’s incumbent upon all of us who seek out and support social entrepreneurs to appreciate that their work has become all the more difficult, to step up our commitments and to join forces for the future we know is possible.”

FSG’s Koh emphasized that “we need to move into systems thinking, which is a departure from the impact enterprise approach. As we push to overcome barriers, we realize that what’s needed is bigger than working with just the social enterprises. It also includes governments, societies and other pieces that are part of larger systems.

“The systems people and the social impact people have different starting points and they don’t interact, but they should be connected,” Koh continued. “For example, the world of governments and big bilateral donors and intermediaries might work to improve agricultural markets—a very systemic, top-down approach. Social enterprises might work from the bottom up with individual farmers. It’s difficult to connect these two ends because they live in such different worlds, but we need to tie them together by thinking about the end goals. Is it to get more social enterprises going, or is it to grow more capital, or is it to have economies that are more inclusive?”

“In my mind, the only effective path forward for social entrepreneurship is through collective action that achieves collective impact: identifying and replicating lots of similar innovations, while aggregating a full range of capital and applying it intelligently so that all the efforts add up to making a huge difference,” said Miller Center’s Kreiner.

Miller Center is a pioneer and leader in this field, having started its Global Social Benefit Institute (GSBI®) social enterprise accelerator programs at about the same time the Skoll Foundation was founded and that Acumen was launched.

“Successful trailblazers see where to go before others know the path,” said Kreiner. “Miller Center has embarked on a number of experiments in replication, new capital approaches, and building a network to spark greater collective efforts across the entire ecosystem. Our hope is that this experimentation, along with thoughtful analysis and continued conversations, will lead to best practices that can be applied to communities in need.

“In the end, this is not just about entrepreneurship or investing or philanthropy,” he said. “It’s also about understanding how societies function, and how societies are affected by ever-changing environmental conditions. The call to action for all of us is to mobilize the capital, the innovation and the passion that will make it possible to achieve our ultimate goal of eradicating poverty on a global scale.”

As Pope Francis wrote in his Laudato Si’ encyclical: “We are faced not with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather with one complex crisis, which is both social and environmental. Strategies for a solution demand an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded and at the same time protecting nature.”

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Tags:  CSR  leadership  Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship  Skoll  Social entrepreneurship 

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Announcing the Third Call for Applications for the CHMI Learning Exchange!

Posted By Allison Ettenger, Results for Development Institute, Wednesday, October 12, 2016

applICATIONS OPEN FOR the CHMI Learning Exchange

 

The Center for Health Market Innovations (CHMI), in partnership with Solina Health, is thrilled to announce its third Call for Applications for the CHMI Learning Exchange! Applications are due by November 13th.

Download the application here

Recognizing the excellence and innovation within our global network, the CHMI Learning Exchange aims to facilitate structured learning partnerships between organizations that are profiled on CHMI, helping programs to improve business practices, adopt innovations, or scale-up or replicate an aspect of their model to a new market. Learning Exchanges help connect health program managers to their peers for a focused opportunity that can help organizations strengthen their health businesses, and expand access to improved quality care.

The CHMI Learning Exchange will provide funding of up to US $8,000 to successful applicants to facilitate learning partnerships. Programs that apply for participation in the Learning Exchange may also be considered for participation in a Learning Collaborative - an additional in-person opportunity to work with your learning exchange partner and other programs in our network that share similar programmatic challenges[1].  To be eligible for this opportunity, at least one program must be based in West Africa[2], and both programs must be based in Sub-Saharan Africa

CHMI has seen firsthand that peer learning activities can be a valuable tool to support programs on their path to scale, ultimately reaching more people with quality, affordable care. In April 2015, CHMI awarded its second round of learning exchange grants to five winning applications. Representing ten organizations and six countries, these new partnerships allowed program managers to improve and scale-up their models; past grantee activities range from replicating supply models, improving management and operational processes, building financial sustainability, and adapting new client safety systems.

A Learning Exchange Focused on Sub-Saharan Africa


Following the 2014 West Africa Ebola outbreak, the global community refocused its attention on the fragmented health systems in West Africa. While many activities are implemented in West Africa with government support, there is a limited presence of peer learning opportunities in the region for private providers.  Allowing innovators from across the continent to connect with West African programs helps CHMI to share tacit knowledge, understand country contexts and regional trends, and promote South-to-South learning partnerships.

Is this opportunity right for me?

-Are you a healthcare manager running a program in Sub-Saharan Africa, aspiring to scale up your program or enter new markets?

-Are you struggling with a central question around your business model, one that other program managers may have insight into?

-Could you benefit from traveling or engaging virtually to learn from a similar healthcare program, either in your country or internationally?


If you answered yes to any of the above, the CHMI Learning Exchange may be a good opportunity for you!

What is a Learning Exchange?

A Learning Exchange is an engagement between two or more organizations to share knowledge around a particular need or business practice. Partners may be based in the same geography or in different countries.

Because peer-to-peer exchanges are customized to address an organization’s particular and current need, they can be limited to the scope necessary to catalyze institutional change. 

How does a Learning Exchange work?


Learning Exchanges will involve one or more healthcare organizations acting as lead partners and knowledge partners. One of these partners must be based in West Africa, and both programs need to be based in Sub-Saharan Africa

Lead partner: A “lead partner” is a healthcare organization profiled by CHMI that will develop the application for the CHMI Learning Exchange and be responsible for disbursing funds to other partnering organizations. The “lead” partner can be the “learner” in a traditional “mentor-mentee” relationship; or, the lead partner and knowledge partners can represent similar organizations that may offer complementary skills, expertise, and ability to learn from one another. Lead partners should contact potential knowledge partners through CHMI or through other channels to solicit their agreement to apply for the CHMI Learning Exchange. Please contact chmi@r4d.org if you require assistance in contacting programs through our website.Knowledge partner: One or more healthcare organization(s) that work with a lead partner to exchange knowledge through activities specified in this application. Knowledge partner(s) should agree to participate with a lead partner prior to being named in an application for the CHMI Learning Exchange.

 
Both partners should discuss the scope of the learning agenda, the way in which learning will take place, and its intended impact.

The lead partner will submit an application to the CHMI Learning Exchange. The lead partner will assume responsibility for meeting outcomes, submitting reports, and determining whether and how funds are shared between partners. The knowledge partner will provide their organization’s commitment signature on the Lead partner’s application.


A cohort of organizations will carry out their unique Learning Exchanges over a six-month period, from December 2016 through May 2017. At the conclusion of the Learning Exchange, partners will reflect on what worked and what didn’t work, and share their experiences to benefit the broader CHMI community. 

 
Learn more and apply by November 13th. Please contact us at chmilearningexchange@r4d.org if you have any questions. We look forward to hearing from you! 

Apply today

Tags:  Base of the Pyramid  business training  Health  Private Sector  social enterprise  social entrepreneurship  Training & Events  West Africa 

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