Creating an Entrepreneur-Centric Support Ecosystem
A nascent ecosystem of support organizations has emerged to help social entrepreneurs scale their businesses. But as Executive Director of the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, Brigit Helms, points out in this Forbes article, “ We have collectively—and inadvertently—created a highly fragmented mashup of a disconnected system…What’s needed is a coherent, coordinated ecosystem that works together to enable entrepreneurs to thrive and scale.” To help you do that most effectively, our friends at Tamarack Institute created this Guide for Building a Sustainable and Resilient Collaboration, and its accompanying Sustainability Self-Assessment Tool.
The Power of Lean Experimentation
How do you scale up a great idea when you’re working with limited resources? By thinking big — but starting small. Lean experimentation is the practice of testing your assumptions through early and frequent real-world experiments. A great example of what that looks like in practice is the case of Illinois Contraceptive Access Now (ICAN!), which leveraged lean experimentation to quickly improve data terms, partnership agreements, and onboarding – ultimately tripling its health center partners in less than two years. Lean experimentation also plays a key role in driving systems change, as our friends at Spring Impact, 100X Impact Accelerator, and Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator outline in this NextBillion article.
Blending Financial and Non-Financial Support for Impact at Scale
Both financial and non-financial support play important roles in scaling social businesses. Non-financial support often helps lay the foundation for funding in the future, as you can see in this feature about Safeplan Uganda’s experience working with pro bono consultants to develop critical business strategy documentation. This story about health e-commerce social enterprise Kasha shows how funding can then enable the deepening of services and expansion into new markets. Collaboration between implementers is key for both – this article outlines 5 factors to keep in mind based on insights shared at the 2023 Skoll World Forum.
Social Impact Job Openings
- 60 decibels is hiring for an Agriculture Manager (based in Nairobi, Kenya)
- The American Civil Liberties Union is hiring for a Senior Digital Campaigner (based in New York, N.Y.)
- Clinton Health Access Initiative is hiring for an Associate Director, Digital Health (flexible location with strong preference for Sub-Saharan Africa)
- Common Future is hiring for a Director, Impact Investments (hybrid out of Oakland, CA)
- The Drivers Cooperative is hiring for a General Manager (based in New York, N.Y.)
- Mercy Corps Ventures is hiring for multiple positions, including:
- Micromentor is hiring for a Business Development Representative (based in Portland, OR)
- Pyxera Global is hiring for multiple positions, including:
- Resonance Global is hiring for a Business Development Manager (based in Burlington, VT, Washington, D.C., or remote within the U.S.)
- Schultz Family Foundation is hiring for a Senior Program Officer (based in Seattle, WA)
- Tides Network is hiring for a Director of External Communications (remote within U.S.)
- USAID Bureau for Development, Democracy, and Innovation is hiring for a Digital Inclusion Advisor (based in Washington, D.C.)
Upcoming Events & New Programs
- July 5: Last day for social entrepreneurs to contribute their perspective to the Yunus Social Business Sector Spotlight on Recycled Plastics. Get your voice heard in this global study by taking 10 minutes to complete the short survey here.
- July 7: Deadline to apply to the Lead2030 Challenge for SDG 7, open to youth-led enterprises that are tackling the energy divide in the worst affected countries and regions. Selected solutions will be awarded $50,000 USD in funding from CEZ Group.
- July 10: Deadline to apply for Clean Cooking Investor Pitch & Connect 2023, open to all Companies, SMEs, Startups and Innovators from anywhere in the world involved in the design, manufacturing, supply-chain, marketing, funding and PayGo of modern energy cooking products, solutions and services.
- July 13: Join Supply Change for a free webinar, “Building Supplier Diversity Into Supply Chains.” Learn more and register here.
- July 20: Join the TRANSFORM Support Hub for the first of a two-part series of workshops with Integrative Solutions CEO Dr. Deepti Sastry, on the topic of “How to Define and Articulate Your Social and Business Impacts.” Learn more and register here.
- July 20: Join Unity Effect for a free workshop, “What is Regenerative Measurement and Evaluation?” Learn more and register here.
- July 26-28: The third annual Global Young CEOs Convention Meeting and Awards will take place in East Africa on the theme of “Rebuilding the Foundation of Integrity, Responsiveness, & Accountability in African Entrepreneurship.” Learn more and register here.
- July 31: Deadline to apply to the Reckitt Fight For Access Accelerator Nigeria, open to social businesses in Nigeria with innovative solutions in water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH)
A Final Bit of Inspiration
“No radical change comes without resistance, and that’s okay and even unavoidable…Radical collaboration is about coming together and empowering each other to do things differently for a more impactful outcome, even if it scares us at first.”
Radical Climate Collaboration Guidebook