Developing Social Entrepreneurs into Sales Leaders: Effective Practices to Adopt – And Common Mistakes to Avoid
Succeeding in social business requires entrepreneurs to exert strong executive leadership in multiple business functions. As Scott A. Roy at Whitten & Roy Partnership argues, one such area is sales, which is often a weak point for social entrepreneurs, even though it's the revenue generator for their companies. He shares some essential sales development practices – and common mistakes – that social entrepreneurs in emerging markets need to understand to optimize their own sales efforts and maximize their business success.
Sustainable Finance, Before and After COVID-19: What the New Focus on Public Sector Investment Means for Blended Finance
Before COVID-19 hit, sustainable finance was on a clear pathway towards success, with private sector capital leading the way. Then the pandemic started, necessitating a massive mobilization of government resources and putting the public sector’s role in the spotlight. Massimiliano Riva at the U.N.'s Joint SDG Fund explores this shift, comparing the pre- and post-COVID prospects for sustainable finance in developing countries, and discussing how blended finance can bring the public and private sectors together to maximize their combined impact.
Finding Opportunity in a Crisis: How Hatch Technologies Started a New Medical Device Venture During a Global Pandemic
In July 2020, the global COVID-19 pandemic was spreading aggressively across Africa. That's the same month Hatch Technologies, a nonprofit supporting newborn medical device distribution and services in sub-Saharan Africa, launched its operations. Dick Oranja, Hatch's executive director, discusses the challenges of starting a new venture during one of the most financially and logistically demanding times the world has experienced – and explores why the pandemic proved to be a surprisingly opportune time to launch.
Curbing Deforestation in Sub-Saharan Africa: Why Woodfuel Alternatives Are a Key Sustainable Solution
Deforestation is rampant in sub-Saharan Africa – the only region where the pace of forest loss has increased in each of the last three decades. According to Ian Otula and Aaron Pattillo of Vuma Biofuels and Wassa N’Gandjo Cisse of the BESTSELLER Foundation, the root cause of this crisis is the fact that woodfuels provide over 80% of the region's energy, and there's an alarming imbalance between supply and demand. They explore how woodfuel substitutes can offer a solution to this issue – and how Vuma Biofuels is leveraging these sustainable fuel sources to address a key driver of deforestation in Kenya: the tea industry.
What needs to happen to achieve global access to energy by 2030? Tamara Mahoney of EnAccess spent several years talking to energy access innovators about the best way to move the sector forward, and a common viewpoint emerged from those conversations: An open-source approach is necessary to achieve universal energy access. She explains why this model is both effective and inevitable, and discusses EnAccess' efforts to support new technologies, business models and knowledge in energy access by funding and sharing open-source tools and innovations.
Four Insights for Better Measurement: What Businesses Can Learn from the Public and Nonprofit Sectors
In the public and nonprofit sectors, comprehensive monitoring, evaluation and learning approaches are increasingly common – but many small and growing businesses (SGBs) lack the time and resources for these practices. Heather Esper, director of the Performance Measurement and Improvement team at the William Davidson Institute, shares four key data collection and measurement insights from the public and nonprofit worlds that businesses — particularly SGBs — can leverage to improve their decision-making and maximize the social and financial value of their data.
From Local Manufacturing to Digital Tech: How African Organizations are Pivoting to Support Maternal and Child Health During COVID-19
There have been substantial improvements in maternal and child health in sub-Saharan Africa over the last two decades, but the COVID-19 pandemic has put these gains at risk, as both maternal and perinatal outcomes are worsening in countries across the continent. Shraddha Kothari of Intellecap details how some organizations have adapted to respond to these challenges, exploring how they're using technology-based solutions, local manufacturing and innovative partnerships to prevent further deterioration of maternal and child health outcomes in the region.
The Pandemic is Not Over for Social Enterprises: Here’s How Impact Investors and Other Funders Can Help Them Survive COVID-19
Social enterprises are developing innovative, sustainable and scalable solutions to the world's deepest economic and social issues, but many of these businesses are at risk of disappearing due to COVID-19. According to Alethia Kang at Acceso and Luke Seidle at Kiva, impact investors and other funders must step up to keep the social enterprise field afloat. They share five steps funders can take to bolster these businesses, and discuss how the partnership between their two organizations illustrates the value of flexible funding support during a crisis.