social entrepreneurship: changing the world

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  • 1.Social Entrepreneurship: Changing the world
    October 2010

2. A world plagued with problems
~10% of India jobless [ref]
the world < $2.50/day
30%-40% of India
illiterate [ref]
global mortality, 99%
Smart-card based MF platform
Web-based business intelligence portal
Integrated & encrypted MPLS communication network and a mission-critical data-center
Social benefits
Alleviate poverty, improve livelihood
9. SELCO Solar lighting
100,000+ solar lighting systems in 15 years
Karnataka & Gujarat
46% of households in India with no electricity
Photo-voltaic (PV) solar systems for lighting
Flexibility in usage
How users pay
4-light home system: Rs. 18,000/-
Cheaper than kerosene or dry-cell batteries
Initial capital via micro-finance, increased incomes repays loan
Social benefits
Increase in incomes (longer work hours, savings on kerosene!)
Improved health (no kerosene smoke inhalation!)
Children can study well (no excuses!)
10. Safaris M-Pesa Mobile money
Mobile market
M-Pesa mobile money
Person to person transfer, individuals to business, cash withdrawals, loans
12.6M customers, ~20,000 outlets
Started 2007
Banking to the millions
Savings now possible
Eko in India along with SBI
11. Kiva - Microloans
~800,000 users; ~5000,000 lenders; $165M in loans; 98.9% repayment rate
Business model
Interest returned to lenders, part interest retained by Kiva
Web service for anyone to lend money
Easily track your loans, see impact all online (web or mobile)
Alleviate poverty, improve livelihood
In India: RangDe is similar
12. Samaanguru Mobile supply-chain management
Strengthen rural supply-chains via mobile-phones
Inventory management, Ordering
Stock-level Optimization
Started 2009 pilots underway
Mobile-phone based data capture
Cloud-based data processing
Algorithms for inventory optimization
Business model
SaaS, transaction-based pricing
Ensure availability of essential goods in rural areas
13. Key Challenges and Lessons
14. Key Challenges
How to get adoption?
How to monetize?
How to scale?
How to organize efficiently?
How to raise capital?
15. Social Enterprises are all-round innovation labs!
Innovation and experimentation in every possible aspect of business creation:
Customer development
Business models
Service Delivery
Technology (and usability)
Organization models
Funding models
16. We need to build the runway first
Market creation
(expect undue delays!)
Towards monetization
(expect false starts!)
(expect turbulence!)
3-5 years
+1-3 years
+3-6 years
17. Sustenance is key varied models!
Market research (early customer development)
Self-sustenance by entrepreneur(s)
Grant-based funding esp. given its research for social good
Customer development
Angel and early-stage VC funding
VCs different ones at different levels of monetization
Sustainable Business
Customer revenues
18. Customer development takes time
Customers are of many types:
Private-sector organizations e.g. a hospital with rural clinics
Public-sector organizations- e.g. aid agencies
NGOs Who already have a field presence
Village consumers esp. for a consumer-based products
Typically, a multi-partner model works best
Trusted and relevant partners are critical
Sales funnel should be crafted carefully
Use case diversity, and probability of project success are important
Strategically seeking customers/partners, pro-actively anticipating needs
and adapting fast are critical!
19. Business models have to be novel
Customers cannot pay much, or are not used to!
Product pricing evolves over time
Learn and evolve fast customer is also experimenting!
Cultural factors important economics will not always work!
Understand value-propositionand willingness to pay jointly with customer!
Extreme cost management is crucial
Management personaland organizationalcosts determines runway (initially) and margins (later)
Ensure BoP-friendly models and a deeply conscious ways of
running a business!
20. Technology is essential to scale
Scale can be achieved only with new technologies!
Technology has to be disruptive & created anew
High usability (in resource-constrained environs)
Low cost
Easy ramp-up
Significant innovations are happening
Water purification, solar lighting, smokeless stoves, low-cost bamboo housing,
Information & transaction services via the Mobile-cloud
Low-cost technology has to be invented along with a
deep understanding of usability
21. Measurements are critical
Metrics are hard to define and measure
E.g. Can we correlate number of school meals to improved literacy?
Data matters, but is hard to come by!
Not easy to collect and manage data mostly on paper!
Computers and mobile-cloud will make it easier
Need careful and trustworthy measurements
Done bycredible individuals or organizations
Efficient frameworks for collecting and
visualizing metrics have to be designed upfront!
22. Scaling impact is really hard
Pilot evaluations are easy, scaling is really hard!
Takes time, risks are high!
Low-cost technology that can scale
Marketing to remote areas
Scalable customer support
Long-term capital
This is where most enterprises struggle!Few examples of
scalable models exist today.
23. Funding models are evolving
New types of social investors
Organized foundations
E.g. Deshpande, Bill Gates,
Social venture capitalists
Social impact vs ROI
Expect social outcomes
Expect return on investments perhaps, with lower margins
Patient capital?
Outcomes and timeliness of outcomes are unpredictable!
Need a breed of investors who can wait!
24. Social enterprise timelines
5 years
13 years
15 years
25. Entrepreneurs challenges are immense
Getting funding
Attracting talent
Understanding remote villagers needs
Convincing customers
Creating usable technology
Getting customer to pay!
Living frugally
Managing costs efficiently!
Coping with family pressure

26. Most importantly
27. It is a journey of personal change
Build deep compassion
Towards the underprivileged
Develop strong passion
Towards a social goal
Persevere, persevere, & persevere
Against all odds, over long periods
Simplify life, achieve sustenance
Voluntary simplicity as found in villages today
28. Be the change you wish to see
Thank You!
Lets create a good future
29. Reading List
My Experiments with Truth, Mahatma Gandhi.
Banker to the Poor, Mohammed Yunus.
Innovators Solution, Clayton Christensen.
Conscious Business, Fred Kofman.
Voluntary Simplicity, Duane Elgin.
Stanford Innovation Review
The Social Enterprise Harvard Business School
Engineering Social Systems
Top 25 Social Entrepreneurship Websites