RHoK Financial Education

Last week-end was organised in London the first ever Random Hack of Kindness on Financial Education & Financial Illiteracy. The man behind it was the Incredible Mike Mompi who set it up with the support of his employer the leading social enterprise MyBnk.

It was an incredible week-end, full of energy, passion and good ideas. I cannot wait to see some of the project pushed forward, including the one on which I have been working on, build on and with Stefan Kreitmayer previous work, “SnappyGames: All or Bust”, we won 3rd Prize!!! All the info on SnappyGames adventure here.

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Hybrid Value Chain (Notes from Ashoka ChangeMakers Week 2011)

The original blog were I posted it, with more notes on other workshops from the incredible Ashoka ChangeMakers Week 2011 http://ashoka-changemakersweek.posterous.com/)

About the Hybrid Value Chain concept you can see the work of the French Consultancy Be-Linked be-linked.fr and also the one of another top-level Consultancy Hystra, co-founded by Olivier Kayser in partnership with Ashoka. O. Kayser being former Vice-President of Ashoka, hystra.com
OlivierKayser’s definition of the Hybrid Value Chains concept : “Gap between the way big firms work and the ways citizens organisations works.”


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On Wednesday 21 of June there was an interesting workshop on the Hybrid Value Chain issue.

Olivier From Danone Communities:
key words: Hybrid & Contagious
Hybrid: sustainability ;  join forces ; mix-culture ; paradox ; together ; meet-up ; new-DNA ; co-creation ; redfinine values ; 3 win (PeopleProfitPlanet)
Contagious: Scalable, inspiring, designed, model

Head of Danone Communities Incubator:
“All started from an unplanned meeting between two persons. This two persons had vision, mission, sens of purpose. That a basis to meet someone and see if your purpose can meet another one.
→ listening skills is part of hybrid. Across the culture, avoiding to put your own frame on it.”

Now we have this example of Bangladesh in working with local communities. A plant and a product “by, for, with the community” Not from Headquarters’ engineers.”

“We have learn some much out of the box from this experience: New plant, recruitment, recipe, ways of working with NGOs

At some point of time Danone+Grameen = complete misunderstanding. Common sens & goal is not enough to be an efficient partnership. Complementary competencies: be aligned on them.
We were not more prepared than other to try this project. → need to establish precisely what is everyone bringing to the table. –> This build trust, and also from there you know what you will miss in the partnership.
Networking attitude at Danone: 30% of our employees decided to invest into this fund Danone Communities, with an average of 1500€. Incredible! “

Workgroup time !
People with questions put them on the blackboard, then table are formed everyone move to the table of his/her own interest, I joined the Hybrid Value Chain differents timeframe issue hosted by Eric de Turkheim, Board member of Trafigura Foundation.
Two actors, two different time constraints. How to solve this paradox? How could we meet different timeframe?
NGOs timeframe is usually filling up an annual budget. From that budget they define a Business Model.
Business goal → how do we fund it?

For-profit usual business think the other way, and more long term: “I have an idea/need/project, how am I gonna fund it?”

Pb comes from the origin of the NGOs: idea → fundraising  → refine the idea
NGO have to define precisely the objective and make a Business Plan. That is the most important: to define precisely your project.
In general as a Foundation we commit our money for 3-4-5 years period. Some money is foundation, loan.

To conclude, a picture of a nice guy from Solvatten, a technology to clean water only by using this specific tool and solar ray, especially design for low-income countries’ environments ! Incredible !

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Benefits and difficulties of social finance: learning from experiences (Notes from Ashoka ChangeMakers’ Week 2011)

The original blog were I posted it, with more notes on other workshops from the incredible Ashoka ChangeMakers Week 2011 http://ashoka-changemakersweek.posterous.com/)

Benefits & difficulties of social finance: learning from experiences

  • Nicolas Hazard, President, Comptoir de l’innovation
  • Jean-Luc Perron, Délégué Général, Fondation Grameen Crédit Agricole
  • Renee Manuel, Ashoka Allemagne, moderator
  • Michael Vollmann, Directeur Fellowship, Ashoka Allemagne, moderatorr

“There is no alternative to micro-finance in many countries, with examples from Armenia, Ethiopia. We had some meetings with Mohammed Yunus and Grameen Bank President to understand better its model, and we develloped The Grameen Crédit Agricole.

NH presents the Groupe SOS: leader in Social Entrepreneurship in France. 4000 employees in many sectors. NH presents then the Comptoir de l’Innovation, new structure of the Groupe SOS to build an impact investing sector. This sector could be defined as being between Philantropy and Socially Responsible Investment (SRI). Precisely Comptoir de l’Innovation is the middle man to help this two sectors collaborating better with Social Entrepreneurship driven organizations.
“We need social entrepreneurs but mainly we need success stories. We need to convince bankers/investors that social entrepreneurship is working.
We need news tools for that, we can’t just transfer the classical ones. Long term capital, patient capital really made for SocEnt.
Social Investors have to understand two things: the market and the model. We have to show that we really are “market based” as any classical company. We have to prove that the economic model between philanthropy and SRI is strong.”

Question from the audience:
“How to pilot your activity between financial return and non financial return.”
NH: “Return will not be 15% but between 1% to 5%. But even by accepting that, investors still need to be convince in the sustainability of these investments.
We have to bring VC. In France you can easily have 15000€ to start a SocEnt, but then when you need to scale up, it is not easy to find the funding.”

Question 2:
“1 to 5% return ? Don’t you think this is low ? Will VC be interested?”
NH: “I’m talking about the French market which is new. UK is more 10% and we will come to it here too. In France we are to the stage of early adopters. We are structuring a market. Maybe later 20-30% for solidarity companies. ”

“Do you plan to invest in Europe.”
NH: “Yes we now invest in Spain and Italy. And we will go in Asia later.”

JLP about the Fondation Grameen Crédit Agricole : “What we look at when investing is the sustainability of the project + a return. Which return? A 0% one, based on Pr Yunus model = profit generated stays within community & company.”
At Credit Agricole Grameen we:

  1. Have a Good track record
  2. Quality of management
  3. Approach of positioning an enterprise on social vs financial scale.
  4. We look at the core activity itself of course.
  5. 1.4 millions borrowers of our partners institutions in the field. 90% are women.

Let me develop one example, a Milk factory in Senegal, Bagore Bathily, 300km North of Dakar. The location is an handicap because the capital Dakar is the biggest market. But we decided to support them anyway because 90% of the milk consumed in Senegal came from imported milk powder. We wanted to show that it was possible to start successful a local business. So we took a 10% stake in the company. 4 years after the company has still not break event. As it is “patient capital” “long term project”, we still support them. You can’t act as a traditional VC.

Question from the audience 4, an Analyst from Vancouver, Canada:
“If you are considering supporting an Ashoka Fellow you need to understand if this individual is able to work both on business and social at the same time. Usually not, so what you look at is has he been able to teamed-up with the right people to build a strong business model?”

Question 5:
“Do you measure the grade of innovation?”
NH: “Innovation & scalability are both capital. You can’t build a social impact without innovation. Applicability is important, but innovation is more important. To be sustainable you have to be always innovative. Additionally as the market is always moving, you have to be in the innovation process, from the start.”

Remark from the audience:
“As Ashoka Fellows we create Social Capital. Usually our business are community owned. This approach is hugely different from the traditional business. So when the finance is coming in, its need to consider this framework.”

Remark from the audience 2:
“You may have many different type of structures. Collaboration of different organisations (profit & non-profit), pure local community owned business, traditional business with a social mission, and even more.”

“My view of SocEnt = Unique combination of Social Innovation and Social Capital to serve a Social Mission.
Sometimes I heard: your ticket is too small & sometimes it is too big. I think SocEnt and bankers don’t speak the same language. But my position is that if you are seeking for investors you will need to give back to investors. Even if exponential return sometimes doesn’t work, I’m referring to MicroFinance in example.
How many of you have seen an exit in a SocEnt ? Laughs. Yes it is not an easy business !
Most of our work = intellectual property
You need a scale to get equity, before that scale you need first an angel, second a loan or a grant.
Financing a SocEnt : angel → debt → equity

Question 6, an Ashoka Fellow from Hungary:
“What type of guaranties will investors ask ?
We want to build a big centre house for autism, linked to a farm. So we needed 100.000€. I had to guaranty with my own house even if we had, and this is now working, a business model with Youth Hostel.”
JLP: “What you were looking was a loan, this is different, as investors we don’t ask for guaranty.”

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Scaling Up: a reality for all? (Notes from Ashoka ChangeMakers Week 2011)

The original blog were I posted it, with more notes on other workshops from the incredible Ashoka ChangeMakers Week 2011 http://ashoka-changemakersweek.posterous.com/)

Scaling Up: a reality for all?

  • Olivier Kayser, Hystra
  • Jerome Aurillac, Be-Linked
  • N.Hazard, Groupe SOS Deputy Director
  • Bonnie Koenig, Going International
  • Konstanze Frischen, LGM

“3 key factors to scaling-up:


2/Need to be always innovative in your approach

3/Be TOTALLY professionalised.

For example at Groupe SOS we have:

1/Vision of integrated solution: One “client” or “patient” has many needs.

2/Deeply innovative from the beginning to today

3/GIE: Commonly shared Toolbox of all professional departments/resources for our structures

Konstanze Frischen:
“We should keep in mind that Scaling impact is different from scaling organisation.”

Olivier Kayser:
“Over the last 5 to 10 years there has been a large growth in SocEnt activities. So basically the lab for innovation is full, but the plant is still empty.
What is good for us, is that the scaling up process are more “managerial standards”. For SocEnt the burden is not only for them; Indeed they mainly have to ask: Which big organisations are the best ones to implement on a large scale the social innovations?
SocEnt’s founder should not necessarily be the one to scale up. Like in traditional business it could be another company. Additionally, SocEntrepreneurs don’t think themselves enough as serial entrepreneurs. They should do!”

“1/ If you want to scale up, you need profitability.
2/ SocEntrepreneurs know better the needs of the market and these needs are moving fast. So if you are an expert of you sector you should think about the next idea/model.

We would like to make public/to share the knowledge. SocEntrepreneurs are pioneers, they have a crucial knowledge.
The areas were SocEnt work are like frontiers were Gov & Firms do not work, do not know how.”

Questions:  (see picture)
No partner = build new communities.

Working time = the room is divided in 4 groups and everyone is working on a question ! 🙂
1/Group: Should we scale it?
Paradox of perspective : impact or organisation ?
Sometime you scale up for survival.
Market / Partner issues
If you scale, the founder will be the same. pb ? Can’t afford ?

2/National considerations
Have you filled local need?
Ready to go elsewhere ?

3/Going even grander. Further beyond the border.
(More details because I was listening to that one)
From region to the world. What are the considerations?
Pb: the problems/needs maybe completely different. i.e in housing
Pieces: government, funding, markets,
I.e Danone Communities. Not time to replicate after 4 years in Bangladesh. Not the same issues.

1/Micro-nutriments deficiencies yes. But no the same ones. NEEDS / MARKET

2/Creating a ecosystem. How long would that take us? ECOSYSTEM

Lafarge: Large scale is part of the challenge. We are at pilot operations. But transferring, scaling-up, I’m not sure about the sens. I’m not sure we are there yet.
We still have a pb with financing. Not SocEnt but Impact investment.
We want to build business model. But MAYBE you will transfer it.

Bottle neck : time to spend on local culture. To far from your country.

Transferring knowledge is different from transferring impact & different from transferring organisation.

Is the idea simple enough to go through cultural/material differences ? No? Simplify it !

Groupe SOS: You first need to be the leader of your product/service in your country, to be professional before scaling up. To be really implemented, to be a model in your country. You need a track-record.

Danone: We don’t want to be the coke of Social Business.

Local considerations are even more important for SocEnt than for mass market = needs / partners / financing / ecosystem of stakeholders.

In conclusion, one participant believe more in inspiring others than scaling.

4/Divesting/Merging/Doing something else?
Scaling should be the impact: ? Who would be in the best position to scale it up?
outsourcing, licensing, selling, giving it etc
Social Entrepreneurs should be able to focus on the next idea instead of classical management.
Because many SocEnt lack serial entrepreneur virus, what about a specific grant when you start your second SocEnt ?
You need recipe for scaling up, models, guide-lines. i.e Doctors without Borders, now Ashoka. Who will be the next one ?

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Job add: Consultant Junior sur la relation ONG-Entreprise

650€ mensuels seulement pour cet offre de Stage Consultant Junior chez be-linked à Paris à partir de aout / septembre et pour 6 mois, cela dit c’est déjà un effort et surtout franchement faut jeter un oeil. Les thématiques abordées, la possibilité de travailler avec Sarah Ertel que j’ai connu au CELSA et ses super collègues de Be-linked valent définitivement l’expérience ! Si j’ai bien compris, un profil créatif aurait plus que toutes ses chances…
Voici comment se définit Be-Linked sur l’offre:
“Be-Linked, Business & Community Intelligence est un cabinet de conseil en stratégie et en management totalement dédié à la
relation ONG-Entreprise. Notre mission est d’intégrer les relations avec la société civile au cœur de la stratégie de l’entreprise.”

Offre stage Be-linked

Envie de travailler en étant utile pour toi et les autres ?

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In Paris for a week

This week Paris is the world capital of social entrepreneurship. Ashoka is celebrating it’s 30th Birthday in the city.

“City” is from Tuesday 16 to Sunday 19. Many events take place in the heart of Paris (Palais Brogniart, Ashoka HQ, parcs, cinema etc)

“Campus” is the professional part of the week. From Monday to Wednesday on the HEC campus, more or less 500 social-entrepreneurs from all around the world gather to share information, opinion, contacts, best practices and build new projects.

You can follow more via the twitter hashtag #acw2011



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Whaooo that “MakeSense” !!!

While still working on my short novels (see last post), and exams, and thesis, and more… I was yesterday at the first event by the MakeSense community in London: a round-up (kind of very creative brainstorming) with good-willed and supercool people in order to provide fresh ideas for a top social enterprise named MyBnk. It was organized within the LSE with the support of LSE Student Business Incubator. That was so cool, I encourage social-minded person, entrepreneurs and creatives to try it once at least!

MyBnk is an award-winning social enterprise whose programmes develop young people’s finance and enterprise capability through fun and interactive activities which put young people at their heart. The focus yesterday was on a mobile app to enlarge the learning experience that MyBnk provides.

MakeSense is a supercool community, and an open project kickstarted by activists Romain & Christian for Social Business.

It challenges people for social business, online thanks to a Web-Application (makesense.org) and offline through gatherings, like the one yesterday at the LSE.
If you are courageous enough, you can wtach the 5min video to learn more about the project.

About MakeSense ( à propos de MakeSense ) from christian vanizette on Vimeo.

UPDATE : Here is a post about this session, on MyBnk’s blog, by Mike Rompy Manager of the Mobile project within MyBnk !

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Coming: short novels based on holiday trip in the Middle East

Hey! I just came back from a one month backpacking trip in Egypt, Israel and Palestine. At first I wanted to wrote some articles about what I saw there, my hopes and my frustrations about this region over-important for the world peace and prosperity, but finally on the way, I found inspiration to write short novels. Why?

Because, like the docu-fiction genre in TV, I think that fiction based on real fact can be a powerful genre to transmit information. The first ones should be published here soon…

Tahrir Square 9 April 2011

Tahrir Square 9 April 2011

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Here pragmatic post again: PDF for OpenIDEO Food challenge.

I’m actually enjoying participating in OpenIDEO challenge on “How we might better connect between food production and consumption”?. IDEO is a Global Design company, and OpenIDEO is its free collaborative platform that bring together people from across the world to find new concepts to solve real human problems. i.e : Increasing the number of registered bone marrow donors to save more life ; Improving maternal health with mobile technologies in low-income countries ; or increase the availability of affordable learning tools & services for student in the developing world. The quality of the community is quite high and while participating in those challenges I’m learning a lot in on-line collaboration and on the specific challenges issues. I strongly encourage everyone to at least have a look at it.

Anyway, this post is because I need an upload space to store a high def PDF diagram OPENIdeo REGION BASED FOOD SYSTEM. I did it while waiting my Egyptian visa in Eilat, Israel. Connected holidays… 🙂

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Social economy

I find myself quite often in the situation to explain to curious people what is the specificity of the social entrepreneurship sector. I think I will refer them to start to this two schemas on economics sectors.

The first one is a simplified version of the three economics sectors.

The second is Pearce’s depiction of the three economic systems and the social economy. He add the scale of action parameter and get into more details about the social sector, where social entrepreneurs operates. You have to keep in mind that Mr Pearce as an English point of view on the definition of social entrepreneurship.

I think I’ll make a specific post on the differences on definition by countries. This would be too long for tonight. 🙂

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