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

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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