Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.
Once a CBO decides they want to have a sustainable enterprise, ENVenture checks to see if they fit our predefined criteria for inclusion in the incubator. Once accepted, a clearly defined MoU is signed between the CBO and ENVenture. Once signed, we advertise for a Business Development Fellow for a placement with the CBO. Once a Fellow is selected and the project date is set, either ENVenture or a previous CBO in our incubator sends the partner the loan (in the amount of $2000 USD). The Fellow on-site performs market research with the CBO, determines the timeline, store launch date, and orders the initial inventory. The CBO partner in the meantime scouts for a retail space, salespeople, and creates marketing material. Thus a store is born.
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.
Over the past couple years, ENVenture secured funding to support the launch of four sustainable enterprises with four CBOs. The impact is that all of these CBOs had previously been donating life-improving technologies, but have not distributed these same technologies in a market-led manner. Cumulatively, the CBOs have sold over 600 products and serve as a supply-chain for solar lanterns, improved cookstoves, water filters, and fuel briquettes. Customers can save money on fuel for lighting, cooking, and drinking water as a result. For 2016, we plan to scale this approach to incubate ten more enterprises, which would then revolve into 12 new enterprises in 2017 (in addition to another 25) and in 2018 we aim to onboard 50 new CBOs (with 37 enterprises revolved) with plans for expansion all across Uganda. In 2018, we will begin operations beyond Uganda as this model is not country-specific.
Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?
The full impact is to change the aid-mindset of rural non-profit organizations. CBOs are usually faith-based and exist to feed the hungry and clothe the poor. Because they exist in the last mile, they are perfectly primed as distributors, but business concepts can be difficult to grasp. Donation-based models are extremely disruptive as potential customers won't use, value, or replace products that are given to them for free. ENVenture is actively changing the aid-mindset of these CBOs and they are learning how to create impact by selling, not donating these same affordable technologies.