Is Your Venture Ready for Scale?
It is one thing is to launch a successful social enterprise, another is to grow and operate it sustainably to serve a sizable number of customers. In the context of Base of the Pyramid markets, scaling social ventures is an even greater challenge. What can we learn from the journey of the few social enterprises who have succeeded in bringing their products, services and social impact to hundreds of thousands and millions of people living in poverty? What success factors positioned their ventures to scale? And what failures did they learn from along the way? This panel will bring together a group of “scalers” who are leading fast growing social ventures to reach their next milestones of scale.
See publication from the MIT Practical Impact Alliance: Ready, Steady, Scale!
Panelist Matthew Forti of One Acre Fund, USA.
Panelist Ella Gudwin of Vision Spring.
Managing Director, One Acre Fund USA
Matthew Forti is the U.S. Managing Director of One Acre Fund, now the largest nonprofit social enterprise working exclusively to improve the yields and incomes of Africa’s smallholder farmers. Matt played an instrumental role in One Acre Fund’s founding, helping to raise the seed capital and becoming its inaugural Board Chair. He is now Vice Chair of the governing board and helps coordinate the organization’s global operations, including partnership and business development, corporate finance, and monitoring & evaluation. Prior, Matt was a Manager at the Bridgespan Group and received an MBA with distinction from the Kellogg School of Management.
Jarrod is the Founder and Director of the MIT Humanitarian Response Lab, a Research Director in the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics, and for the Comprehensive Initiative on Technology Evaluationi. Jarrod’s research focuses on meeting human needs in resource-constrained settings through better supply chain management, information systems and decision support technology. Jarrod has 20 years of industry experience and has worked with humanitarian and international development organizations such as World Food Programme, UNICEF, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee, Partners In Health, the International Red Cross, and Red Crescent Movement.
President, Vision Spring
Ella Gudwin heads up global operations to accelerate the uptake of eyeglasses in emerging and frontier markets for consumers who earn less than $4 a day. Under her leadership, VisionSpring is working to sell 10 million pairs of radically affordable eyeglasses by 2020, creating $2.16 billion in economic impact at the household level. Ella is a seasoned global health executive and strategist. She previously served as Senior Vice President of Strategy and Program Development at AmeriCares. In prior roles, Ella led humanitarian operations as Vice President of Emergency Response, and managed health related interventions in ten countries as Director of Asia and Eurasia partnerships. She earned an MA with distinction in international economics at Johns Hopkins University, and a BA with honors from Vassar College. Ella is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Business Development Director, Danone Communities
I have been working in the last 20 years in Marketing in FMCG and BtB, in Nutrition and Health, in mature and developing countries (India, Russia, China). Convinced that we can do business differently by focusing on social impact while finding the business model to make it sustainable, I have joined the Danone communities team in 2016. Danone communities is an incubator of business solutions to address BOP, on improving water access or alleviating chronic malnutrition. Danone communities is impacting the life of 1 Million people in 7 countries. Our portfolio of social businesses in Nutrition is covering 4 countries with 5 businesses. I am focusing on Africa and India where we want to enlarge our impact on Kids and Mums to be.
Teju Ravilochan is co-founder and CEO of Unreasonable Institute, which runs mentorship and training programs for entrepreneurs tackling social and environmental problems around the world. Participating entrepreneurs go through intensive 5-day or 5-week bootcamps to learn to fundraise, build teams, prototype, design for impact, and learn how to scale both through peer learning, interactive curriculum, and extensive interaction with mentors like Paul Polak, who's helped over 20 million farmers move out of poverty; Hunter Lovins, a Time Magazine Hero of the Planet; Tom Chi, the former UX Lead at Google X (and designer of Google Glasses); and John Elstrott, Chairman of the Board at Whole Foods. Unreasonable Institute has powered 40 programs in 26 countries. They have data on the first 148 startups they've supported, who have raised over $160 million and benefited 16 million lives. Teju is also a Forbes 30 Under 30 Entrepreneur, an Inc. Magazine 30 Under 30 Entrepreneur, and a TEDx speaker. He graduated from CU Boulder in 2008 with a degree in international affairs.