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The Finding Impact Podcast

Updated 12 days ago

Business
Government & Organizations
Careers
Management & Marketing
Non-Profit
Read more

Welcome the Finding Impact Podcast, hosted by Andy Narracott. On this podcast, you'll hear interviews with strategies, tactics and tips from guests who have out-sized knowledge or experience on a particular challenge facing social entrepreneurs. That's everything from raising capital and creating successful partnerships, to training a workforce and engaging with government. Also, customer service systems, assessing credit worthiness, revenue collection strategies, talent recruitment, reaching the next level of scale whilst maintaining quality, in-country manufacturing for your next product, prioritizing fundraising vs. competing demands, investing in staff and employee retention, and finally, strategy development. Join the community of social entrepreneurs helping each other to create a better world for our children.

Read more

Welcome the Finding Impact Podcast, hosted by Andy Narracott. On this podcast, you'll hear interviews with strategies, tactics and tips from guests who have out-sized knowledge or experience on a particular challenge facing social entrepreneurs. That's everything from raising capital and creating successful partnerships, to training a workforce and engaging with government. Also, customer service systems, assessing credit worthiness, revenue collection strategies, talent recruitment, reaching the next level of scale whilst maintaining quality, in-country manufacturing for your next product, prioritizing fundraising vs. competing demands, investing in staff and employee retention, and finally, strategy development. Join the community of social entrepreneurs helping each other to create a better world for our children.

iTunes Ratings

10 Ratings
Average Ratings
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Informative, deep, and practical

By Sanivation Founder - Jul 03 2019
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This is one of the best podcasts on social enterprise. As a founder and running a social enterprise, I have learned so much. Our team is now up to 90+ people and I continue to be excited by the new podcasts Andy puts out. If you're entrepreneur or just interested in the social entrepreneurship space, you must give this a listen!

Invaluable Insights

By kengelly - Oct 27 2018
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Social enterprises, like many startups are often charting new territory, which can be an isolating experience. And yet, so many others have paved similar paths and have invaluable insights to share, if only asked. Finding Impact creates a platform for an honest exchange of lessons learned, tales of failure, and of success. Andy has thoughtfully drawn out the stories and in doing so, created a home for a top-notch community, no matter how far along they are on the social enterprise journey.

iTunes Ratings

10 Ratings
Average Ratings
10
0
0
0
0

Informative, deep, and practical

By Sanivation Founder - Jul 03 2019
Read more
This is one of the best podcasts on social enterprise. As a founder and running a social enterprise, I have learned so much. Our team is now up to 90+ people and I continue to be excited by the new podcasts Andy puts out. If you're entrepreneur or just interested in the social entrepreneurship space, you must give this a listen!

Invaluable Insights

By kengelly - Oct 27 2018
Read more
Social enterprises, like many startups are often charting new territory, which can be an isolating experience. And yet, so many others have paved similar paths and have invaluable insights to share, if only asked. Finding Impact creates a platform for an honest exchange of lessons learned, tales of failure, and of success. Andy has thoughtfully drawn out the stories and in doing so, created a home for a top-notch community, no matter how far along they are on the social enterprise journey.
Cover image of The Finding Impact Podcast

The Finding Impact Podcast

Updated 12 days ago

Read more

Welcome the Finding Impact Podcast, hosted by Andy Narracott. On this podcast, you'll hear interviews with strategies, tactics and tips from guests who have out-sized knowledge or experience on a particular challenge facing social entrepreneurs. That's everything from raising capital and creating successful partnerships, to training a workforce and engaging with government. Also, customer service systems, assessing credit worthiness, revenue collection strategies, talent recruitment, reaching the next level of scale whilst maintaining quality, in-country manufacturing for your next product, prioritizing fundraising vs. competing demands, investing in staff and employee retention, and finally, strategy development. Join the community of social entrepreneurs helping each other to create a better world for our children.

Rank #1: FIP 114: When to say 'No' to more investment with Solonia Teodros of The Change School

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This week on the Finding Impact Podcast, we are talking to Solonia Treodos, Co-founder of The Change School, who describes why social entrepreneurs need a clear fundraising strategy and goal before starting their fundraising activities. Solonia shares her journey of fundraising for The Change School, with lessons from her experience of almost closing a fundraising deal, changing course and walking away from the deal and coming back to it later with a clear strategy.

On this podcast, you will learn:

  • How Change School helps transform organizations and individuals by helping them re-connect with their values, re-design their work and re-define success as authentic leaders. Change School thus equips and empowers people to navigate uncertainty and embrace change during the transition or transformation that they are going through.
  • About Change School's journey of testing various offline business models such as: creating immersive retreats for people to re-connect with themselves while enabling a peer-to-peer and community learning experience; to creating Change School mind gyms for bite-sized learning to develop mental resilience; and creating bespoke experiential transformation programs for organizations.
  • How the founders encountered the growth and scale challenges of Change School by evolving and developing an online delivery model of working with its vast pool of trainers and experts while drawing from the expertise of its offline immersive retreats and retaining the Change School brand personality.
  • Why social entrepreneurs should have a strategy of pro-actively approaching investors for funding and alignment with business growth plans rather than just nosediving into fundraising re-actively in trying to impress investors, while not losing focus on the business vision and operating matters such as managing cash flows properly.
  • Finally, you will learn about Change School's online courses and tutorials for anyone needing resources and additional support to managing change and transitions. Check out the free online course at https://findingimpact.com/changeschool, which is a 5-day visioning challenge for teams or individuals to help find clarity of vision in careers or lives.

 Links to Resources:

 Connect with Solonia:

Aug 07 2019
35 mins
Play

Rank #2: FIP 104: What I learnt from attending my first accelerator, with Nava Osembo of Enda Athletics

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This week on the Finding Impact Podcast, we have part 2 of a new 3-part series about accelerators for early stage social enterprises. We are talking with Navalayo (Nava) Osembo-Ombati who is Co-founder and CEO of Enda Athletics, a Nairobi based running shoes manufacturer designing footwear to inspire customers to run like a Kenyan. Enda Athletics recently attended the SHONA accelerator program based in Kampala and just recently finished their second and final residential bootcamp. So we’re looking forward to digging into that with Nava.

On this podcast you will learn:

  • How Nava used her management consulting background in putting this business together even though her and the co-founder had no prior experience in making shoes.
  • Her initial impression of accelerators (she initially got a lot of feedback from entrepreneurs), and the guiding factor as to why she joined one primarily to get the skills).
  • Her selection process for selecting an accelerator: looking at the skill sets that they needed, which accelerator had the most positive feedback from entrepreneurs, and the cost (monetary and time).
    • Cost considerations: finders fees, and equity.
  • How she shortlisted accelerators: quality of mentors/expertise, and the cost (whether they were asking for equity and if so, how much). Her experience participating in SHONA, which has a residential component: taking three weeks off / away from her company in order to participate was worth it and she came out having a birds eye view.
  • Nava’s top key things in order to get to an accelerator that is right for you: know yourself (as in what you want), really understand the costs, and read the contract! (especially if you can’t hire a lawyer).

Links to resources:

Connect with guest:

Apr 24 2019
36 mins
Play

Rank #3: FIP 79: Lessons from a data driven social enterprise with Mina Shahid

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This is our first in an episode series on data and social enterprises. Today’s guest is Mina Shahid of Numida who shares his thoughts on how to effectively incorporate data into social enterprises. On this episode you’ll learn: How Mina and Numida started to incorporate customer-provided data to both develop digital tools that their customers […]
Aug 07 2018
36 mins
Play

Rank #4: FIP 63: Human Capital Series 3/3 – Creating Company Culture and the Role of Self-Confidence with Ayla Schlosser

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Today we hear from Ayla Schlosser, co-founder of Resonate, whose mission is to unlock the leadership potential of women and girls in East Africa. Through storytelling, confidence-building workshops and leadership training, Resonate is aiming to close the confidence gap that impedes opportunity and potential in women. Resonate takes this missed opportunity and turns it into […]
Apr 17 2018
37 mins
Play

Rank #5: FIP 65: Profit vs Impact Series 1/3 – with Arjun Bolangdy

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For the first episode in our three-part series on “Profit Versus Impact”, today we hear from Arjun Bolangdy, Associate Vice President – Strategic Projects of Pollinate Energy, with a mission to improve the lives of India’s urban poor. Through providing energy products to BOP markets, Pollinate Energy works to improve their customers everyday lives, while […]
May 02 2018
35 mins
Play

Rank #6: FIP 72: Funding 4/4 – Breaking Down Term Sheet Terms with Nina Gené of Jasmine Social Investments

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Our final episode in our 2018 fundraising series features Nina Gené of Jasmine Social Investments. The goal of this episode is to provide entrepreneurs with insights to better prepare them for negotiations with potential funders or investors. Nina joined Jasmine in 2007 with the responsibility to identify prospective investments, support partner organisations and collaborate with […]
Jun 20 2018
27 mins
Play

Rank #7: FIP 113: Funding for when things go wrong, with Caroline Bressan of Open Road Alliance

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This week on the Finding Impact podcast, we will be speaking with Caroline Bressan, the Director of Social Investments at Open Road Alliance. This incredible service at Open Road Alliance provides capital (loans or grants) to social impact organizations (non-profit and for-profit) facing an unexpected roadblock during implementation.

On this episode you will learn:

  • The story behind why it was set up: founded in 2012 by psychologist and philanthropist Dr. Laurie Michaels to address the need for contingency funds and the absence of risk management practices in philanthropy. It originally started as a grantmaking organization and then moved on to recoverable grants, and finally in 2018 launched Loan Fund Open Road Ventures which is a $50 million dollar commitment towards short term loans on solving this unexpected roadblocks and cash crunches. To date they have put out $18 million towards that $50 million target.
    • Half of their portfolio is in East Africa.
  • Fast response: from initial request to decision being made, it’s a period of 6 weeks.
  • Examples of:
    • Some organizations receiving bridge loans for accounts receivable and / or the large purchase order, and 
    • Open Road Alliance speaking with actual investors to say that they can help and to not back out.
  • The Roadblock Analysis Report which has around 150 data points which shows (among other things) that about half of these cash crunches are caused by funder created obstacles.
    • E.g. An agricultural social enterprise in Kenya can look to see what are the top three risks likely to occur so that they can put a contingency plan in place.
  • Caroline’s advice from the entrepreneur side: when talking to investors, first make sure they have already raised their funding and ask if they have made their first deal out of their new fund. Impact investors, particularly in East Africa, could do a better job about being clear and transparent regarding their application process, their timeline for disbursement, and criteria they use to make decisions.
  • Open Road Alliances criteria for social entrepreneurs:
    • 1) It has to be mid implementation (ie. you had all the money you needed and then something happened).
    • 2) An “unexpected” criteria (ie. something external outside of the management teams control, like a funder pulling out, the government changing a policy, or an office being robbed, etc.).
    • 3) Discreet criteria (ie. need to be able to fully solve the problem at hand, for example, the average loan is $300k and if you have a million dollar gap, Open Road Alliance won’t be able to fund you until you find that first $500k).
    • 4) Catalytic impact criteria (ie. does this model have the potential to be system changing either in design or scale, and what is the probability of achieving that impact?)
    • **Geography is not important.
  • The process: an entrepreneur-centric approach. It typically takes 4 to 6 weeks, although the fastest they have ever moved is 7 days. You can connect through an existing investor or reach out to the OpenRoadAlliance.org email to start an initial conversation to talk through your model, ask questions about the roadblock(s), and Open Road Alliance can give a diagnosis to how well things are fitting into their criteria. The next stage is the application which is 4 pages and asks about your model, the roadblock, the solution, and the impact. Open Road Alliance can have a 1 hour call to give feedback to make the application as strong as possible before moving to the investment committee. Then a decision is made after that within a week. In between Open Road Alliance will check references, talk through repayment structures, etc.
  • Open Road Alliance has only had 1 loss out of 60 loans.

Links to Resources:

Connect with Caroline:

Jul 24 2019
33 mins
Play

Rank #8: FIP71: Fundraising 3/4 – Getting to First Close (Part 2) with Miora Randriambeloma of Chalkboard Education

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Today we continue to hear from Miora Randriambeloma, co-founder of the ed-tech startup Chalkboard Education, which is changing the culture of African education through e-learning. Chalkboard Education aims to democratize learning by providing mobile learning solutions that work on all mobile devices – even without internet connection. On Part 2 of the interview, Miora tells […]
Jun 12 2018
26 mins
Play

Rank #9: FIP 76: KPIs, Cohesion, and Driving Performance with Gayatri Datar of EarthEnable

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Gayatri is co-founder of EarthEnable, a social enterprise with a mission to improve the health of low-income communities by replacing dirt floors with affordable and sanitary floors. She is incredibly passionate about scaling simple technologies that can have a positive impact across the world. Gayatri shares some tips and tricks on KPIs, building team cohesion […]
Jul 18 2018
37 mins
Play

Rank #10: FIP 60: David Auerbach Interviews Samir Ibrahim of SunCulture

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This week, Samir Ibrahim is David’s guest on the Finding Impact Podcast. Samir is CEO and Co-Founder of SunCulture which designs and sells solar-powered irrigation systems that make it cheaper and easier for farmers to grow fresh fruits and vegetables. This innovation has pioneered a system that delivers water directly to crop roots, increasing yield […]
Mar 28 2018
29 mins
Play

Rank #11: FIP 100: What I've learnt building my social enterprise after 100 episodes, interview by Andrew Foote of Sanivation

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This is an interview to mark the 100th episode. Andrew Foote is the host. He's the co-founder of Sanivation - a social enterprise in Kenya that takes human waste from cities and converts it into fuel. Andrew is interviewing Andy Narracott, founder of Finding Impact.

On this episode you'll learn:

  • It's important to stop and celebrate in any social enterprise, to mark milestones and recognise how far you've traveled on your journey. It's good for your mental health, and it's good for building a positive culture in your team.
  • Finding Impact is process driven. Andy created a process to uncover insights for social entrepreneurs through interviews. Then improved that process via feedback (from listeners and himself), and once all the kinks were ironed out, he trained other people to follow the process. Andy claims this to be the most basic form of creating an enterprise.
  • Andy recognises the incredible help he's received from volunteers, and the power of creating win-win partnerships. Andy offers new skills training and an opportunity to learn and build experience, and in return he gets help with the creating content procedures.
  • People naturally want to share their knowledge. The goal of the podcast is the make that as easy as possible - to remove friction to knowledge sharing.
  • Andy shares a couple of books that taught him the importance of a repeatable process for continuous improvement. The first is Black Box Thinking by Matthew Syed, then Work the System by Sam Carpenter, and The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande. All are instructive on procedures, experimentation and feedback.
  • On how to determine what procedures are important, it depends on what the goal is, and this will probably change over time. For Andy, the goal of the first episode was to record a half-decent interview, develop the basic process of getting it onto the web and hoping a few people listen and share feedback. Nowadays, his goal is to create content that is relevant and has some urgency in need, and he's moving onto measuring impact in the traditional sense, with a a theory of change and an M&E plan.
  • On what he's learnt about himself, Andy says he needs structure and process in his life, as the alternative seems to be chaos and continuous reinventing the wheel. This dovetails into his interest in efficiency.
  • Journalling can help us monitor ourselves so we get better at understanding our strengths and weaknesses, and help us be the best version of ourselves.
  • Andy plans his week on a Sunday night using Google Calendar. He sees what phone calls and meetings have been scheduled, what pieces of work he has to do, and then puts chunks of work into this calendar, so when he starts his day, he doesn't waste time by thinking about what he has to do. He also puts in family time and exercise time. Streaks is a google chrome add on that sits within Gmail, which Andy uses to track projects, processes and initiatives.
  • Andy's vision for Finding Impact is to continue providing content for social entrepreneurs in emerging markets, as he believes they're pushing the boundaries of creating systemic change in these markets. Meanwhile, he wants to scale knowledge sharing to build local podcasts for local markets.

Links to resources:

Mar 20 2019
45 mins
Play

Rank #12: FIP 77: Company culture and ways to motivate and build cohesion with Julienne Oyler

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Today’s guest is Julianne Oyler of the African Entrepreneur Collective who shares her thoughts on building organizational culture. On this episode you’ll learn: Why Julienne thinks that “culture eats strategy”, noting that even for herself it is important to have a fun and exciting work environment to be successful. The way that she interprets this […]
Jul 24 2018
36 mins
Play

Rank #13: FIP: 101 Experience from a recent investment raise with Dr. Christie Peacock of Sidai Africa

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This week on the Finding Impact Podcast, we are talking to Dr. Christie Peacock, founder of Sidai. We're going to do an interview about her recent experience of raising a round for her social enterprise Sidai Africa. Sidai offers farmers solutions to the challenges they face growing crops and livestock productively and profitably. So Sidai trains farmers to help them farm more profitably, and provides support to franchisees, stockists and suppliers to help them grow their business. And they manufacture and sell a wide range of quality crop and livestock products.

On this episode you’ll learn:

  • Christie’s experience in trying to raise a round of equity investment, especially when not selling the latest “cool” app but selling a very practical and fundamental product for farmers which is a low margin business.
    • How many funders she spoke to, and the timeline.
  • Selling SIDAI to investors: the original business plan projection was that SUDIE was not going to be profitable for at least eight years although investors want to see profitability sooner.
  • Her advice to investors:
    • Perhaps the cost of impact capital is sort of going up because of early failures.
    • Instruments being used from the commercial sector are not so appropriate for social business which typically take longer to make money.
    • Similar to sophisticated grant makers, investors should have clear deadlines, milestones, timetables, etc., and make those steps as short as possible.
  • Her advice to social entrepreneurs about hiring a very good and experienced transaction advisor with a good track record:
    • They can really help you in structuring the investment and getting as good an evaluation as you can get, and
    • Can help in having the capital structured that’s helpful for the business and not just structured in the way the investor wants it.
  • So many impact investors that are new and are start-up’s themselves.
  • The “good no,” which only took six weeks, versus the “bad no” after 12 to 18 months of engagement.
    • It should only take one to two months if you’ve got all your documents in order, and people can come and visit.
  • Open Road Alliance and their report called Roadblocks which talks about some of the challenges that they funded:
    • The issue of investors stringing along social enterprises and then dropping them because the decision making is so far away from the people on the ground.
    • The specialty of Open Road Alliance is emergency bridge funding to fill a gap for entrepreneurs who have hit a roadblock for whatever reason, but there has to be a genuine external factor blocking the flow of investments that will be ultimately removed.
  • Communicating the challenges you’re facing as an entrepreneur in the East African market can be difficult because most of these investment firms originate their capital from overseas (not local Kenyan capital) and often these foreigners don’t come to manage the firms and it’s unlikely they have hands-on direct business experience.
    • The way to get around this structural issue is to have at least a local advisory board of local entrepreneurs who really know the sector that the funders are investing in and ideally you’d have a local investment committee to look at things quite independently.
  • The global investment network needs a code of good practice on investor / investee behavior, such as:
    • The clarity around the steps in the process,
    • The time required and when,
    • Level playing field,
    • Open communication,
    • Mutual respect, and
    • Good conduct.
  • Shout out to Christie’s excellent impact investor: AHL venture partners

Links to Resources:

Connect with Christie:

Mar 27 2019
37 mins
Play

Rank #14: FIP 69: Funding 1/4 – Are you ready to raise money? With Elizabeth West of iGravity

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Today we hear from Elizabeth West of iGravity on the subject of investment readiness and the first steps in fundraising as the first episode in our fundraising series. On this episode you’ll learn: What it means to be “investment ready” and what are some preparation steps that enterprises should consider taking before engaging with investors, […]
May 29 2018
34 mins
Play

Rank #15: FIP70: Fundraising 2/4 – Getting to First Close (Part 1) with Miora Randriambeloma of Chalkboard Education

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Today we hear from Miora Randriambeloma, co-founder of the ed-tech startup Chalkboard Education, which is changing the culture of African education through e-learning. Chalkboard Education aims to democratize learning by providing mobile learning solutions that work on all mobile devices – even without internet connection. Miora tells us what it was like for her team […]
Jun 05 2018
28 mins
Play

Rank #16: FIP 106: Last mile distribution 1/3 - How to pivot a distribution model from door-to-door to retail, with Philip Wilson of EcoFiltro

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This is part of one of a 3-part mini-series on last mile distribution. This series is a collaboration between the Finding Impact Podcast and the Global Distributors Collective (or the GDC). The GDC is a collective of over 140 last mile distribution companies around the world, which helps them reach underserved customers with life-changing products like solar lights, clean cookstoves, water filters, and sanitation and nutrition products. The GDC has two main pillars of activity:

  • It provides services that help distributors save time and money, adopt best practices and facilitate new partnerships; and,
  • It works to build a collective voice for and raise the profile of last mile distributors, and works with key stakeholders to help them better support the sector.

The GDC is hosted by Practical Action with implementing partners Hystra and BoP Innovation Center. Visit the GDC’s website at www.globaldistributorscollective.org to find out more.

This episode with EcoFiltro, a distributor of water filters in Guatemala, focuses on how distributors can improve their sales efficiency by pivoting their distribution model.

On this episode you'll learn:

  • EcoFiltro started with a micro-consignment model in which they'd give hundreds of community entrepreneurs across Guatemala five filters to sell in their community, and they'd earn 10% on each sale.
  • The model proved unsustainable due to the cost of pre-financing the filters which would often be paid back over two years, the cost of collecting the money from customers, and the low sales volumes achieved by community entrepreneurs.
  • They tried a number of different things to try and improve sales, such as training, offering incentives and encouraging referrals, but all their efforts only yielded a few extra filters sold per month.
  • They spent 18 months designing a new model, which involved speaking to retailers all across the country, and ultimately selected a few to be key distributors of the filter.
  • Retailers were happy to sell it because the filter had a strong brand, since it had been sold for a long time in big shops in urban areas and received good PR from a school donation programme.
  • Retailers were required to invest in 20 filters at a time for a $500 investment, so were motivated to recoup their investment.
  • The school donation programme, where filters were donated to local schools, was channelled through the local retailers, so they received the attention and drove customers to buy from them locally.
  • They now have around 100 local distributors and they're targeting 270 by June 1st, 2019, which will be about 20-25 distributors per sales agent.
  • They've strengthened the brand by investing in their sales and marketing collateral, so all retailers are giving the same message to customers. This enables them to more easily measure sales of each distributor every month

Links to resources from this episode:

Connect with Philip

May 15 2019
47 mins
Play

Rank #17: FIP 102: Why donor money is distorting the entrepreneurship ecosystem in East Africa, with Fiona Mungai of Endeavor

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Fiona Mungai joined endeavour with six years of experience working in Private Equity and Asset Management in East Africa. Fiona started her career at British American Asset Managers and then at Actis — a leading pan emerging markets private equity fund, She he been a founding member and Board Director of the East Africa Venture Capital and Private Equity Association that has 100+ members.

On this episode you'll learn:

  • Endeavour supports high impact entrepreneurs. Why? Because high impact entrepreneurs are able to create thousands of jobs, can come up with a business model that is scalable, and can create millions of dollars of revenues.
  • High impact entrepreneurs will also support the entrepreneurship ecosystem, by creating an entrepreneurship culture within their organisations, empowering their employees to think about spinning off to create their own businesses, are willing to mentor the next generation of entrepreneurs and re-invest capital back into the ecosystem.
  • There are very few venture capital or early stage funds operating in East Africa. Even those that do label themselves as venture capital, have the risk profile of private equity funds. Which means they do less hand holding and have a lower risk tolerance.
  • As a result, many entrepreneurs in East Africa have to look for investors aboard, for example in the US or Europe, and growing their networks and relationships with these investors from afar can be a challenge.
  • Endeavour connects businesses with international investors, by organising roadshows for entrepreneurs and networking events with investors in the Middle East, Asia, Europe and the US.
  • International investors have a certain expectation for how companies should be packaged, which companies in East Africa need to know about. This includes things like governance structures, leadership and HR structures, business model optimisation, and business model valuation.
  • There is alot of soft money (grants) supporting entrepreneurship in the East Africa ecosystem. Those providing the soft money may also be advising the entrepreneurs, but don't necessarily have experience running a business that has scaled. The prevalence of grants to scale businesses can create a dependency, that hinders the ability of the business to scale.
  • Endeavour also advocates for entrepreneurs to pay it forward in (a) investing money back into the ecosystem after an exit / liquidity event, and (b) mentorship, by supporting up and coming entrepreneurs with advice and access to networks.
  • Relationships takes time, so you need to be on the road meeting potential investors at least 12 months before you need the funds. The feedback you receive from investor conversations can feed back into your business and will serve you well as you go back on the road.

Links to resources:

Connect with guest:

Apr 03 2019
32 mins
Play

Rank #18: FIP 99: How local founders can attract foreign impact capital with Andreas Zeller

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This episode shines a light on why local founders, who have excellent businesses, struggle to attract foreign impact capital. Open Capital Advisors has been advising in Africa for 9 years now, helping entrepreneurs grow, and helping advance economies, whilst also helping build a generation of business leaders in Africa. Based in Kenya, Uganda and Zambia, covering 20 countries in Africa and have worked on 450 engagements to date.

On this episode you'll learn:

  • Village Capital studied the amount of impact investment money going to local founders, which showed less going to local founders. Some of the reasons is the lack of understanding by local founders about what is needed to raise capital, not being active in the networks that foreign investors are active, and knowing how to communicate effectively. Alot of OCA's work goes towards bridging this gap.
  • Many impact investors from North America or Europe don't have local offices and are not familiar with cultural norms or business practices in country. When they do, local staff are not part of the decision making process, so when they take deals to their investment committee, made up of members who are not familiar with the context, they're often rejected.
  • Founders need to get good at how they describe themselves to foreign funders, how they articulate their value prop, how much info they need to share.
  • Another challenge is that local founders might expect to build a relationship over several interactions, whereas foreign impact investors might expect to develop a relationship over one meeting, because their time is limited in country.
  • Local founders might not have international brand names on their CVs like international founders. They may still have very good CVs with experience at reputable local companies or universities, but are not known about by international investors.
  • The due diligence process can be more effective by helping local founders understand what is necessary, what information needs to be shared and when.
  • Local events can be organised to allow for more touch points between local founders and investors.
  • One of the biggest frustrations of all the local founders that OCA works with is for an investor to quickly say No, if its a No, instead of wasting their time for 3-6 months on a lengthy process process.
  • A greater understanding of the language used by investors would help the whole process. But investors should not expect Founders to be finance specialists to enter into these conversations.
  • A primary reason why investors might give a No to local founders is lack of documentation and record-keeping. Also, a simple inability to communicate with local founders effectively. Also lack of trust, that local founders might not be willing to give a share of their business to international investors.
  • Local founders should also be clear about what they mean by impact, including how it will be measured - which is much harder than financial indicators.
  • Local founders should do their due diligence on investors, who you really trust, who believes in you and your company, and what they fund.
  • Funders who fund broadly, either early stage or later stage, who're open to any stage of business, often, in fact, do have a sweet spot.
  • Getting support can help local founders, be it a mentor, an accelerator, or a business support provider, who are plugged into the investor community.
  • Andreas has seen a shortage of qualified Chief Financial Officer type human capital, who are people who can run analyses, help businesses make decisions, or form strategies. They created Arcadia to fill this gap.

Links to resources:

Connect with guest

Mar 13 2019
30 mins
Play

Rank #19: FIP 108: Last mile distribution 3/3 - How to pivot from a cash-based to a PAYGO model, with Washikala of Altech

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This is part three of a 3-part mini-series on last mile distribution. This series is a collaboration between the Finding Impact Podcast and the Global Distributors Collective (GDC). The GDC is a collective of last mile distributors around the world, with over 140 members in over 40 countries, who cumulatively have sold more than 8 million life-changing products to last mile households.

The GDC is dedicated to supporting and representing last mile distribution companies to help them reach underserved customers with life-changing products like solar lights, clean cookstoves, water filters and nutrition products. The purpose of the GDC is to make last mile distribution the first priority so that life-changing products can be made affordable and available to all.

This episode is with Washikala, Founder and CEO of Altech, who operate in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Altech is a distributor of solar lamps, working to enable off-grid households and institutions to have access to modern energy. 

On this episode you'll learn:

  • Washikala got started by focusing on cash sales in his own village, but found the upfront cost of the product too high for the target market;
  • They focused first on selling to schools and their teachers, and to health centres and their health workers, giving credit for two months, and the school administrator would be responsible for collecting cash. Insight here is to start with the most trustworthy groups in the community to build traction.
  • Next they opened it up to all households through a solar ambassador model, recruiting young people from the communities, to recruit households on credit, and collect money on a daily basis. This was essentially an early PAYG model without the technology. They encountered significant 'leakage' (cash disappearing), and it was a cumbersome process.
  • They heard about PAYG in early 2017, and an enabler called Angaza. Altech were selling d.light lanterns but back then, they had no PAYG solar lamp option. So they selected suppliers for a pilot and ordered a small batch of PAYG lanterns.
  • They started the pilot in Jan 2017 in two areas in the DRC, with 50 products, 10 sales agents/solar ambassadors, 5 products each. The Angaza app was managed in the office, and solar ambassadors had the app on smartphones.The payment collection process was end-to-end. i.e. No "leakage".
  • Some initial problems included having to buy smart phones for solar ambassadors, but it later became part of the recruitment criteria; data is expensive; needed to connect the lamp to the smartphone using bluetooth, but initial equipment was faulty and didn't connect so had to replace; there were regular internet shut downs, so when customers called they couldn't go and activate lamps; sending money using mobile money was a challenge, as some agents had no liquidity so they couldn't deposit money.
  • Previously, their office would send daily sales reports to sales manager, who checked collected money agrees with report and collects money from solar ambassador; then sales manager sent money to the Altech office via a local bank branch. It was a very cumbersome process but now they're using mobile money.
  • There was a close collaboration between the tech guys and people in the field, so they could change inputting errors to eliminate differences in the app and cash collected. They setup Whatsapp groups so they could connect on issues immediately.
  • Angaza were very much involved in the training of their team, which included technical info and how to market the product to households.
  • Altech competes with international companies in the same space by having more local people on their team who know the market very well. Also they focus on distribution, not the design of new products. Solar technology is changing so fast, and it's not easy for vertically integrated companies to change product tomorrow but Altech can switch suppliers very easily.

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Connect with guest:

May 29 2019
1 hour 2 mins
Play

Rank #20: FIP 97: The dangers of being a Corporate Insurgent with Gib Bulloch

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This week on the Finding Impact Podcast, we are talking about burnout, corporate insurgency and a mental hospital. This is the second in the series of podcasts that we are covering on burnout and mental stress in the social sector. We are talking with Gib Bulloch about his personal experience of what he calls the ‘event’ when he suffered from a burnout that put him in a mental hospital for 5 days and became the setting of his new book "The Intrapreneur: Confessions of a Corporate Insurgent". The book is an engrossing read on Gib's personal journey of burnout, and how he's turned it into an opportunity for others, to spark a new breed of social activists working within, or about to join, or completely disillusioned by today's business world.  Gib Bulloch is also the founder of Accenture Development Partnerships, a non-profit arm of Accenture, for building cross-sector partnerships between businesses and NGOs.

On this podcast, you will learn: 

  • How Gib first discovered the true meaning of working for ‘purpose’, when he was volunteering with the VSO International in the Balkans after the Kosovo crisis. VSO partners with businesses to attracts mid-level corporate professionals and offers them volunteering opportunities.
  • How this experience led to Gib conceiving and founding the Accenture Development Partners (ADP) in 2001, as a social enterprise within Accenture. ADP was conceived on the idea of bringing business and technology expertise to parts of the world where it is greatly needed but has least access to it, and its business model depended on the three-way contribution between people, ADP and the charitable organization clients.
  • The ‘event’, which became the inspiration of his new book and he quotes - "Looking back, the retreat in India couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I’d signed up for an event organised by a group called Leaders’ Quest that would see me spend four days in the Rajasthan desert. The retreat offered a mix of activities – discussions in small focus groups about the state of the world, visits to impoverished villages, talks by inspiring NGO leaders – even yoga and meditation classes. I’d gone to get myself out of the rut, out of the comfort zone – to find new inspiration to break the internal impasse I’d been facing. I got more than I bargained for."
  • Why social entrepreneurs are more prone to stress and isolation when compared with business entrepreneurs. The jobs of people working towards a social mission are never ever done fully and it’s very difficult to dis-engage like in a regular day-job. This leads to an incredibly high burnout rate in the sector. The Wellbeing Project (an initiative of Ashoka, Skoll and Schwab) recognizes this endemic problem in social entrepreneurship and works towards catalysing a culture of inner wellbeing for social entrepreneurs and changemakers
  • How there is a fundamental challenge at the heart of business today - as the capitalist economic system with its single-minded focus on profit is creating tremendous amounts of corporate workforce dis-engagement and high levels of burnouts. Traditional corporate responses (yoga rooms, gym memberships, etc.) are mere tinkerings, whereas what is needed is a fundamental re-thinking and re-imagination of workforce burnouts.
  • How organizations such as Thrive Global, established by Arianna Huffington, are working toward raising awareness of the hidden costs of workforce burnouts to business and economy
  • The need to imagine another paradigm around people’s relationship with money as most people are trapped in the hamster wheel where they feel the compelling need to have more and more money. Gib talks Peter Kuneig’s ‘moneywork’ and his book that exposes misleading flaws and lies in many universally accepted and unquestioned assumptions about money
  • Finally, Gib shares that he saw in his manic vulnerability a source of strength which led him to write and try and break the taboo around mental health in business.

 Links to Resources: 

 Connect with Gib: 

Feb 27 2019
37 mins
Play

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