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ICF Update: Accelerating Social Enterprise

GAN and iDE Dig Deep in One-day Accelerator Bootcamp

Longtime Posner Center neighbors, iDE and GAN, have finally had an opportunity to combine forces, bringing GAN’s expertise with startups to bear on iDE’s social enterprises. Through a 2018 International Collaboration Fund grant, they finalized plans for and executed a one-day accelerator bootcamp in London, timed to coincide with iDE’s senior leadership annual meeting. The three social enterprises participating in the bootcamp were iDEal Technologías, an irrigation system provider in Nicaragua, Lors Thmey, a business that trains and equips farmers to maximize profits through improved production of high value vegetables for sale into premium markets, and Hydrologic, which produces and sells ceramic water filters in Cambodia.

GAN exists to support startups to build powerful businesses and make a meaningful impact wherever they call home. This collaboration with iDE was GAN’s first foray into engaging with startups in the developing world. Pat Riley, GAN’s CEO, shared that it “felt amazing to be able to help these social enterprises to make the kind of impact they want to in their home communities.”

The bootcamp began by helping the social enterprises define the problem they’re trying to solve, then developing a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG). They spent the bulk of the day creating, questioning, and refining the value proposition of each enterprise. This intensive work on value propositions, while a seemingly simple exercise, actually lays an essential foundation for the business and its ability to live out its value proposition. In the afternoon, they brainstormed and identified potential new customer segments for each enterprise. They concluded the day with a panel of impact investors who shared their experience and helped strategize next steps for investment readiness for all of the enterprises.

While the one-day bootcamp is over, next steps are just beginning. iDEal Technologías and Lors Thmey are both ready to seek new investment and are continuing to refine and tighten up their pitches to secure this funding. Hydrologic has refined their value proposition and is ready to improve their social impact storytelling as a key mechanism for growing the business.

Stay tuned for an opportunity to learn about iDE and GAN’s experience in greater depth. Both organizations have seen the power of entrepreneurship to transform communities around the world, and are eager to share their tools and experience with the Posner Center community to enhance our collective impact.