Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Ashden winners go to INSEAD for advice on how to scale up

Last week, as part of the Ashden Business Support Programme, three of our past winners attended the world-class INSEAD Business School, on the outskirts of Paris, to help them scale up their renewable energy projects. The week-long INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship Programme has been designed specially for those trying to balance social and financial sustainability. For each of our winners, the week came at a critical moment in their business transformation. Each left with valuable insights for the road ahead.

Mariana, our International Programme Manager also attended. When Mariana got back to the office yesterday she reported on the winners' progress:

Sky Link Innovators is facing a point of major decision: it now has to choose which biogas products to focus on and how to grow. Samwel (director) says he has left the course with a much clearer sense of the value of strategic partnerships and he is also thinking about how to manage his technicians to be as effective as possible.”

StoveTec, the commercial spin off from Aprovecho Research Center, is at a stage where it wants to massively scale up its sale of clean cookstoves over the next three years. Ben (director) has returned to work with a much clearer understanding of what models they can use to do this.”

“Lastly, Willem (director) from Rural Energy Foundation, has gained an understanding of how he might manage his staff more effectively as REF faces a turning point, as it moves from a foundation to a more financially sustainable social enterprise.”

“All of our winners left with a massive boost in energy and inspiration, overall it was the interaction and support from other social entrepreneurs facing similar challenges that they valued as well as hearing detailed case studies about how other amazing projects have managed to achieve scale”.

(pic: Mariana, Willem, Samwel and Ben at the INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship Programme)

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