5 powerful ideas for global impact from social entrepreneurs


Photo: World Economic Forum

25th January 2016

Lesson 5. Scale your solution, not your organization
All social entrepreneurs, even those who by any objective measure have reached significant scale, are frustrated by the staggering gap between the people they can reach through their direct service model and the size of the global need. Kovin Naidoo movingly described this phenomenon as “being responsible for an island of success in a sea of despair.” Solving the social problem you are passionate about at massive scale is the dream of every social entrepreneur. The question is, how do you get there? The insights of Sébastien Marot and Elizabeth Hausler start to offer some answers.
Sébastien Marot founded Friends-International in Cambodia to rebuild the futures of homeless and marginalized children. Even working with such a deeply challenging population, Sébastien found a way to improve the sustainability and scalability of his intervention by turning all of their vocational programs into social businesses that now generate 40% of the organization’s overall operating budget. Even so, the numbers of marginalized youth Friends-International can reach directly – 50,000 in eight countries – pale in comparison to the half a billion marginalized children and youth worldwide. Rather than expand his organization, Sébastien is spreading his market-based approach through the CYTI Alliance, a network of 51 organizations working with homeless and marginalized children in 11 countries.
A skilled mason with a doctorate in civil …

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