Our strategy requires an innovative approach and employs a new set of ingredients. The traditional charitable foundation model, that relies on checks handed out to good causes and that does not adopt a market-based approach to poverty reduction, can be wasteful, demotivating, and can be an inefficient use of time and resources. Unfortunately, financial donations are not enough. Our new set of ingredients is quite simple.

Market-based Solutions

This was one of our initial drivers for creating social enterprises. We carry out a diagnostic which identifies buyers’ demand requirements as well as the current state of supply for selected products and/or services with respect to that demand. When gaps between supply and demand are discovered, we approach large market participants (e.g., food and beverage companies) or market consortiums (e.g., hotel associations) to secure buying or labor commitments, which ensure they receive the products or workforce they require that is tailored to their specifications. This is very different to many traditional charitable foundation models which tend to focus on helping smallholder farmers and producers develop products without necessarily considering whether there is sufficient demand for them to be sustainable.

Business Expertise

We apply business thinking and models to all of our activities throughout the value chain. We have a team of enterprise development and impact investment experts to build the enterprise portfolio and hire industry experts to manage the new social enterprises to ensure that these businesses achieve their maximum social impact as well as financial goals, as all financial profits are re-invested to scale our enterprise and create a larger social impact.

Public-Private Partnerships

We are able to better form partnerships with many different stakeholders and trusted alliances with thousands of smallholder farmers and producers.

Combined Approach

The Enterprise Partnership employs a strategy that combines for-profit and non-profit approaches to poverty alleviation.  For example, we encourage our supporters to direct their generosity towards program-related investments (PRIs).  PRIs hold incredible potential for our social enterprises. Rather than giving away money through grants, PRIs allow foundations to make investments as loans or equity stakes in the hopes of regaining their investments plus a reasonable rate of return. As part of a broader strategy involving impact investing and the market-based solutions of target recipients, PRIs stand to tackle tough social issues on a scale never before seen by moving beyond traditional notions of charity that, in many ways, continue to restrain large-scale progress.

Beneficiary Income Returns

Our social enterprises are designed to ensure a high social impact in the form of beneficiary income return. This ratio measures the incremental beneficiary income generation in relation to the size of the impact investment. It is a key performance indicator that helps us assess the financial and social impact of our enterprises.

Use of Financial Returns

Our enterprises generate financial returns which distinguishes us from traditional charitable organizations. We re-invest  the funds our organization earns to further our charitable goals by  scaling existing enterprises to their optimal point and developing new enterprises in markets where there is an opportunity to meet demand while significantly contributing to poverty alleviation, social growth, and economic development at scale.

Additional Resources

We often use external resources – knowledge, brand, capital and infrastructure – to help us achieve our goals. For example, we may hire an agricultural service provider or agronomist team to help farmers transition from traditional chemical-intensive production to organic/natural, while at the same time, building their capacity by adopting good agricultural practices. Naturally, highly skilled and efficient suppliers mean improved yields and higher quality end-products, as well as cost savings. Similarly, the efficiency and productivity of distribution channels are key factors for a company to maintain and increase sales.