[TC-I Call to Action]: Ennovent looking to fill Investment Manager position

Here is an opportunity for an experienced finance professional.

Job Profile

Title

Investment Manager

Job Objective

To develop and manage the investment portfolio of ennovent in India and Asia

Start Date

As soon as possible

Location

India – frequent travel in India and Asia

Reporting Relationship

Position reports to Managing Director

More information can be found here and general information on Ennovent can be found here.

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After Fab India, its XLRI’s turn

ThinkChange India had earlier covered Fab India’s innovative business model for bringing the riches right at the doorsteps of the skilled and isolated rural weavers. A similar opportunity now knocks the doors of  tribal artisans of Jharkhand.

Parichay, a non-profit founded by six first-year MBA students within the XLRI Jamshedpur campus, has inaugurated its ‘Design and Learning Centre’ not only to promote the traditional artforms native to Jarkhand, but also to improve the skills of the artisans to create products tailored to modern tastes.

In what seems to be a well co-ordinated effort, Tinplate Company of India Ltd has provided the initial investment, Kalamandir, a local based NGO, has agreed to offer the necessary training and Parichay would market the products the artisans would design. One of the founders of Parichay has summed up the idea to The Financial Express

Essentially the idea is to provide a more sustainable and non-migratory livelihood to our artisans who are currently facing a lot of trouble pursuing their crafts

While the three-way partnership between a school, a non-profit and a for-profit organization to uplift the rural poor is commendable, achieving sustainability is critcal. The best way to achieve this is probably to devise an exit strategy by training the artisans in due course in marketing and entrepreneurship.

Ceding the floor to the other side, even if just for a moment

The greater point is that not all products and services are the same, and in some cases creating sustainable markets may be all but impossible. Though it is certainly not “ideologically attractive,” I strongly believe Kremer and Miguel are correct in reminding us that for at last some essential public goods and services “There may simply be no alternative to ongoing subsidies financed by tax revenue raised either from local or national governments, or international donors.”

This is the penultimate paragraph of a great post by Dan Kopf on the India Development Blog. It recognizes an unfortunate yet necessary limitation to the quest for finding sustainable solutions for some problems. Sometimes, you cannot do it. But the most poignant comment of this post is the recognition that accepting that such goods exist will be very unpopular in today’s development community.

The paper that Knopf referrs to, titled the “Illusion of Sustainability”, can be found here.

Social Intrapreneurs

SustainAbility’s new publication, “The Social Intrapreneuers: A Field Guide for Corporate Changemakers,” features a case study on Hindustan Unilever’s Shakti project.  SustainAbility defines the social intrapreneur as:

Social intrapreneur, n. 1 Someone who works inside major corporations or organizations to develop and promote practical solutions to social or environmental challenges where progress is currently stalled by market failures.

2 Someone who applies the principles of social entrepreneurship inside a major organization

3 One characterized by an ‘insider-outsider.’

The guide uses Shakti as a “base-of-the-pyramid” case study, with intrapreneur Vijay Sharma:

Hindustan Unilever sought to increase its market share in rural villages with smaller populations, but discovered that no retail distribution network really existed and infrastructure for transport was poor. Responding to these challenges, Shakti was created to provide women with training in selling, commercial knowledge and bookkeeping. Women can then choose to set up their own businesses or become Shakti distributors. These women, in turn, become role models in their communities, catalysts for mobilizing rural development.

At the end of the guide, SustainAbility notes that business cannot solve major challenges on their own and encourages government to develop the necessary policies, and for the citizen sector to create more connections with intrapreneurial organizations.  They are working with the Skoll Foundation and the International Business Leaders Forum to expore the interaction between social entrepreneurs and social intrapreneurs.

Remote Blogging: Skoll World Forum 2008 — Review of Panel on Corporate Partnerships

The Strategic Partnerships Between Multinational Corporations and Social Entrepreneurs used the metaphor “dancing with elephants” as the overarching theme for discussion. SustainAbility’ s Maggie Brenneke also described the concept of “intrapreneurs,” which are individuals within established companies thinking and acting entrepreneurially.  While somewhat obvious, the panel primarily focused on the importance of maintaining relationships between the social venture and the company and also the need to have constant and clear communication over each parties’ goals. (Source: Socialedge)

World Bank Executive Development Program – Inclusive and Sustainable Business: Creating Markets with the Poor

What are the “linkages between corporate strategy and development”?  How can public and corporate sector leaders implement strategies that provide opportunities for the world’s 4 billion people to lift themselves out of poverty?  The World Bank Institute has recently launched an “Executive Development Program” to help company managers and public sector leaders develop sustainable, yet profitable business models in emerging markets:

This unique program offers you insights to build corporate strategies that fight poverty while delivering profits. An innovative learning model will encourage you to learn how your organization can not only meet the bottom line, but develop working business models that include the world’s poor as investors, producers, sellers and buyers. Specifically, you will:

  • Gain a unique interdisciplinary perspective on how to align social and environmental issues with corporate strategy and develop successful business models in low income markets.
  • Explore how global trends, global imbalances, and global opportunities affect corporate strategy as well as the broader development objective of reaching the “4 Billion” at the base of the pyramid.
  • Identify the gaps in existing market institutions which may be acting as barriers to growth and understand how to overcome them.
  • Learn interdisciplinary approaches to complex issues including the elements of good governance and accountability, cross-sectoral partnerships, and measuring impact.
  • Capture lessons from relevant project experience and corporate initiatives that could be applied within your organization.

The curriculum/program includes topics such as: 1) Global Trends, Imbalances, and Opportunities: Reaching the “4 Billion”; 2) Aligning Corporate Strategy with the Development Agenda; 3) Promoting Good Governance; 4) The Role of Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships; and 5) Measuring Impact.   The “face-to-face” component of the program will be held in Washington, DC from June 9-13, and the “distance learning component” will be held from June 16-30, 2008. 

Want to learn more?  Go here.  Or apply here

Source:  World Business Council for Sustainable Development

Agora Fellows Program

As an update to a prior post entitled “MBAs without Borders” (MWB), it has been brought to our attention through NextBillion that Agora Partnerships, in collaboration with MWB, has launched a fellowship program that aims to address issues of long-term management, specialization, expertise, and sustainability in the social enterprise sector:

The Agora Fellows program is a new initiative by Agora Partnerships to bring extraordinary entrepreneurial talent directly into developing world small businesses during their critical growth phase. Agora Fellows are management, finance, and development professionals who work in-country for 4-6 months to assist the leadership teams of Agora portfolio companies in setting up managerial processes and executing the business plan.

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