Nonprofit Enterprise & Self Sustainability Team

NESsT develops sustainable social enterprises that solve critical social problems in emerging market economies.
Dec 31, 2013

Ending 2013 on a Positive Note

Sales, Marketing & Leadership Workshop
Sales, Marketing & Leadership Workshop

Greetings from Santiago, Chile! Once again, it is a pleasure to share some exciting updates about the final days of this successful project working towards our goal of supporting 372 producers and artisans from southern Chile who were severely affected by the 2010 earthquake and tsunami. Here are some of the latest developments:

Social Enterprise Competition:

 Investment Plans: In our previous update, we reported that NESsT had devoted significant efforts towards finalizing sound investment plans with each of the winners of our special Social Enterprise Competition. At this point, the investment plans have been finalized and approved by NESsT and our partners at the Multilateral Investment Fund.  

 Monitoring Performance: We also reported that we were providing advice and support to finalize the “Performance Monitoring Tool” (PMT), which is a unique tool used by NESsT to measure progress, performance and social impact.  This tool sets out very specific, measurable objectives and goals for each social enterprise and each newcomer to our portfolio must learn how to use it. At this point, we are happy to announce that all 3 winners of the social enterprise competition have finalized their PMT’s.

Sales, Marketing and Leadership Workshop: on October 9 and 10, NESsT took the entire Chile portfolio (9 social enterprises) to a wonderful retreat lodge in the Andes Mountains for two days. This was the first time that the 3 winners of the social enterprise competition for earthquake-affected regions participated in portfolio activities. As such, a formal introduction ensued.

During these two days in the mountain, NESsT held two training sessions led by professional consultants and supported by the enterprise development team in Chile: Ignacio Blanco, Felipe Cordero and Rodolfo Madriaga. Both workshops sought to improve the social enterprises´ capacity to sell, as well as their entrepreneurs’ leadership skills. On October 9, NESsT held the sales and marketing workshop led by professional business consultant Mauricio Espina. Mr. Espina especially designed a workshop that was meant to strengthen the skills of the social enterprise leaders. The workshop dealt with the toughest issues described by social entrepreneurs as the main barriers to the success of their social enterprises. The goal was to identify and solve problems and to help them implement their business models.  

The following day NESsT brought Mr. Hector Vega, a professional organizational psychologist with more than 10 years of experience in human resources. The 1 day workshop dealt with very common problems faced by social entrepreneurs: how to lead organizational conversations about productivity, how to ask questions that add value to the experience of a worker, how to ask and promise things to workers and how to create safe emotional spaces. Most importantly, the workshop helped social entrepreneurs develop their skills in appreciative leadership skills.

As a refresher, these are the winners and their social enterprise ideas:

Apiunisexta: A store specialized in providing high-quality products for beekeeping activities. It will sell a range of products, such as health items made from honey, food for bee colonies, machinery, and equipment for beekeepers in the O´Higgins Region, to support the needs of producers and increase the market for their products. Beekeepers were severely affected by the earthquake because they lost their production, tools and infrastructure prior to the harvesting season, which meant that they were left with little or no income for that year and with unpaid loans that they expected to pay with revenues from that season.

Surmaule: Surmaule developed a new social enterprise idea to provide its services to government institutions, NGOs and any interested persons about the practice and methodology behind community development initiatives. This social enterprise will be based in the City of Talca, which was severely affected by the earthquake. In addition, Talca is a city with where few professionals can access the latest knowledge and best practices from the field of development.

Ludovico Rutten Foundation:  A business that will develop high-quality welders, providing them with skills and a certification that enables them to better perform their work and ensures the quality of their work. The social enterprise will provide this service locally at very affordable prices. Also located in Talca, this social enterprise will serve communities located in poor and marginalized parts of the city. Given their socioeconomic vulnerability, these areas were also the most affected by the earthquake.

 Social Enterprise Day –Chile 2013:

On December 17th, 2013, NESsT was the host of one of the most important social enterprise events in Chile. The 1-day event sought to promote the development of social enterprises in Chile. To do so, we brought a fantastic keynote speaker: Peter Holbrook from Social Enterprise UK. We gathered the best speakers and social enterprises around the country . We developed a very engaging plan for the day that included panels and presentations about the latest research by NESsT on funding for social enterprises, policy to suppport social enterprises and the establishment of social investment funds.

During the first part of event, NESsT introduced Andes Velasco, former Minister of Finance, economics professor and politician, who began the day by presenting his views on the economic and social challenges of Chile. Then Peter Holbrook went on stage to tell the 200-people audience about the state of social entrepreneurship in the United Kingdom. The lessons from the UK are ncredibly relevant to the Chilean context.

The second part of the day was devoted 100% to the Levantando Chile Fund. We began the afternoon sessions with a presentation about the history and achievements of the fund by Ignacio Blanco, Country Director and responsible for the implementation of this project. After presenting the program, we invited the 3 winners of  the social enteprise competition to come on stage for an award ceremony. Nicolet Etchart, co founder and CEO of NESsT awarded the prizes. They also received the praise and encouragement from Patricio Santander, leader of Upasol, a social enterprise that in northern Chile that collects and processes reciclable material to fund a physical rehabilitation center. It was a great moment of the event. Finally, their work for over a year in the business plans paid off and they are entering the NESsT social enterprise portfolio.

Ignacio Blanco then delivered a presentation about the performance of social enteprises in natural disasters. This was followed by a panel comprised of Matias Rojas (Socialab), Sebastian Cantuarias (Proyecto Propio), Pablo Schuster (Desafío Levantemos Chile) and Peter Holbrook (SE UK).

Social Enterprise Day 2013
Social Enterprise Day 2013
Sep 25, 2013

Social Enterprise Competition and Lessons Learned

2013 Seminar Brochure
2013 Seminar Brochure

Hello! Greetings from Santiago, Chile! Once again, it is a pleasure to share some exciting updates from our project. As mentioned in previous reports, our program is nearing its end. Nonetheless, activities continue and we keep on working towards our goal of supporting 372 producers and artisans from southern Chile who were severely affected by the 2010 earthquake and tsunami. Likewise, we keep on working to develop social enterprises in the affected regions. Here are some of the latest developments:

Social Enterprise Competition:

Our latest Social Enterprise Competition in the regions affected by the earthquake awarded three great social enterprise ideas as winners. Since then, we have devoted our efforts towards finalizing sound investment plans with each of the winners.

The three competition winners have finalized investment plans. We are currently providing them with advice and support to finalize the “Performance Monitoring Tool” (PMT). The PMT is a unique tool used by NESsT to measure progress, performance and social impact.  This tool sets out very specific, measurable, objectives and goals for each social enterprise and each newcomer to our portfolio must learn how to use it. Once PMT’s are finalized, the three new winners will sign an agreement with NESsT that will make them official members of our global portfolio of social enterprises. As a refresher, these are the winners and their social enterprise ideas:

Apiunisexta: A store specialized in providing high-quality products for beekeeping activities. It will sell a range of products, such as health items made from honey, food for bee colonies, machinery, and equipment for beekeepers in the O´Higgins Region, to support the needs of producers and increase the market for their products. Beekeepers were severely affected by the earthquake because they lost their production, tools and infrastructure prior to the harvesting season, which meant that they were left with little or no income for that year and with unpaid loans that they expected to pay with revenues from that season.

Surmaule: Surmaule developed a new social enterprise idea to provide its services to government institutions, NGOs and any interested persons about the practice and methodology behind community development initiatives. This social enterprise will be based in the City of Talca, which was severely affected by the earthquake. In addition, Talca is a city with where few professionals can access the latest knowledge and best practices from the field of development.

Ludovico Rutten Foundation:  A business that will develop high-quality welders, providing them with skills and a certification that enables them to better perform their work and ensures the quality of their work. The social enterprise will provide this service locally at very affordable prices. Also located in Talca, this social enterprise will serve communities located in poor and marginalized parts of the city. Given their socioeconomic vulnerability, these areas were also the most affected by the earthquake.

Impact, Lessons Learned and Best Practices in Post-Earthquake Initiatives:

As mentioned in our previous report NESsT planned to host a national event to discuss and hightlight interesting post-earthquake interventions carried out by civil society organizations, government agencies and other institutions. The idea was to host an event that not only highlighted, but also analyzed and discerned between succesful practices and not-so-successful practices in a post-natural disaster context.

On September 13, 2013, we held a seminar called “Reconstruction-Encounter: Impact, Lessons and Best Practices in Post-eartquake Initiatives”. Organized by NESsT, in partnership with the Recontruction Observatory and the Student Social Responsibility Unit of the University, the event was held at the School of Economics and Business of the University of Chile. For months we researched and scouted for great initiatives – big or small -  to highlight.

The event presented innovative and interesting findings from each initiative and ended with a panel that discussed lessons and best practices that everyone involved in reconstruction efforts should pay attention to. Our guest presenters were Nicole Etchart (Co-CEO, NESsT), Pablo Schuster (Executive Director, Desafio Levantemos Chile), Guillermo Scallan (Social Innovation Director, Avina Foundation), Sebastian Cantuarias (Social Director, Proyecto Propio) and Paulina Vergara (Researcher, Reconstruction Observatory and Institute of Public Affairs, University of Chile). Each presenter provided an overiew of the reconstruction efforts and views on the progress and process thus far, highligthing lessons that their organization has learned along the way.

The group and panel reached the following conclusions:

  1. It is imporant to connect with local perspectives and organizations in order to ensure a reconstruction initiative takes into account and responds appropiately to the needs of the local population.
  2. It is important that an initiative channels funds to the affected area by hiring people who lost their jobs, prioritizing local purchases over retail purchases in order to reactivate local economies.
  3. Quickly implement a strategy that not only attempts to provide infrastructure, but also other support, such as psychological suppport, income recovery strategies, long-term education and health.
  4. Strategies should be long-term and should aim at preventing an exacerbation of poverty in the short term and not only restablish incomes or solve a particular problem created by a disaster, but also improve the quality of life in the mid-term.
  5. Programs should attempt to incorporate a baseline study,  as well as establish goals and indicators.
  6. It is the role of the state to create a national strategy to deal with natural disasters. In order to be prepared, governments should adjust its institutions and systems in order to be efficient, quick and to empower and facilitate the work of other key players who can contribute to a quick recovery.
  7. Governments and organizations should work  simultaneausly in the completion of plans to prevent, or at the least, anticipate disasters, in paralel with plans to react to a disaster and its effects.
  8. The coordination of different efforts is extremely important in order to take advantage of economies of scale; to prevent the duplication of efforts that reduce their respective impacts if implemented in parallel; and to ensure that lessons and learnings are quickly incorporated in order to identify best and innovative practices.
  9. Governments should act as facilitators of efforts , not as inhibitors. They should create platforms to inform key stakeholders about requests to provide services to the state.
  10. Because natural disasters are common in Chile and beyond, lessons and best practices should constantly be sistematized and widely shared beyond national borders.  
Jun 17, 2013

Social Enterprise Competition Wrap-Up

Internal Evaluation Workshop
Internal Evaluation Workshop

Greetings from Santiago, Chile!

We are very pleased to share some exciting updates from our project! As we reach mid-year in what is the final year of the program, we continue working towards our goal of supporting 373 producers and artisans from southern Chile who were severely affected by the 2010 earthquake and tsunami, by developing social enterprises in the affected regions.

Here are some of the latest developments and impact:

Social Enterprise Competition:

Our Social Enterprise Competition in the regions affected by the earthquake has finally ended. Four remaining organizations submitted their business plans, which have been reviewed by NESsT’s business development professionals in the region, as well members of our Business Advisory Network (BAN) and corporate volunteers from JP Morgan’s Chile office. We are happy to announce that the three winners are:

Apiunisexta: A store specialized in providing high-quality products for beekeeping activities. It will sell a range of products, such as health items made from honey, food for bee colonies, machinery, and equipment for beekeepers in the O´Higgins Region, to support the needs of producers and increase the market for their products.

Surmaule: Surmaule developed a new social enterprise idea to provide its services to government institutions, NGOs and any interested persons about the practice and methodology behind community development initiatives.

Ludovico Rutten Foundation:  A business that will develop high-quality welders, providing them with skills and a certification that enables them to better perform their work and ensures the quality of their work. The social enterprise will provide this service locally at very affordable prices.

These three enterprises will soon enter the NESsT Portfolio where over the next three years, they will receive funding and technical advice from NESsT experts to help them achieve their goals of running powerful social enterprise ideas.  

On the first week of August 2013, NESsT will host a national event to discuss and hightlight interesting post-earthquake interventions carried out by civil society organizations, government agencies and other institutions. The idea is to host an event that will not only highlight, but also analyze and discern between succesful practices and not-so-successful practices in a post-natural disaster context. We have already began preliminary conversations with prominent thinktanks and universities, as well as other key agencies in reconstruction efforts.

We look forward to reporting and sharing pictures of this event with you!

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