Impact Measurement

129, Martin Burt, Fundación Paraguaya | The Poverty Stoplight

Martin Burt wants to eliminate poverty. He lets the poor measure poverty for themselves. Here are two truths that I’ve learned about social entrepreneurship. One, there is not a single, straight path to becoming a social entrepreneur. Two, it’s important to measure your impact. Martin Burt of Fundación Paraguaya illustrates both points. Martin’s path to social entrepreneurship began in Paraguay in the early 1980s, when it was ruled by a dictator. Because his family was not part of the dictatorship, he found it difficult to find a job. What does a social entrepreneur do in this situation? Start the country’s first social enterprise, of course. He started a microenterprise development…

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118, Avnish Gungadurdoss, Instiglio | Tying funding to results

Instiglio is a nonprofit with a mission of maximizing the social impact of every cent spent on social programs. They accomplish that by tying funding to results. Avnish Gungadurdoss grew up on the island nation of Mauritius. He was drawn to do social work at a young age. “I remember being taken by how much the poor’s trajectory was completely dependent on where they were born,” he told me. “To me that was a crazy thought, that life is up to the random chance of where you were born.” While working in the field and seeing firsthand the gap between the promise of social programs and their outcome, he recognized that…

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072, Sasha Dichter, Acumen | Impact Measurement with Efficiency, Speed and Rigor

Impact measurement is critical to success as a social entrepreneur. We become social entrepreneurs because we want to make an impact, but how do we measure our impact without detracting from our resources that are making an impact? Investors, business owners and customers can view our impact with different lenses, and therefore have completely different impact measurement needs. Impact measurement can be complex and resource-intensive, but does it have to be? Is there a better way? Sasha Dichter of Acumen has a better idea – lean data. Lean data uses short, simple surveys, delivered via mobile phone to assess whether or not people’s lives are better as a result of…

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072, Sasha Dichter, Acumen | Impact Measurement with Efficiency, Speed and Rigor

Wendy Lipton-Dibner, Author, Focus on Impact

Impact, or the desire to make a sustainable difference, is a megatrend that social researcher Wendy Lipton-Dibner has been tracking for years. Wendy is a best-selling author. Her latest book is Focus On Impact, The 10-Step Map to Reach Millions, Make Millions and Love Your Life Along the Way. Keep in mind, when Wendy says “impact” she uses a broader definition than one might use when talking about impact investing. Still, for more than 35 years, Wendy has been researching the question of why focusing on making a sustainable difference leads to greater business outcomes. Wendy points to “the social shift” that occurred when social media became widely used. Suddenly, one-way…

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The Impact Measurement Challenge

Calling all data geeks and entrepreneurs. Here’s a business opportunity. Although there are better definitions out there, an entrepreneur is someone who identifies a perceived pain or a desired gain in the marketplace and uses innovative approaches to resolve the pain or bring about the gain. Well, I have a pain for you. As I have been interviewing entrepreneurs for the Social Entrepreneur podcast, one pain point comes up again and again. They tell me that their greatest desire is to create social and environmental impact. However, it is difficult, time consuming and expensive to measure impact. The time and effort that they spend measuring impact reduces the resources that they…

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The Impact Measurement Challenge