Episode 14 Interview with Kevin Starr, Director of Mulago Foundation

Kevin Starr directs the Mulago Foundation, a private foundation that invests in charities and philanthropic opportunities that have the highest possible impact. Indeed, the foundation has a single-minded focus on impact: how to build high impact organisations for social change, how to measure and invest in impact, how to take impact to scale. The Mulago Foundation’s portfolio includes notable organizations such as the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) and Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), the One Acre Fund, Conservation International, and Kick Start.

In 2003. Kevin established the Rainer Arnhold Fellows Program to apply Mulago’s ideas to help social entrepreneurs turn good ideas into large-scale lasting change. It supports social entrepreneurs with promising solutions to the biggest problems facing the developing world, and aims to help them scale up their impact. Kevin mentors and teaches fellows in numerous other programs for social entrepreneurs.

In this interview, Kevin talks about:

  • The importance of measuring impact
  • The growing importance of teams rather than solo entrepreneurs
  • The resilience factor
  • Why scalable ideas are the foundation of successful social enterprises
  • How to pivot in the face of new information

Episode 13 Interview with Tom Szaky, founder of Terracycle

Tom is the founder of TerraCycle, an American company that makes consumer products from waste. It all begain in 2001 with a simple idea to make an organic fertilizer from worm poo;today TerraCycle has grown into a company with annual revenues in excess of $25 million, providing free waste collection programs for hard to recycle materials-and then turning that waste into affordable green products. TerraCycle now operates in 26 countries.

TerraCycle has developed a range of volunteer-led recycling systems that enables individuals, families, schools, or community groups to establish “Brigades” to collect a specific waste stream such as coffee capsules, cosmetic packaging and recently, cigarette buts. Its Bottle Brigade program, where schools and communities can send in recyclables for cash, operates in more than 26 countries around the world. In this interview Tom talks about:

 

  • The economics of recycling tom szaky
  • How to leverage purpose to enhance impact
  • How TerraCycle has built a 60 million volunteer support group
  • Why social entrepreneurs need to plan for success assuming they don’t have the benefit of purpose or social impact
  • The power of partnerships to achieve impact

 

Episode 12: Interview with Fermin Reygadas, Co-founder of Fundacion Cantaro Azul

Fermin Reygadas is Executive Director and Co-founder of Fundacion Cantaro Azul, an organization based in Mexico that works with rural communities to develop and implement safe water services.

Berkeley, Cantaro Azul developed the first ultraviolet water disinfection system specifically design for rural households. Cantaro Azul has also developed safe water solutions for schools and communities, including a hybrid franchise called Nuestra Agua. The franchise uses a kiosk-based technology operated by local entrepreneurs under an economically sustainable model to offer an affordable and reliable safe water service.

Fermin’s ultimate goal is to enable widespread and constant access to potable water while empowering community members with ownership and control of their water sources.

In this interview, Fermin talks about:

  • Cantaro Azul’s blend of research and groundworkFerminR01
  • The importance of building a support system
  • Why social entrepreneurs need passion and empathy
  • The benefits of working collaboratively with rural communities
  • Cantaro Azul’s social franchise model that works with local entrepreneurs to provide potable water

Episode 11: Interview with Sangu Delle, co-founder cleanacwa

Sangu Delle is the co-founder of cleanacwa, formerly known as the African Development Initiative (founded in 2007). cleanacwa is a non-profit organization working to help provide access to clean water and sanitation in underdeveloped regions in Ghana. cleanacwa is currently working to bring clean water and sanitation to 60,000 people in 120 villages in the Ayensuano and Suhum districts in Ghana.

cleanacwa aims to combine academic research and business to create social change and development. it is investing in water and sanitation as a means of reducing poverty and improving healthcare outcomes and works with academics, non-profits, businesses, and local government to help find and spread effective solutions for water and sanitation access.

Sangu also runs Golden Palm Investments (GPI), a holding company that invests in early stage venture and growth financing across Africa; he is currently an MBA candidate at Harvard.

In this interview, Sangu talks about:

 

  • SJD high rescleanacwa’s data intensive approach to understanding what works and why
  • The importance of local education programmes to promote change
  • How cleanacwa creates efficiencies through scale and partnerships
  • Cleanacwa’s trigger education methods
  • How cleanacwa uses incentives to promote change

 

Episode 10: Interview with Bedriye Hulya, founder of B-fit

Bedriye Hulya is the founder of B-fit, Turkey’s first national chain of women-only gyms. Bedriye is a serial entrepreneur, prior to setting up B-fit she set up a popular restaurant, two boutique hotels and an importing company. Bedriye opened the first branch of B-fit in February 2006 based on an idea she had come across when living in America.

B-fit now has more than 250 gyms in a variety of socio-economic and geographic locations throughout Turkey-with more than a hundred and sixty thousand members-the majority of whichare run by women as franchisees. Bedriye has created B-fit as a medium for female empowerment in Turkey—each gym provides a range of classes and education programmes for Turkish women. Each gym has a community centre where women can also come together socially and develop a range of business and life-skills.

Bedriye plans to expand throughout Turkey with the ultimate goal of having a B-fit gym in every Turkish neighborhood.

In this interview, Bedriye talks about:

  • Exercise as a tool for female empowermentBedriye
  • The importance of economic empowerment through entrepreneurship
  • How word of mouth has helped build B-fit grow
  • The challenges funding a social business in Turkey
  • Why Bedriye recruits people who are unhappy with the status quo
  • The mix of patience and impatience that is key to success as a social entrepreneur