Episode 6: Interview with Mohan Thazhathu, president and CEO Help MeSee

Mohan Thazhathu is president and CEO of HelpMeSee Inc., a non-profit with a mandate to eliminate cataract Topmost hair be!
blindness endemic in developing countries. Cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss and account for more than half of all blindness worldwide.

HelpMeSee’s mission is bring this sight-restoring surgery to millions of underserved people in emerging markets through financial support and the training of thousands of highly skilled specialist cataract surgeons recruited from within their communities.

HelpMeSee has an extensive network of cataract surgeons, practicing in some of the world’s poorest communities-by the end of 2013 HelpMeSee had completed 100,000 cataract surgeries through its HelpMeSee Program.

In this interview, Mohan talks about

  • Mohan’s journey as a social entrepreneurMohan Thazhathu
  • The power of dogged determination
  • The value of mentors
  • Why Mohan runs HelpMeSee as a business
  • Mohan’s inclusive approach to collaboration

Episode 4: Interview with Dai Powell, Chief Executive HCT Group

Dai Powell has been running HCT Group since 1993. Over this time, HCT has grown more than a hundredfold – from a small community transport provider into an award-winning national social enterprise- which now provides over 17 million passenger trips on buses in the UK every year.

Dai is passionate about social entrepreneurship- he is a board member of Big Society Capital in the UK, is the Chair of the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC) and a Social Enterprise UK board member.

In this interview, Dai talks about:

  • How to balance social and business goalsDai-Powell
  • The challenges of scaling a social enterprise
  • The importance of building different layers of impact in a social enterprise
  • Why social entrepreneurs need to do the “hard yards”
  • How HCT continually grows
  • Why we need large social enterprises to provide career paths for talented people who want to work in social enterprise

Episode 3: Interview with Professor Ian MacMillan

Ian MacMillan is the Dhirubhai Ambani Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Director, Sol C. Snider Entrepreneurial Research Center at the Wharton School at Pennsylvania. He is the author of the Social Entrepreneur’s Playbook a powerful guidebook for social entrepreneurs based on thirteen years of fieldwork in social entrepreneurship.

In this interview, Ian talks about:

  • The importance of pressure testing your ideaMacMillan
  • The skills necessary to succeed as a social entrepreneur
  • How to deal with obstacles to getting your social business of the ground
  • The principles of discovery based business development
  • Why social entrepreneurs need tough love

The sound quality in this podcast is not good. I will be doing another interview with Ian in the near future. Please let us know if there are any other topics you would like us to cover in the interview. Thanks

Episode 2: Interview with Gustav Praekelt, founder of the Praekelt Foundation

Gustav Praekelt is founder of the Praekelt Foundation, a South African incubator for mobile technology that develops scalable mobile solutions for social good, whose programmes have reached over 50 million people across 15 countries in Africa.

In this interview, Gustav shares his experience and talks about:

  • The power of mobile communications technologyGustav
  • The lessons of more than 10 years grassroots social entrepreneurship in Africa
  • His latest project to bring Wikipedia to African mobile phone users
  • What keeps Gustav inspired when times are tough
  • Lessons for other social entrepreneurs that want to follow in Gustav’s footsteps

Episode 1: Interview with Mike Quinn, CEO of Zoona

Mike Quinn is CEO of Zoona, a mobile payments system in Zambia which was the first technology startup company in Zambia to secure venture capital from international investors.

In this interview, Mike shares his experience and talks about:

  • How Zoona empowers micro entrepreneurs and small business owners in AfricaMike-Quinn
  • The art of mixing social and business goals
  • What it takes to build to a business in Africa
  • The vital importance of having mentors who have relevant experience
  • How Mike keeps going when things are tough
  • The importance of big hairy ambitious goals: Zoona wants to be a $1-billion company