Author Archive

Impact Entrepreneurs Replication School: Module One Completed

PSU’s Impact entrepreneurs, in partnership with Digital Divide Data and The Rockefeller Foundation, has been delivering Impact Sourcing Training to social entrepreneurs hand selected by Rockefeller. The training, hosted by digital Divide Data, is preparing these entrepreneurs from Africa and South Asia to launch or expand their own social enterprise initiatives in the Business Process Outsourcing space in their countries.

By Lindsey Dietz, PSU MBA Candidate and Week 1 Replication School Teacher in Cambodia

Today is Friday, which marks the last day of the first module in the eight-week replication school program. Our last day consisted of customer relationship management scenario discussions and participant presentations. The short presentations were designed to allow the participants to apply their learning and practice public speaking. Each person was given ten minutes to introduce their organization and customers and describe one targeted marketing strategy with tactics to achieve it.

I asked each participant to present to the class as if they were the marketing director of their organization. The audience represented the management team that would approve the marketing strategy and budget. Each participant had to work hard to manage their short time in front of the audience. The strict time limit pushed the class to really focus their presentations and drill down to the most important points of interest.

It was obvious that they spent significant time developing their presentation. All of the participants took the time to design power point slides for reference during the presentations in addition to developing the content. Some people had difficulty with the time limit but the quality of the presentations far exceeded my expectations. We videotaped each one so the participants could see themselves in addition to receiving feedback from their peers and teachers.

At the end of this last class I shared how I have been feeling this whole week with the participants. I told them I believe that through them my time teaching here in Cambodia will make a difference. Each person brought enthusiasm, strong energy and attentiveness to class despite illness and severe jetlag. I have no doubt that this group will go home and apply what they learned in a meaningful way. I am excited to follow up with them in coming months to see how the knowledge is applied. Thank you to Impact Entrepreneurs, Rockefeller Foundation, DDD and the dedicated group of participants for making this life experience possible!

January 27, 2012 at 5:35 am Leave a comment

Impact Entrepreneurs Replication School: Day 4 – The Marketing in Cambodia Adventure Continues!

PSU’s Impact entrepreneurs, in partnership with Digital Divide Data and The Rockefeller Foundation, has been delivering Impact Sourcing Training to social entrepreneurs hand selected by Rockefeller. The training, hosted by digital Divide Data, is preparing these entrepreneurs from Africa and South Asia to launch or expand their own social enterprise initiatives in the Business Process Outsourcing space in their countries.

By Lindsey Dietz, PSU MBA Candidate and Week 1 Replication School Teacher in Cambodia

Every day of teaching brings new challenges and adventure. Today was no exception. I woke up to the sound of knocking at my door only to find one of my colleagues, Neil, and his partner had arrived safely from the U.S. It was wonderful to see friendly faces through my sleepy blur. Neil is teaching the finance module that is taking place next week. He decided to join us for the first few hours of class to meet the participants and tour the DDD offices. Carolyn, Neil and I enjoyed a wonderful tuk-tuk ride into the office together. It is certainly a fun way to start the day!

Neil and Carolyn on the way to the DDD office

This morning our participants each presented their value proposition statements and a few key marketing objectives that had been assigned as homework. I was proud to see that the participants understand the concepts and are diligently working to create strong objectives and value statements. This is a wonderful and strong group of people that is poised to make significant impact in their businesses when they return. Before starting the program I was worried that they wouldn’t value the marketing module. I often find that marketing is not considered as important as the other key subjects like finance or accounting. The participants have made me feel welcome and valued in this experience and shown true interest in the subject I am most passionate about.

In addition to learning marketing concepts this week we have attempted to incorporate customer relationship management principles. Today we had a wonderful guest speaker named Shane Schneider who is the COO of Infinity Insurance here in Phnom Penh. Infinity is one of DDD’s local customers that have been utilizing their data services for over two years. Shane spent about an hour with us discussing how DDD won his business, how service issues are addressed and what he values most about DDD. Shane was candid and spoke to many of the concepts that we were learning in class. His time with us gave our participants some examples of application of the theories and concepts we covered. It was also nice to have a way to break up the classroom time and the lecture format. Thank you again to Shane for taking the time to speak with us. To learn more about Infinity Insurance and their rapid growth please visit their website at http://www.infinity.com.kh/profile/.

One of the participants in the marketing module this week is DDD’s own sales director Kunthy Kann. The other participants and the teachers have learned a great deal from Kunthy’s insight and perspective this week. Kunthy took the time today to share his moving story that truly speaks to the impact DDD makes on the lives of employees and beneficiaries. I want to share the abridged version of Kunthy’s story with you. Kunthy is from a rural area about 40 kilometers outside Phnom Penh. He graduated from High School in 1998 and didn’t have any opportunities except subsistence farming. His father had passed away when he was young and most of the family’s assets were sold to provide his older brother with money for an education. After one year of farming Kunthy decided it wasn’t for him and he ventured into the city. Kunthy spent time living in a temple in order to get food and shelter. Over time he found free educational facilities where he could learn English and some computer skills. Kunthy had a drive to educate himself. After some time he began teaching English to support himself. Eventually he stumbled upon a newly formed DDD in 2001. He got a job as a data transcriber (basic operator level). With hard work, dedication and passion Kunthy moved through the ranks and continued to develop his education. His story is an inspiration and is a perfect example of what each of our participants is trying to create. We want to create impact and change through personal development and training.

Kunthy Kann sharing his story

Thank you to Kunthy for sharing your moving story and inspiring our participants and our teaching staff!

I consider day four a success!

January 26, 2012 at 7:36 am Leave a comment

Impact Entrepreneurs Replication School: Day 3 is a success!

PSU’s Impact entrepreneurs, in partnership with Digital Divide Data and The Rockefeller Foundation, has been delivering Impact Sourcing Training to social entrepreneurs hand selected by Rockefeller. The training, hosted by digital Divide Data, is preparing these entrepreneurs from Africa and South Asia to launch or expand their own social enterprise initiatives in the Business Process Outsourcing space in their countries.

By Lindsey Dietz, PSU MBA Candidate and Week 1 Replication School Teacher in Cambodia

Today is day three of the marketing module at the replication school hosted by DDD in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  Our curriculum topics today covered information from “Strategic marketing for social entrepreneurs” by Jerr Boschee. This reading provides a framework for our participants to evaluate the impact and revenue potential of each of the projects or services they offer. We also covered strategy, value propositions and positioning.

I have noticed that I developed more curriculum than I can get through each day. I hope that the accelerated pace doesn’t mean missing any of the important topics. I spend my evenings reviewing the curriculum and preparing for the next days work. I’m motivated to provide the best experience for our participants possible. My way of ensuring this is adapting each day to what I learned in previous sessions.

Lindsey Dietz with replication school participants

Today had a big moment for me on a personal level. During class I started to get sluggish and slow. I was having difficulty explaining a topic. My class of participants called me out on it asking if I may need a break. I was a little worried that this signaled a failure in the eyes of my students. However, I was quickly reassured. The participants told me that I am doing a great job and that they value my effort and work. What a great confidence booster. Those comments make all the hard work well worth it! I have two more days to create even more impact.

Yesterday I mentioned that DDD was in the news. It turns out I missed an earlier article featuring the organization. Here is another great article about DDD and the impact their work creates http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-asia-jobtraining-20120102%2c0%2c1259025.story

More to come from this PSU student tomorrow. Stay tuned!

January 25, 2012 at 6:16 am Leave a comment

Impact Entrepreneurs Replication School: Day 2 – Marketing and Customer Relationship Management

PSU’s Impact entrepreneurs, in partnership with Digital Divide Data and The Rockefeller Foundation, has been delivering Impact Sourcing Training to social entrepreneurs hand selected by Rockefeller. The training, hosted by digital Divide Data, is preparing these entrepreneurs from Africa and South Asia to launch or expand their own social enterprise initiatives in the Business Process Outsourcing space in their countries.

By Lindsey Dietz, PSU MBA Cnadidate and Week 1 Replication School Teacher in Cambodia

Today we completed the second day of the Marketing and Customer Relationship Management module at DDD. Our topics today began with the environmental scan utilizing tools such as the SWOT and the PEST analysis. In the afternoon we covered material including market segmentation and competitor analysis. Our group of participants managed to get through seven hours of difficult material with enthusiasm despite jet-lag. The energy of this group helps keep me focused and equally energized. I hope they can continue to bring good spirit to each module.

Participants hard at work

The material is dense and the classes are long making each day mentally and physically exhausting for both teachers and students. Teaching and learning in a classroom setting for these long periods is difficult! My respect for my teachers over the years is growing exponentially. I found a way to melt some of the stress away. Massages are inexpensive in Phnom Penh and becoming a nightly occurrence for me.

My confidence as a teacher is growing. I know the material well but it is always difficult to answer student questions and facilitate active discussion. I am lucky to be surrounded by such an active and respectful group. I am also thankful to be teaching alongside Carolyn McKnight who can help me while I’m struggling and give me feedback on my teaching style. I feel comfortable in the teaching role and am learning a lot about myself in the process.

Today Michael Chertok, the Chief Development Officer at DDD, spent over an hour with us describing DDD’s history and challenges they face as an organization. It is an honor to have Michael so directly involved in the classroom experience communicating with the participants while he is in Cambodia.

Michael Chertok, DDD Chief Development Officer

Michael mentioned some exciting news during his presentation. DDD has been ranked number 28 on a list of the top 100 NGO’s by The Global Journal (http://theglobaljournal.net/article/view/457/). Impact Entrepreneurs is proud to see their partners recognized for their work and impact. IE also works with Mercy Corps, which was listed as number 11. As a student I’m excited and proud to be involved with IE and DDD because of the impact they create. I believe my time here is making a difference and will continue to do so through the students in the program.

January 24, 2012 at 6:24 am 1 comment

Impact Entrepreneurs Replication School: Day One – The Work Begins!

PSU’s Impact entrepreneurs, in partnership with Digital Divide Data and The Rockefeller Foundation, has been delivering Impact Sourcing Training to social entrepreneurs hand selected by Rockefeller. The training, hosted by digital Divide Data, is preparing these entrepreneurs from Africa and South Asia to launch or expand their own social enterprise initiatives in the Business Process Outsourcing space in their countries.

By Lindsey Dietz, PSU MBA Candidate and Week 1 Replication School Teacher in Cambodia

This morning I nervously traveled by tuk-tuk to the new DDD offices in Phnom Penh to deliver my first day’s curriculum. Today was the first day of eight weeks of classes for our participants. They were jet-lagged but enthusiastic, positive and ready to learn. There are currently four participants from outside organizations and two DDD staff members involved in the marketing module. There will be additional students as the weeks progress.

transportation to DDD offices

tuk-tuk ride to the DDD offices

My nervousness stems from my desire to provide the best educational experience possible for our participants. I want those who have invested funds to get me here to be proud of my work. I also want to make sure that my presence and performance reflect well on IE and DDD. The confidence of the IE staff in my abilities is a relief and signals to me that I am trustworthy and capable. That added support has helped me grow and become more confident in my own knowledge and abilities.

I want to deliver my curriculum in a way that inspires the students and helps them reflect on their current or potential businesses. As a passionate marketing professional I hope to instill some of my passion and lay a conceptual foundation that will help them understand their respective markets and grow their businesses. The difficulty is teaching one set of curriculum to five different cultural and geographical markets. At the same time, each participant has a unique perspective that adds to my learning and the group discussion. We have more opportunities to learn from each others experiences.

Today we introduced the program the participants and some of the expectations. Once we started the curriculum we focused on market research, mission statements and elements of a marketing plan. I was pleased at the end of the day when the participants shared their key insights from the day. Each person is passionate about creating or growing a social enterprise that will help their local communities. My impact is by providing the knowledge and background to help them achieve their goals. I’m proud to be apart of this and making a direct impact.

Here is a little bit about our outside participants:

Gift Serero is visiting us from Invincible Outsourcing in South Africa. His organization runs a call center to support other elements of their business. Their impact is focused on education.

Ejaz Ali is visiting us from KADO (Karakorum area development organization) in Pakistan. KADO is an indigenous initiative aimed at improving the socio-economic conditions of the local communities.

Jan Wekesa is from Enablis East Africa in Kenya. Enablis is a Canadian-based not-for-profit organization that supports entrepreneurs in the developing world through its member-driven network. Enablis is currently helping new social entrepreneurs enter the impact sourcing space through education and coaching.

Hayford Dorvlo from e.Services in Ghana is also with us. E.Services is a world class business and IT-consulting and technology firm.

More to come from day two. I need to start preparing!

January 23, 2012 at 6:36 am 2 comments

Impact Entrepreneurs Replication School: Welcome to Cambodia

PSU’s Impact entrepreneurs, in partnership with Digital Divide Data and The Rockefeller Foundation, has been delivering Impact Sourcing Training to social entrepreneurs hand selected by Rockefeller. The training, hosted by digital Divide Data, is preparing these entrepreneurs from Africa and South Asia to launch or expand their own social enterprise initiatives in the Business Process Outsourcing space in their countries.

By Lindsey Dietz, PSU MBA Candidate and Week 1 Replication School Teacher in Cambodia

My name is Lindsey Dietz and I am a guest host on the Impact Entrepreneurs (IE) blog. I am currently working on a project with IE in Cambodia and wanted to share my experiences with you. In order to understand my work and the great opportunity that IE has presented me, I first need to describe the project I’m involved in and a little about me.

Phnom Penh

I am an MBA student at Portland State University in the final months of school. Each MBA student at PSU is required to do a final project called the Capstone. My group of four stellar team members took on a project with IE as the client. Our project goals are to evaluate the feasibility of expanding the Replication School concept and provide analysis and recommendations. Our second goal is to evaluate the program and answer some key questions.

Is the Impact Entrepreneurs replication school for impact sourcing effective? If not, what changes can be made to ensure maximum social impact?

The idea of the replication school is unique and fascinating for me. I am new to the social entrepreneurship concept and still learning the lingo.  The idea behind the replication school is to train new social entrepreneurs how to replicate successful social enterprise models in different regions of the world. Hopefully the new businesses would be successful and create more impact more quickly.

Digital Divide Data (DDD) (http://www.digitaldividedata.org/) is a data digitization company in the impact sourcing space within the larger business process outsourcing (BPO) market. DDD has an established relationship with IE and their educational services through another IE program called Entrepreneurial Leaders Program (ELP). DDD understands the need for managerial training to expand existing business and improve business acumen among managers. DDD also shares in the idea that expanding social enterprises and replication are viable ways of increasing impact.

DDD received a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to bring its social enterprise model to Kenya (http://bit.ly/w5vMgu). As part of this grant DDD and Rockefeller asked IE to provide eight weeks of intensive training for DDD staff and other social entrepreneurs interested in learning the DDD business model.  The goal is to train leaders from other organizations to manage impact sourcing operations while further developing the capacity of DDD’s own managers.

So how do I fit in? Well, I have the inexplicably good luck of already being involved with IE through the capstone project. My teams responsibility is to help IE decide if the replication school is a good avenue for future business. In order to understand the success of the program and learn about participants and their expectations direct involvement is key. In addition, IE is an educational organization and wanted to impact the lives of my project group through experiential learning. I was asked to help develop and deliver marketing curriculum for the first week training. Each week there is a different topic or module for learning. My background and passion is in marketing so helping with this area fit directly with my experience and future goals.

I can’t describe how lucky I feel to have been given the opportunity to learn more about the social entrepreneurship field through direct experience. The learning that is accompanied by developing curriculum, international travel and interacting with global participants is immeasurable. This is an amazing opportunity and I’m excited to have the experience and all of the life changing moments that come along with it.

January 23, 2012 at 6:24 am Leave a comment


Connect With Us

Impact Entrepreneurs Twitter Feed

Archives


%d bloggers like this: