Technology as a Catalyst to Scale

AT Kearney & Ashoka

Note: Ashoka and A.T Kearney co-authored this white paper on “Technology as a catalyst to Scale” after Ashoka India’s GlobalizerX program in November 2015.

Leading social entrepreneurs are constantly trying to scale their impact with the limited resources they have. Many achieve scale in the form of strategic collaborations, franchise models, associations or open sourcing. It is no surprise that these social entrepreneurs face several challenges along the way while scaling. These challenges include internal challenges such as leadership challenges, finding the right team etc. as well as external challenges such as operational inefficiencies, poor resources, lack of consumer awareness etc. 

Ashoka partnered with A.T Kearney on the GlobalizerX to help Ashoka Fellows achieve scale with the help of technology. Technology enables low-cost, mass outreach with significant benefits in scaling operations and improved governance. The use of technology can also help free up bandwidth which can solve many leadership challenges but its primary contribution remains focused on the expanded institutional ability to implement its business model across wider geographies. The use of technology helps social entrepreneurs with fundraising, customer awareness, operations and infrastructure as well as reaching economies of scale.

Although technology has its benefits, there are a set of other challenges that creep in while using technology as it is capital intensive and local human intervention cannot be substituted. Social entrepreneurs must understand that although a high initial investment may be required for certain technological solutions, this will lead to longer-term gains.

Read the white paper: Technology as a Catalyst to Scale