Women living in poverty across the globe have ideas for successful businesses, but lack the opportunity to make their dreams a reality. Street Business School (SBS)’s mission is to end extreme poverty by empowering women as entrepreneurs through an entrepreneurial training program.
SBS established a six-month program providing marginalized women living in extreme poverty with an opportunity to earn an income. When Spring Impact began working with SBS in 2015, the team was ready to realize their vision for expanding the program globally in order to reach women who needed it most. However, they did not yet have a strategic framework to do so. Our work focused on addressing the financial sustainability concerns of scaling their program and how best to scale.
We worked with SBS to design and develop their scaling strategy, aimed at replicating their training to new locations in order to bring it to a wider audience. As a result of our partnership, SBS clarified their vision for the future, restructured their management approach, and dedicated staff and resources to implementing the scaling strategy using a social franchise model.
“Partnering with Spring Impact in the formative stages of designing our scaling model was critical. I feel like you accelerated our implementation timeline by years because [Spring Impact] provided the expertise we lacked in terms of which form of replication was right for us, and the architecture and tools to implement.”
As a result of our work together and resulting replication model design, SBS was equipped with the knowledge and confidence they needed to implement their scale plans. They now host train-the-trainer workshops to equip other organizations to deliver their award-winning courses to the communities with which they are most connected. This allowed them to develop a unique and powerful network with other organizations, enabling meaningful collaboration and learning across organizations.
From 2016 to 2020, SBS scaled its programming by training 97 partners spanning 21 countries. Overall, they have reached more than 30,000 women. Through their direct implementation in Uganda, they have seen a 211% increase in income among graduates of the program, and 89% of women with at least one business two years after graduation. For participants on courses run by SBS-trained NGOs, initial data shows a 163% increase in income, and 81% of women having at least one business one year after graduation.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, SBS has expanded their offering to online train-the-trainer courses to continue meeting the needs of women living in extreme poverty across the globe.
Photo: Street Business School