On 21 November, 2022, we held a webinar to discuss the Scale Accelerator: Women’s Empowerment programme, our fully-funded consultancy programme for NGOs working on issues related to women’s empowerment across Malawi, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
The event provided more information on how the programme’s benefits for those selected to take part, what the support will entail, and how it could help NGOs develop the strategies, plans, and skills to scale up sustainably.
We heard from Spring Impact Alumni – Saliwe Mutetwa-Zakariya, Partner Network Manager and Devin Hibbard, CEO at Street Business School – who talked about the difference that working with Spring Impact has made to their organisation.
Read through the webinar Q&A below for responses to the questions raised by attendees throughout the event, and to find out more about how the programme can help you. You can also watch a recording of the event here if you’d like to learn more.
Q: I would like to learn more about organisations that Spring Impact has consulted and helped to scale in the past. Where are they now and where did they start from?
Scale Accelerator is our flagship programme, which has already enabled over 50 high potential organisations to significantly expand their reach and impact over the years. The programme is based on our unique scaling methodology and consultancy approach which has supported over 300 organisations across the world to scale up.
You can read more about the different organisations we have worked with through the case studies on our website here.
Q: How many NGOs are able to take part per country?
Scale Accelerator Women’s Empowerment will support 14 NGOs from across Malawi, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe to scale the impact of their vital work. Spring Impact will select NGOs to take part in the programme based on their readiness to scale. This means there is not a specified number of positions available in each country.
Q: How can the programme help my project impact more people who need the services we offer?
NGOs who have previously taken part in Spring Impact’s Scale Accelerator share that the long term benefits for their organisation are:
- Expansion of their programme, intervention or service to several new locations, geographical areas or communities
- Identification of high quality partners to work with to address a problem at scale
- New ways to reach more people sustainably
- Funding to pursue their scale journey after the programme, including unlocking new funding opportunities
The programme creates these long term benefits through working with NGOs to explore the different pathways to scale, from replication to working with government, that can allow you to reach more people while maintaining the quality of your solution.
Q: My organisation has a model that is ready to scale, what would being on this program look like practically? Will the programme only support us to develop a scaling strategy?
Organisations selected to take part in the scale accelerator programme will take part in both a Scale Strategy Incubator and Scale Model Accelerator.
- During the Scale Strategy Incubator, in collaboration with Spring Impact consultants and local experts, organisations will develop an ambitious strategy for scale, identifying who they need to partner with and what needs to be in place to scale up.
- During the Scale Model Accelerator, in collaboration with Spring Impact consultants and local experts, organisations will develop a model for scaling the impact of their solution and a well-defined financial model showcasing the costs and income associated with delivering the scale model and route to financial sustainability.
Throughout the programme your team will develop a strong knowledge of Spring Impact’s scaling methodology, and gain practical skills and tools that can be applied to other projects too.
One organisation will also receive additional consultancy support to begin the implementation of the scale model design as well as testing and iterating to ensure it works in each new context.
Q: Organisational operations for scale are very different for operations of a localised intervention. Will you support organisations to design their operations for scale or is this something organisations should already have in place?
Our unique scaling methodology and expert consultancy approach includes support for NGOs to consider their wider organisational design. Depending on an NGOs needs, this would how some of the following factors need to evolve on the journey to scale:
- Leadership and Culture
- Organisational Structure
- Organisation Systems
Q: How many hours are organisations required to dedicate per week?
We tailor our support to the needs of each NGO we work with so it can look quite different from organisation to organisation. However, as an indication, the time required from you might look something like the following:
For the 2 year duration of the programme, at least 3 – 4 team members including leadership will need to allocate a minimum of 1 day a month to:
- Take part in bespoke, collaborative workshops with your Spring Impact consultancy team both in person and online
- Attend regular check-in conversations
- Become upskilled in Spring Impact’s scaling methodology
- Spend time testing and innovating your solution and scale model
A nominated project lead will need to allocate up to 1 day a week for the duration of the programme.
Leaders of Scale
For the 6 month duration of the training course, 2 key staff members are expected to commit at least 1.5 days a month to:
- Take part in training sessions
- Attend 1-1 coaching with Spring Impact Consultants
- Complete preparatory and follow up work
- Facilitate internal conversations and workshops in their organisation
It is important to note that the suggested number of days above are indicative of the total time likely to be dedicated by an individual and may not be used all at once.
For example, 3 hours might be spent in a workshop one day whilst on another day 2 hours might be spent exploring the scaling methodology in more detail.
Q: Will there be funding available for organisations who are ready to scale after the programme?
Spring Impact recognises how important it is for NGOs to have access to funding to implement their scaling plans after completing the programme. We are actively speaking to several funders who are interested in exploring implementation funding following the programme.
Organisations we have worked with previously often also access additional funding on their own to pursue their scale journey as a result of developing a clear strategy and validated plan for achieving sustainable impact.
Q: What does the application process entail?
We want to ensure the application process is as simple as possible to complete. It should take less than one hour to finish altogether.
Step 1: Submit the eligibility quiz, which will ask a few questions to make sure the programme is right for you.
Step 2: If you’re eligible, we’ll send you a link to submit your application.
- You will also have the opportunity to book a call with one of our consultants, to answer any questions you may have.
- You will also be invited to a webinar providing more information about the programme.
Step 3: Submit the application by 12 December at midnight CAT/SAST. This should take no longer than 1 hour to complete. We’ll likely ask you to provide a bit more information about your organisation and your solution.
If your organisation is shortlisted for the programme, Spring Impact will inform you in early January. You will then be invited to take part in further conversations about the programme in mid-January. Spring Impact will also look to set up some conversations with other key team members and stakeholders in your organisation.
Q: Will you be running this programme again?
We do not have a confirmed timeframe for running another Scale Accelerator in Southern Africa yet. However, Spring Impact’s ambition is to secure additional funding to ensure this is possible and continue to have conversations with key stakeholders able to support this.