Is your organisation working in Malawi, South Africa, Zambia, or Zimbabwe? Do you have a programme, intervention, or service focused on issues related to women’s empowerment? Would you like to develop the skills and knowledge to create the biggest impact for your beneficiaries?

Scale Accelerator: Women’s Empowerment is a fully-funded consultancy programme for ambitious, locally-led NGOs in Southern Africa working on issues related to women’s empowerment who want to scale up their impact and take their vital work to more people, in more places. 

If you know you want to scale, but can’t do it alone, and would like the skills, tools, and support to work out how to deliver your solution to more people and up-skill your wider team in the process, this programme could be for you. 

You will have the opportunity to take stock and work through the different stages of your journey to scale, including:

  • Building the foundational strategy for scale
  • Developing actionable financial and scaling models
  • Creating the internal systems and operations needed to make the journey achievable, sustainable, and a whole lot easier.

Applications closing on Monday, 12 December, at 11:59pm CAT/SAST. 

Two programme routes

Participants can take part in either one of two fully-funded programme routes: 

1. Expert Consultancy:  2 years of fully-funded, tailored consultancy for a select group of NGOs with a proven solution that has high potential to scale. Our team will work collaboratively with you, providing hands-on technical assistance to help you figure out how to achieve scale sustainably.

2. Leaders of Scale Training:  an online 6-month intensive training programme for 10 organisations, coaching two members of your leadership team in the skills, knowledge, and frameworks needed to lead your organisation’s journey to scale.

They are amazing, they are ace...The level of support provided compared to other programmes is fantastic.

Scale Accelerator participant 2019

Who it's for

The programme is specifically aimed at locally-led NGOs and coalitions of organisations working in Southern Africa – particularly Malawi, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe – which are delivering solutions to address issues around women’s empowerment. 

• We define women’s empowerment solutions as those that support women and girls to enhance their power, voice, skills and opportunities in the economy, at home, and in their community.

• NGOs addressing issues related to the economic, cultural, and social empowerment of women are eligible to apply. Examples include, but are not limited to: financial inclusion, business/enterprise skills, sustainable livelihoods, women and girls education, political participation, violence against women and girls, and more.

Organisations do not need to be led by women and solutions that work with both men and women to challenge attitudes and behaviours are eligible to apply. We are open to working with social purpose organisations of any structure, as long as their primary reason for applying is to scale up their social impact.

What you'll leave with

By the end of the programme, you and your team will: 

  • Understand if you’re ready to scale, and make sure you’re asking and answering all the right questions to get there 
  • Know how to implement your solution elsewhere in a financially sustainable way – whether through scaling with government, facilitating community adoption, or another form of replication
  • Work out how to create the biggest difference for your beneficiaries or cause, and identify what parts of your solution could make the most impact in new locations
  • Find the right balance between reaching more people and maintaining high quality delivery
  • Have the support, space, and mindsets needed to think critically about your impact in the long-term

Programme details

Local Associates

To ensure our support is rooted in a true understanding of the context you are working in, we are delivering the programme in partnership with associates and advisors with local knowledge and experience. These individuals will play an integral role offering guidance, support and challenge to optimise the success of NGOs taking part.

Interested in becoming an Associate? Find out more.

Time commitment

Expert Consultancy: At least 1 day a month for 3 – 4 members of your team, including senior leadership for 2 years.

Leaders of Scale: At least 1.5 days a month for 2 leaders within your organisation for 6 months.

Both programme routes are free for the organisations selected to take part.

Consulting team

Our team is composed of specialised scaling consultants, with expertise in multiple forms of replication, including scaling with government, working in partnership with other NGOs addressing a common goal, facilitating community adoption, and more.

Meet the team here.

 

Duration

Expert Consultancy: The consultancy will last a minimum of 2 years, depending on your organisation’s needs. It will commence in February 2023.

Leaders of Scale: The online training programme with be delivered over 6 months and commence in April 2023.

Sound like the right fit?

Find out if you're eligible and get more info about the application process

The long-term benefits of Scale Accelerator

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. After working with Spring Impact, organisations reported they have:

Accessed funding to pursue their scale journey after the programme, including unlocking new funding opportunities.

“They have helped us to design a functioning offer that will last longer. The barriers we have always had around funding have been reduced thanks to this.” (Scale Accelerator participant, 2019)

Expanded their solution to several new locations, geographical areas or communities:

“We didn’t have the capacity to get there by ourselves – it would have taken five years, but with Spring Impact’s help, it ended up taking twelve months.” (Scale Accelerator participant, 2022)

Identified high quality partners to work with to address a problem at scale: 

“We have now formed partnerships with other organisations and can really see the value. Our ability to scale at speed and some of the quality of our work is due to Scale Accelerator” (Scale Accelerator participant, 2020)

Found ways to reach more people sustainably:

“We can now approach potential partners and say: here is the problem… We have the expertise, the tools and instruments for how to do that – if you can find a way to fund it, we should partner up.” (Centrs Dardedze, 2022)

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. 

Check your eligibility

It was truly transformational, not just for us as CEOs, but for the whole charity and therefore the people and organisations that we are supporting.

PiPA Campaign, 2021

Programme routes

Route one

Expert Consultancy

For this programme route, our team of scaling consultants and local experts will provide support centred around your organisation’s specific challenges and ambitions. Taking a participatory approach is key to our consultancy.

  • We’ll walk the journey to scale together with you, aiming to really get to grips with your solution, context, and organisation.
  • We’ll help you gain the confidence that you’ve asked and answered all the right questions, and identified the scaling pathway that is right for you. 

“The programme has given us the space to grow our thinking exponentially. We would not be the same organisation we are now if it wasn’t for the programme” (Scale Accelerator participant, 2020)

Route two

Leaders of Scale

This route involves an online, fully-funded 6-month programme which will put you in the driving seat of your organisation’s scaling journey.

  • Our team will equip you with all the know-how, tools, and frameworks needed, but it will ultimately be you who builds the strategies, plans, and models required to achieve greater impact at scale.
  • The programme will involve two members of your leadership team, taking part in group training sessions with our team of scale experts and other participants.
  • You will join a cohort of NGO leaders with huge potential, who will challenge you, support you, and inspire you.

“It exceeded my expectations 1 million percent. It really exceeded them. The learning was phenomenal – it was far more structured and led than I had anticipated or in a way that I had never encountered.” – (Leaders of Scale participant, 2021)

Any questions?

Learn more about the programme features and elements by reading through our FAQs. Here you can find out more about what we mean by 'scaling impact', the key differences between the two programme routes, the time commitment, and more.

What do you mean by 'scaling impact'?

At Spring, we recognise that ‘scale’ can be a buzzword that’s talked about in different contexts but often not understood or practically defined. To us, scaling is about increasing social impact to better match the size of the problems that exist in society.

This way, if your team is scaling a solution, you are dramatically expanding its impact in a way that is operationally and financially sustainable.

This programme will focus on replication as a method of scaling impact – simply meaning taking your existing solution and setting it up in new locations. This may involve approaches such as scaling with government, working in partnership with other organisations addressing a common goal or upskilling key implementers to deliver a solution.

How do you define women's empowerment?

We define women’s empowerment solutions as those that support women and girls to enhance their power, voice, skills and opportunities in the economy, at home, and in their community.

NGOs addressing issues related to the economic, cultural, or social  empowerment of women are eligible to apply. Examples include, but are not limited to: financial inclusion, business/enterprise skills, sustainable livelihoods, women and girls education, political participation, violence against women and girls, and more.

Organisations do not need to be led by women and solutions that work with both men and women to challenge attitudes and behaviours are eligible to apply.

We are open to working with social purpose organisations of any structure, as long as their primary reason for applying is to scale up their social impact

Is there any cost to the programme?

This programme is fully-funded so there will be no cost for organisations to pay if selected to take part. Therefore both routes, Expert Consultancy and Leaders of Scale, are free.

However, in return selected organisations are expected to engage fully with the programme including ensuring the buy-in of their wider internal team and other key stakeholders. You can read more about the time commitment in the question below.

What is the time commitment?

We tailor our support to the needs of each organisation 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:

Expert Consultancy
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.

I'm not eligible for any of the programme routes. Is there any other support I could get?

Absolutely – check out Getting Scale Ready, a 5-week, online practical training programme designed to help you kick-start your organisation’s journey to achieving greater impact.

If you’re an NGO working on issues related to women’s economic empowerment in southern Africa, access to this programme will be free. Find out more about Getting Scale Ready here.

Where will the programme take place?

NGOs, CSOs and coalitions of organisations working in the Southern African countries of Malawi, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe are eligible to apply for the programme.

Expert Consultancy will be delivered through a combination of:

  • In person workshops and meetings at the office (or a nearby location) of the selected organisations
  • Online workshops and meetings hosted using Zoom.

Leaders of Scale will only be delivered online through virtual sessions using Zoom.

What's Spring Impact's end goal with this programme?

By the end of the programme, we want to see a number of locally-led solutions successfully scaled and creating a greater impact. We also want to see at least 75% of staff across all selected organisations learn from Spring Impact’s experience and expertise, and be equipped to use these learnings to continue their own scaling journey and inspire the journeys of others.

Beyond the lifetime of this programme, Spring Impact is passionate about building a movement around scaling impact. We want our tools and experiences to continue to be shared with the wider NGO sector. We’ll do this by equipping leaders and organisations with frameworks, tools, and networks to upskill wider teams and by empowering experts based in the region to share our methodology into the future.

Does my organisation need to be led by women?

No. Although this programme is working closely with solutions supporting women and girls, we welcome NGOs that are led by both men or women to apply.

I'm a funder, how can I find out more about supporting the programme?

People investing in social change play a vital role in ensuring great solutions can meet the size of the problems.

If you’re interested in finding out more about how this programme could support your grantees, how you could provide direct support to the organisations taking part or just want to know more. Reach out to our Head of Programmes, Hannah, on hannah.barker@springimpact.org.

Why we're excited about the programme

There are fantastic NGOs across Southern Africa which work day in and day out to support women and girls. Imagine how many more lives they could change for the better if only they delivered their work at scale.

Mohamed Osman Spring Impact CEO

Not sure it's for you?

Check out Getting Scale Ready

This practical training programme helps leaders ensure solutions are scalable, impactful and sustainable. It equips you with the tools, mindsets and structures to overcome the most common barriers to scale and create a plan to get your organisation ready.

Any questions?

Get in touch

Reach out to our team via the link below with any questions you may have about the programme.

Previous Spring Impact clients

Scale Accelerator: Women’s Empowerment
Scale Accelerator: Women’s Empowerment
Scale Accelerator: Women’s Empowerment
A U.S nonprofit & Kenyan NGO that aims to alleviate poverty and build resiliency in the drylands of Africa.  To date, the BOMA project has impacted +44, 000 woman and children.
Scale Accelerator: Women’s Empowerment

BeadforLife provide business training, programmes and support that enables women in Uganda who live in extreme poverty to become self-sustaining entrepreneurs thus, improving their livelihoods and well-being. One example is the Beading programme where fashionable fairtrade products are created in conjunction with business concepts such as accounting and quality control being taught.  We have worked with Bead for Life since August 2015 with the purpose of helping the organisation assess feasibility, develop a scale strategy and design a model for replicating their Street Business School (SBS), a programme that supports women to develop their capacity and business skills.

   
Scale Accelerator: Women’s Empowerment
Village Enterprise equips rural communities in Africa with resources to create sustainable businesses and new business activities which promote environmental best practices. Through this, they strive to end extreme poverty in rural Africa.
Scale Accelerator: Women’s Empowerment

Marie Stopes International (MSI) is one of the largest international family planning organisations in the world. Millions of the world's poorest and most vulnerable women trust Marie Stopes International to provide them with quality family planning and reproductive healthcare.

We work with MSI in Zambia on their Diva Centres initiative which is a human centred design approach to encouraging adolescents to access sexual health services. We are helping MSI to think about how this programme can be scaled and made sustainable.

Scale Accelerator: Women’s Empowerment
Scale Accelerator: Women’s Empowerment
Scale Accelerator: Women’s Empowerment

Groundswell is a nonprofit which works to tackle homelessness by working with homeless people and enable othem to take more control of their lives, have a greater influence on services, and therefore set a chain reaction of togetherness and opportunity. We worked with Groundswell to scale the impact of their Homeless Health Peer Advocacy Programme that partners former homeless with current homeless, to ensure health appointments are met.

Scale Accelerator: Women’s Empowerment

Silulo Ulutho Technologies have a social mission centred on bridging the digital divide through providing ICT services that are geographically and economically accessible. The organisation already have twenty six branches located in deprived areas of the Eastern and Western Capes of South Africa. Each café can serve 200-300 clients a day and Silulo have already trained over 12,000 students.

Silulo Ulutho Technologies was a participant in a South African Scale Accelerator programme we delivered in conjunction with The Rockefeller Foundation, Bertha Centre for Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Cape Town University and Franchising Plus.

Scale Accelerator: Women’s Empowerment
Scale Accelerator: Women’s Empowerment

Save the Children runs world-class programmes to save children’s lives and challenge world leaders to keep to their promises to give children a brighter future. Save the Children is part of Rapid Routes to Scale; a unique group of stakeholders from the academic, social and private sectors, committed to ensuring people in low and middle income countries have better health by understanding how primary care can be scaled and acting upon it.

Members include ICSF, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Center for Health Market InnovationsGlaxoSmithKline, Innovations in Healthcare (formerly The International Partnership for Innovative Healthcare Delivery), Novo Nordisk, Merck & Co, Merck Serono and T-HOPE at The University of Toronto.

Rapid Routes to Scale undertook the first ever global in-depth study to identify healthcare innovations in developing countries that have the potential to be replicated to increase accessibility to affordable medicine. Find out more here.
 
Scale Accelerator: Women’s Empowerment

RECLAIM is a social change organisation that challenges the homogeneity that exists in the leadership profiles across UK society and supports youths and the working class people.

 
Scale Accelerator: Women’s Empowerment

The African Development Bank (AfDB) aims to spur sustainable economic development and social progress in its regional member countries, thus contributing to poverty reduction. AfDB funded a series of workshops, facilitated by the Social Fund for Development in Egypt, in which we participated by introducing social and micro franchising to the Egyptian market.

Through events and workshops, we discussed case studies, illustrated best practices, outlined financing mechanisms and drove awareness about the benefits of social and micro franchising to the country’s key stakeholders in large micro finance institutions (MFIs), corporations and NGOs.

Scale Accelerator: Women’s Empowerment
Social Bite is a social enterprise running an employment support programme for vulnerable and marginalised people experiencing homelessness across Scotland
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