“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)

Are you looking to strengthen your skills and knowledge to lead your organisation’s journey to scale? Want to gain the know-how needed to the build the strategy, plan, and processes needed to scale up?

Leaders of Scale is a free online, 6-month training programme for locally-led NGOs in southern Africa – including Malawi, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe – who are working on issues related to women’s empowerment.

The programme will equip two members of your leadership team with the skills and confidence to lead your organisation on a pathway to reaching more people. Using a ‘Train the Trainer’ approach, the programme will put you in the driving seat of your organisation’s scaling journey.

You’ll gain the time, space, and support to take stock, develop your scaling plans independently, and progress them by applying the programme learnings directly in your organisation. You’ll learn alongside a carefully selected cohort of social leaders with huge potential, taking part in action learning sets and other peer-learning activities where you’ll challenge, support, and inspire each other.

By the end of the programme, you’ll have:

  • A clear, actionable plan for scaling sustainably
  • Frameworks and tools to bring back to your team
  • The knowledge and confidence to lead your organisation’s journey to scale

Applications are now closed

Register your interest

Complete the form to stay informed of the latest news and developments

Programme details

Cost and Places

The programme is fully funded, with no cost required.

There are 10 places available for ambitious NGOs with huge potential.



The programme will take place over 6 months, from April – September 2023. 

Time commitment

Two members of your team will be taking part, with both expected to commit at least 1.5 days per month throughout the 6-month duration of the programme.


The programme will take place fully online, with sessions held via Zoom. 

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

What you'll leave with:

Organisational development outcomes:

  • Clear action plan and strategy for replicating your proven solution to new locations
  • Practical and transferable frameworks and tools to build the capacity of your wider team
  • A strong case to bring to funders and partners as well as an opportunity to pitch your scaling plans to potential funders

Personal development outcomes:

  • Vital capabilities and mindsets required for laying the foundations of your organisations scale journey
  • Space and time to critically reflect on your scaling plans
  • Knowledge and skills that can be transferred to other programmes or your future career
  • A peer network of forward-thinking social leaders to support you

Is it for you?

  • Two leaders from each NGO selected to take part. There are places available for 10 locally-led NGOs in the countries of Malawi, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
  • Your solution must focus on supporting women’s empowerment. 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. For more info, read our definition in the FAQs below.
  • Participating team members must be working in roles focussed on the future strategy and sustainability of the solution and be keen to build the skills and confidence to take on this journey.


It has genuinely been full of new knowledge, information, and has given me a new way of thinking about scale and impact. I wish I had been to this course 8 years ago.

Chiltern Music Therapy, 2021

Programme elements

Learning together

The training programme will consist of a cohort of 10 carefully chosen NGOs with huge potential and commitment to scaling their impact. As a cohort, you will:

  • Share ideas and build on your learning together throughout the training sessions 
  • Share challenges and support one another through regular action learning sets and events
  • Hear from and speak to alumni organisations who have already scaled

“It was very useful to have the chance to meet other organisations that were at different points of scaling.” (Leaders of Scale participant, 2020)

Training sessions

The programme will involve two members of your team, taking part in group training sessions with our team of scale experts and other participants.  This is where you will learn key concepts and how to apply them to your organisations. They will cover the following four modules: 

  • Getting Scale Ready 
  • Developing a Scale Strategy
  • Designing a scale model
  • Creating an action plan and pitch for funders and partners 

“Having the time booked in my diary to focus on this area has supported the organisation’s development and growth enormously.” – (The Sleep Charity, 2021)

1 to 1 support 

You will receive support from our team of consultants, including: 

  • Coaching calls (approx 8 x 1 hr calls) with a dedicated Spring Impact consultant at key milestones throughout the programme. 
  • Support in financial modelling from an expert consultant, who will share templates, tips, and feedback on your work

“It’s helped hold us accountable to actually doing this important work” – (Leaders of Scale participant, 2021)

Scale Experts

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.

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.

“The consultants have provided us with real direct challenge. They’ve not been afraid to ask the difficult questions.” – (Evolve, 2019)

Applications are now closed

Register your interest

Complete the form to stay informed of the latest news and developments


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.

What do you mean by '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.

Where will the programme take place?

Leaders of Scale will take place fully online, via Zoom.

What is the time commitment?

Leaders of Scale For the 6 month duration of the training course, 2 leaders 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.

What will be expected of us?

To make the most out of this opportunity and make the programme a success, the two participants per organisation will be expected to take part in multiple sessions and exercises throughout the duration of the programme. 

These will involve: 

  • Group sessions: These are contact points with Spring Impact and other participants. Sessions will cover learning objectives, set-up, wrap-up and reflections for each sprint
  • Sprints: These are intensive 2-4 week periods with multiple group sessions where you will learn key concepts and how to apply them to your  organisations
  • ​​Team engagement: Bringing your team and stakeholders along on your scale journey and developing buy-in is critical for the success of your scaling efforts. Throughout the programme, you will be expected to engage your team.. This includes activities such as facilitating workshops with your team. 
  • Preparation and Homework: You will be expected to spend time outside of group training sessions to engage in preparation materials, finishing activities from the group training sessions, reflecting and engaging with your team members, and preparing for coaching calls.

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.

Do I need to be in a specific leadership role to be able to apply?

The programme is recommended to leaders who are:

  • Working in roles focused on future strategy and sustainability
  • Keen to build the skills and confidence to drive their organisation’s journey to scale
  • Able to dedicate the time and capacity capacity to engage with the programme

I'm not eligible for any of the programme routes, what other support can I 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.


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.


The additional programme route offering 2-3 years of fully funded expert consultancy support, with a team of scaling consultants and local experts acting like your critical friend on the journey.

Previous Spring Impact clients

Leaders of Scale
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.
Leaders of Scale
Leaders of Scale
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.
Leaders of Scale
Leaders of Scale

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.

Leaders of Scale
Leaders of Scale
Leaders of Scale
Leaders of Scale

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.

Leaders of Scale

Leonard Cheshire Disability is a nonprofit supporting disabled people in the UK and around the world to remain active members of society, fulfil their potential and establish their independence.  We specifically helped Leonard Cheshire to scale their CAN DO project: a volunteer programme for 16-35-year-olds across the UK.

Leaders of Scale
Leaders of Scale
Leaders of Scale

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.

Leaders of Scale

Safer Places is a nonprofit which provides a comprehensive range of services to adults and children affected by domestic and sexual abuse, not only offering safe accommodation (West Essex, Mid Essex, Hertfordshire and Southend) but helping victims to overcome these experiences and build a better future for themselves.

Leaders of Scale
Leaders of Scale

Street Doctors is a UK nonprofit who change the lives of high risk young people by giving them the skills they need to deliver life-saving first aid. Through the programme Street Doctors aim to increase the confidence and aspirations of youths, give them a sense of responsibility for their actions and help them to change their attitudes towards violence.

We facilitated an initial workshop with Street Doctors to consider their replication potential and are now providing ongoing support and advice to Street Doctors as they develop a replication model for international expansion.

Leaders of Scale
Leaders of Scale
Leaders of Scale
PeacePlayers International is a cross-community charity that uses basketball to unite, educate and inspire young people in Northern Ireland, as a means to promote peace and reconciliation
Leaders of Scale

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.

Leaders of Scale

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.

Leaders of Scale

From an organisation thought up and run from a bedroom by friends, Ikamva is now one of South Africa’s greatest success stories. In a country where only 70% students pass their final school exams and 24% achieve bachelor passes, ‘ikamvanites’ are surging ahead with 85% passing their final exams and 36% progressing to, and succeeding, at university.

Ikamva 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.

The IkamvaYouth model draws from a large, growing pool of volunteers made up of students (from nearby universities) and local professionals. The organisation's sustainability is driven by ex-learners who gain entrance to tertiary institutions and return to tutor.
Leaders of Scale

Philani Child Health and Nutrition has a vision for a South Africa in which pregnancy is safe and every child can grow up healthy and well-nourished to fulfill his or her physical and mental potential. By recruiting ‘Mentor Mothers’ who have successfully raised healthy children themselves and supporting them to help other mothers to do the same, Philani are already changing the life chances of thousands of children in South Africa.

Philani 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.

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