The added value of non-financial support
Each year an international jury selected the award finalists. In addition to the prize money, the ultimate winner enjoyed three years of coaching support from subject matter experts. In 17 years, lots of learnings have been generated out of which the most important ones are briefly outlined here:
- Providing tailor-made coaching during and ideally after a multi-stage application process is useful for the applicant and the donor: With the thought-provoking questions and the learnings gained, the potential grantees can further develop their business models and improve their fundraising abilities, which will help them to further evolve; the grantor can make a final funding decision on more mature, balanced and comparable proposals.
- Effective coaching requires a certain continuity in order to build up trust between the participants, which is a key success factor. A suitable coach for social enterprise start-ups with operations in emerging and developing countries is characterised firstly by a genuine interest in others’ businesses and in interacting with coachees in an inspirational, constructive yet unobtrusive way. Other qualifications include social and professional competences and having relevant experiences in living and doing business in foreign countries, ideally in developing countries, which helps to relate to the coachees’ contexts. Peer-to-peer learning, community of practice and other dynamic network-based knowledge exchange platforms might emerge from the initial “classic” coaching, ideally supported by the beneficiaries themselves.
- As part of the application process and through the engagement of the different actors involved, the applicants will gain access to formal and informal networks of potential facilitators and promoters such as coaches, advisors, scouts and sponsors. Donors can actively provide access to their networks in addition to their financial commitments and the provision of coaching.