Scale, Impact and What Not To Do
- On August 11th, Latimpacto organized the event Scale, Impact and What Not To Do in order to share experiences and lessons from practitioners. The first session hosted Harvey Koh, Managing Director at FSG.
- Harvey has two decades of experience across strategy consulting, philanthropy, impact investing, and global development. He previously was leader of Monitor Inclusive Markets (MIM), a social action unit of Monitor Deloitte and is author of leading publications such as From Blueprint to Scale, Beyond the Pioneer.
- Harvey started by providing pro bono work for foundations and was later exposed to venture philanthropy, an approach that bring best practices from the venture capital world to achieve greater social and environmental impact. This approach provides intellectual, human, and financial capital in order to help build and scale social purpose organizations.
- This experience also helped Harvey to understand How to fund organizations, what skills to use, and how to use resources more effectively.
- However, he warned that models need to be adapted to each context and that it is key to learn from social organizations about systems change thinking. The rate of scale is not the same for Silicon Valley entrepreneurs than for social innovators.
- Harvey also mentioned how important it is to support pioneers in order to build new sectors, and in this sense catalytic capital plays a key role. He illustrated this by pointing how the microcredit sector was first funded by donations, which allowed to make public policy changes that later enable conventional investments. Yet, he cautioned that the influx of different sources of capital needs to be managed carefully in order to not lose track of the social and environmental impact.
- Regarding selecting which problems to solve, Harvey recommended looking at personal interests, passion, expertise, network, sphere of influence, and available resources.
- Another what not to do from Harvey included not assuming you know what social purpose organizations need .
- To finalize, Harvey invited participants to think of catalytic capital as a research a development concept. He elaborated how supporting innovative business models can contribute to change systems.
Latimpacto aims to mobilize capital (human, intellectual and financial) directed at scaling social and environmental solutions in Latin America by fostering greater collaboration and co-investment along the entire continuum of capital (from philanthropic grants to impact investment). It also promotes the exchange of knowledge on the most innovative and effective models of social investment, management and impact measurement.