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Caroline Ashley, Editor
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  • London
  • United Kingdom
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Latest Activity

Practitioner Hub commented on Caroline Ashley, Editor's blog post Time to start challenging our assumptions that start-ups can’t reach scale
"This blog is part of a full suite of resources on SMEs breaking through in Inclusive Business. ACCESS THE FULL SET HERE"
Oct 24
Caroline Ashley, Editor posted a blog post

Comparing inclusive business results across three portfolios

I recently had a fascinating few days comparing data and results across three inclusive business portfolios: the Business Innovation Facility pilot (2010-2013),  Innovations Against Poverty pilot (2011-2013) and Business Call to Action (5 years old and on going).  I'd worked on BIF for four years, and IAP for three, leading their M&E,  and with BCtA for the last 4 months reviewing progress of their members.   So the data is based on years of rich engagement with 3 contrasting portfolios,…See More
Oct 21
A blog post by Caroline Ashley, Editor was featured

Time to start challenging our assumptions that start-ups can’t reach scale

Can start-ups scale? Can social enterprises reach sufficient millions of people to really crack problems of poverty? This question has been around for many years. Now first answers are emerging.A crop of ‘breakthrough’ social enterprises are emerging. They are growing fast, securing investment and partners, and reaching millions of people. Of course they do not prove that all social enterprises scale, but they certainly show that they can. This month, the Practitioner Hub is brimming with news…See More
Oct 16
Caroline Ashley, Editor posted a blog post

Time to start challenging our assumptions that start-ups can’t reach scale

Can start-ups scale? Can social enterprises reach sufficient millions of people to really crack problems of poverty? This question has been around for many years. Now first answers are emerging.A crop of ‘breakthrough’ social enterprises are emerging. They are growing fast, securing investment and partners, and reaching millions of people. Of course they do not prove that all social enterprises scale, but they certainly show that they can. This month, the Practitioner Hub is brimming with news…See More
Oct 15
A blog post by Caroline Ashley, Editor was featured

Breaking through at the BoP: A sector comparison of the inclusive businesses in the BCtA portfolio

With inputs from Joe ShamashIn which sectors is inclusive business flourishing?  Which are showing strongest performance in terms of revenue or reach to the Base of the Pyramid?  Why are Health and Energy initiatives reporting slow progress, yet demonstrating high reach?   Is Financial Inclusion the easiest success story?It is early days to come up with any conclusive answers, but a review of  Business Call…See More
Sep 29
Caroline Ashley, Editor posted a blog post

Breaking through at the BoP: A sector comparison of the inclusive businesses in the BCtA portfolio

With inputs from Joe ShamashIn which sectors is inclusive business flourishing?  Which are showing strongest performance in terms of revenue or reach to the Base of the Pyramid?  Why are Health and Energy initiatives reporting slow progress, yet demonstrating high reach?   Is Financial Inclusion the easiest success story?It is early days to come up with any conclusive answers, but a review of  Business Call…See More
Sep 26
A blog post by Caroline Ashley, Editor was featured

Portfolio tracking of inclusive business: dealing with apples, pears and indices

Inclusive businesses come in all shapes and sizes.   If you're operating one business, you probably know what the key performance indicators are. But if you're running a portfolio of several, how can you compare large and small, start-up and mature? At the least, it's comparing apples and oranges. At worst, it's trying to compare fruit and widgets on the same scale.Nerdy or not, it feels like Christmas to me when other organisations share their monitoring system.  We all face similar…See More
Jul 21
Caroline Ashley, Editor posted a blog post

Portfolio tracking of inclusive business: dealing with apples, pears and indices

Inclusive businesses come in all shapes and sizes.   If you're operating one business, you probably know what the key performance indicators are. But if you're running a portfolio of several, how can you compare large and small, start-up and mature? At the least, it's comparing apples and oranges. At worst, it's trying to compare fruit and widgets on the same scale.Nerdy or not, it feels like Christmas to me when other organisations share their monitoring system.  We all face similar…See More
Jul 20
Caroline Ashley, Editor added a discussion to the group Inclusive Business Impacts Network
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The current state of impact measurement practice

Normal practice and good practice in measuring social performance of business are evolving amongst those that invest in the sector.ANDE has just published a new report on The State of Measurement Practice in the Small and Growing Business Sector.It's a useful review of approaches used both by impact investors and by capacity builders, such as accelerators and incubators.    Amongst…See More
Jul 20
Caroline Ashley, Editor commented on Rohit Gawande's blog post Acumen's Lean Data Initiative
"Thanks Rohit.  The example from ZHL ambulance service in your presentation is great. The fact that the company finds the data so useful is critical, and should hopefully help drive up demand and drive down costs for this type of approach.…"
Jul 9
Caroline Ashley, Editor added a discussion to the group Agriculture Network
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Useful blog on agricultural investments in Africa

This is a useful website listing private equity investors, social investors, and charitable foundations that invest in agriculture in Africa.  The blog stream is run by Chris Isaac, founder of AgDevCo, which features news relating to their investments or the overall sector.http://seedinvestors.blogspot.beSee More
Jun 24
Caroline Ashley, Editor commented on Editor's Choice's blog post June Editor's Choice: learn about spending in your market segment through the new Global Consumption Database
"A blog covering other recent data about the Base of the Pyramid, in addition to this database, is…"
Jun 17
Caroline Ashley, Editor added a discussion to the group Inclusive Business Impacts Network
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My head is spinning but if you measure social impact, it needs to be

Four years tracking results from 40 inclusive businesses was a tough job, but the question of defining who was a BoP beneficiary wasn't a big issue. But the last 4 weeks have had my head spinning on the question of 'how poor are the poor?' with major organisations releasing new data.Last month saw upheaval in international poverty lines, with the announcement of new poverty data from the International Comparison Project, while today sees the launch of the 2014 multidimensional poverty index.…See More
Jun 16
A blog post by Caroline Ashley, Editor was featured

Moving social finance from niche to mass

 From Niche to Mass was the overall title of this year’s Impact Investing Forum organised by IIX and Shujog.  Is impact investing going from niche to mass?  Should it?  What’s blocking it?   How does mainstreaming happen? These are just some of the underlying questions addressed in the forum that took place in both Singapore and Paris, with the Hub as outreach partner.I participated at the Paris end today, where Alison Eskesen, Director of Shujog immediately highlighted one of the dichotomies…See More
Jun 12
Caroline Ashley, Editor posted a blog post

Moving social finance from niche to mass

 From Niche to Mass was the overall title of this year’s Impact Investing Forum organised by IIX and Shujog.  Is impact investing going from niche to mass?  Should it?  What’s blocking it?   How does mainstreaming happen? These are just some of the underlying questions addressed in the forum that took place in both Singapore and Paris, with the Hub as outreach partner.I participated at the Paris end today, where Alison Eskesen, Director of Shujog immediately highlighted one of the dichotomies…See More
Jun 12
Caroline Ashley, Editor added a discussion to the group Inclusive Business Impacts Network
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'If we only count direct jobs, we get totally the wrong policy conclusion'

Why and how to focus on measuring 'jobs' was one of the most interesting themes for me at last week's Business Fights Poverty event on Linking Socio-economic Impact and Business Strategy.Roland Mishelitsch from IFC, now in charge of their …See More
May 30

Profile Information

Organisation
Business Innovation Facility, Innovations Against Poverty
Website
http://businessinnovationfacility.org
Title
Learning and Results Manager
About My Work
As Learning and Results Manager of both the Business Innovation Facility and Innovations Against Poverty, my job is to make sure these two programmes deliver results by learning about inclusive business and sharing new ideas widely.

One of my specific roles is track and assess results - helping partners and the overall programme to analyse the impacts of inclusive business, and what is working. This builds on my previous work looking at development impacts of enterprise and pro-poor aspects of value chains.

Helping practitioner make the best use of existing good practice is another task. On the Practitioner Hub we will signpost inclusive business practitioners to useful information and ideas (whether from us or from others), and provide a platform for practitioner dialogue.

So my job, along with team members, is to ensure we don't just push lots of ideas and documents hither and thither, but focus on quality and relevance. What is useful to practitioners? Why and how is it useful?
Sector
Consultant
Country Interest
Malawi, Nigeria, Zambia, India, Bangladesh
Issues of Interest
Inclusive Business: Value Chains, Inclusive Business: Products and Services, Low carbon and climate resilient business models, Working in partnership, Impact assessment, Investment Climate & Regulation, Working with farmers & the informal sector, Role of donors/governments, Driving & managing change inside the company, Value chains, Small and medium enterprises, The informal sector, Fair and ethical trade, Donor coordination
Main Reason for Joining this Site
Networking with fellow practitioners

Caroline Ashley, Editor's Blog

Comparing inclusive business results across three portfolios

I recently had a fascinating few days comparing data and results across three inclusive business portfolios: the Business Innovation Facility pilot (2010-2013),  Innovations Against Poverty pilot (2011-2013) and Business Call to Action (5 years old and on going).  I'd worked on BIF for four years, and IAP for three, leading their M&E,  and with BCtA for the last 4 months reviewing progress of their members.   So the data is based on years of rich engagement with 3 contrasting portfolios,…

Continue

Posted on October 21, 2014 at 17:00

Time to start challenging our assumptions that start-ups can’t reach scale

Can start-ups scale? Can social enterprises reach sufficient millions of people to really crack problems of poverty? This question has been around for many years. Now first answers are emerging.

A crop of ‘breakthrough’ social enterprises are emerging. They are growing fast, securing investment and partners, and reaching millions of people. Of course they do not prove that all social enterprises scale, but they certainly show that they can. This month,…

Continue

Posted on October 15, 2014 at 19:30 — 1 Comment

Breaking through at the BoP: A sector comparison of the inclusive businesses in the BCtA portfolio

With inputs from Joe Shamash

In which sectors is inclusive business flourishing?  Which are showing strongest performance in terms of revenue or reach to the Base of the Pyramid?  Why are Health and Energy initiatives reporting slow progress, yet demonstrating high reach?   Is Financial Inclusion the easiest success story?

It is…

Continue

Posted on September 22, 2014 at 5:00

Portfolio tracking of inclusive business: dealing with apples, pears and indices

Inclusive businesses come in all shapes and sizes.   If you're operating one business, you probably know what the key performance indicators are. But if you're running a portfolio of several, how can you compare large and small, start-up and mature? At the least, it's comparing apples and oranges. At worst, it's trying to compare fruit and widgets on the same scale.

Nerdy or not, it feels like Christmas to me when other organisations share their monitoring system.  We all face similar…

Continue

Posted on July 20, 2014 at 12:00

Comment Wall (1 comment)

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At 14:27 on November 29, 2012, Dan Berelowitz said…

Thanks Caroline, I would be very happy to write something for the blog. The most recent research is quite UK focused so would like to suggest a few ways that it may apply to the international community. How long and when for?

I know Healthstore pretty well but would be really interested to hear of other models you know of? 

Thanks so much 

Dan 

 
 
 
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