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Caroline Ashley, Editor
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  • London
  • United Kingdom
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Latest Activity

2 blog posts by Caroline Ashley, Editor were featured
Apr 2
Caroline Ashley, Editor added a discussion to the group Agriculture Network
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Great material on agricultural investment and social benefits from Root Capital

I just spent some very useful time rummaging in some publication from Root Capital, a nonprofit social investment fund.  Root Capital has made loans of over US$631 m to small and growing businesses that engage with smallholder farmers.   Their investments have reached over 700,000 farmers directly, and almost 4 mn household members altogether. They focus specifically on the smallholder sector, with the careful eye of an in investor who wants solid loan repayment, business growth and impacts for…See More
Apr 1
Caroline Ashley, Editor posted a blog post

Sector labels don't work for unconventional innovative business

It's lucky my living room floor is quite large. One evening, about two years, I started to tabulate the main sectors of the grantee businesses in the Innovations Against Poverty portfolio. What started as a simple job for a table in a report became an intelligence puzzle with paper strewn across the floor. The businesses didn't fit into sector boxes. So I used the floor to map them all out,…See More
Apr 1
A blog post by Caroline Ashley, Editor was featured

Learnings for donors from the BIF pilot

Pilot project are done to learn.  So over the four year pilot of a donor approach to supporting inclusive business with technical assistance, what was learnt?The short answer is, a lot.   The Business Innovation Facility pilot (2010-end 2013) generated a host of lessons about the value of donor-funded technical support to inclusive business, and the value of inclusive business progression to donor objectives.   The results are written up in…See More
Mar 12
Caroline Ashley, Editor posted a blog post

Learnings for donors from the BIF pilot

Pilot project are done to learn.  So over the four year pilot of a donor approach to supporting inclusive business with technical assistance, what was learnt?The short answer is, a lot.   The Business Innovation Facility pilot (2010-end 2013) generated a host of lessons about the value of donor-funded technical support to inclusive business, and the value of inclusive business progression to donor objectives.   The results are written up in…See More
Mar 11
A blog post by Caroline Ashley, Editor was featured

What does successful inclusive business look like? Final findings from the BIF pilot

Success in inclusive business depends on getting the business model right. But so far there is little known about which business models work, how long the journey takes to develop inclusive business, what success looks like, and what role technical support plays. Today the BIF team are delighted to provide our answers to those questions.Of course there is no single answer and no simple solution, but drawing from 3.5 years of engagement by the Business Innovation Facility with over 300…See More
Jan 30
Caroline Ashley, Editor posted a blog post

What does successful inclusive business look like? Final findings from the BIF pilot

Success in inclusive business depends on getting the business model right. But so far there is little known about which business models work, how long the journey takes to develop inclusive business, what success looks like, and what role technical support plays. Today the BIF team are delighted to provide our answers to those questions.Of course there is no single answer and no simple solution, but drawing from 3.5 years of engagement by the Business Innovation Facility with over 300…See More
Jan 30
Caroline Ashley, Editor commented on Caroline Ashley, Editor's blog post The only truly “bad” failure is one that’s repeated
"Interesting article, thanks Adriano. I like this remark: Mr Teller says not one of them has started from the conventional business question: "How can we make a tonne of money?" That is, he explains, because these ideas are about huge,…"
Jan 28
Adriano Scarampi commented on Caroline Ashley, Editor's blog post The only truly “bad” failure is one that’s repeated
"Thank you for this post Caroline! Talking about failure, I came across this article about Google on the BBC news website a few days ago:  "Secret Google lab rewards staff for failure"…"
Jan 27
Caroline Ashley, Editor added a discussion to the group Inclusive Business Impacts Network
Jan 23
Caroline Ashley, Editor commented on Akhil Choudhary's blog post Empowering communities by Solar Energy innovation
"Thanks Ambrose, the full blog is very interesting.  So reliability of the system and mobile payments are key to success. Can you tell us a bit more about how these work?   The consumer pays the full amount that they used to pay for…"
Jan 14
A blog post by Caroline Ashley, Editor was featured

The only truly “bad” failure is one that’s repeated

I have just been looking at a great website, http://www.admittingfailure.com. It's not focused on inclusive business, but it is very relevant to all our discussions about inclusive business. The title of this blog comes from them. Failure matters, a lot, because we need to learn from it and not repeat it.They even have a 'how-to' guide on how to 'fail forward' and offer services to help business and others to diagnose and learn from failure. For…See More
Jan 14
Caroline Ashley, Editor posted a blog post

The only truly “bad” failure is one that’s repeated

I have just been looking at a great website, http://www.admittingfailure.com. It's not focused on inclusive business, but it is very relevant to all our discussions about inclusive business. The title of this blog comes from them. Failure matters, a lot, because we need to learn from it and not repeat it.They even have a 'how-to' guide on how to 'fail forward' and offer services to help business and others to diagnose and learn from failure. For…See More
Jan 11
Caroline Ashley, Editor commented on Ruth Brannvall's blog post Patience, persistence, resilience and income
"Thanks Ruth for a great summary of some of the bubbling ideas at the Zambia conference.  The theme of inclusion of end users in discussions and design is definitely a long-term theme that is getting increasing attention.   It seems to me…"
Jan 10
Natalie replied to Caroline Ashley, Editor's discussion Results are like London buses - right now we have plenty in the group Inclusive Business Impacts Network
"Caroline Congratulations on the great body of work you've put together about the BIF experience the last few years. Your analysis will definitely help everyone involved in inclusive business to take a good look at what's out there and…"
Dec 21, 2013
Caroline Ashley, Editor added a discussion to the group Inclusive Business Impacts Network
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Results are like London buses - right now we have plenty

Anyone living in London knows the problem with London buses:  you wait for ages with not a bus in sight, but then they all come at once.   Doing programme monitoring is a bit the same.  We spend months designing forms, getting systems in place, clarifying terms, and waiting.  Then at the end of a programme, we are drowning in data, forms, heavy excel files.The last 6 months of BIF have seen us crunch our way through a mound of data and qualitative feedback,  and generate a raft of new outputs…See More
Dec 19, 2013

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

Sector labels don't work for unconventional innovative business

It's lucky my living room floor is quite large. One evening, about two years, I started to tabulate the main sectors of the grantee businesses in the Innovations Against Poverty portfolio. What started as a simple job for a table in a report became an intelligence puzzle with paper strewn across the floor. The businesses didn't fit into sector boxes. So I used the floor to map them all out,…

Continue

Posted on April 1, 2014 at 16:30

Learnings for donors from the BIF pilot

Pilot project are done to learn.  So over the four year pilot of a donor approach to supporting inclusive business with technical assistance, what was learnt?

The short answer is, a lot.   The Business Innovation Facility pilot (2010-end 2013) generated a host of lessons about the value of donor-funded technical support to inclusive business, and the value of inclusive business progression to donor objectives.   The results are written up in…

Continue

Posted on March 11, 2014 at 15:00

What does successful inclusive business look like? Final findings from the BIF pilot

Success in inclusive business depends on getting the business model right. But so far there is little known about which business models work, how long the journey takes to develop inclusive business, what success looks like, and what role technical support plays. Today the BIF team are delighted to provide our answers to those questions.

Of course there is no single answer and no simple solution, but drawing from 3.5 years of engagement by the Business Innovation Facility with over…

Continue

Posted on January 30, 2014 at 9:30

The only truly “bad” failure is one that’s repeated

I have just been looking at a great website, http://www.admittingfailure.com. It's not focused on inclusive business, but it is very relevant to all our discussions about inclusive business. The title of this blog comes from them. Failure matters, a lot, because we need to learn from it and not repeat it.

They even have a 'how-to' guide on how to 'fail forward' and offer services to help business and others to diagnose and learn from…

Continue

Posted on January 11, 2014 at 10:00 — 2 Comments

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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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