Turning promising entrepreneurial activities into sustainable businesses

Last week, Ronald and I have been working with a team of Swades Foundation to define steps to answer the question:”How to turn promising entrepreneurial activities into sustainable businesses.” We started with 2 days of field visits. We visited entrepreneurial women in the starting phase with oyster mushrooms, poultry, cashews and stitching.

If you meet people, you can recognize entrepreneurial skills, regardless whether they have a huge or very low amount of money to invest. We have met those women, women with entrepreneurial skills. An impressive experience! They can be role models for other women in their community. They can make a difference for a whole community! Swades Foundation facilitates their start and supports them to get a sustainable business with long term results.

After the field visits we had a two-days workshop to support the Swades team define their business models. Starting with Value Chain, defining Ambitions and working on the SWOT analysis, gave us insights to define a Road Map and the first steps on Business Modelling. Quite an interesting journey for a team well experienced in social work and agriculture, but not in business and marketing. They enjoyed and so did we!

At least two of the business lines seem interesting enough for expanding! We think they could result in a long term sustainable business. Finally we defined steps for the coming weeks and in the closing session with the Swades Foundation team in Mumbai we decided on which points required good follow up.

It generates a lot of value for me to work in other countries with different cultures. This week certainly made clear to me how valuable your own experience can be in moving things forward!

Naomi Bisschop