September 27, 2017

Interview with Anne Holm Rannaleet, Trustee and Executive Director IKARE Ltd

IKARE has been a member of EVPA since 2007 and you have participated at several conferences over the past few years, what was for you the added value of our conference? What are you looking forward to this year in Oslo?

I think there are three key things that have always been there, even if the experience varies from being a beginner to becoming more experienced in the field. The things that I always look for are: Inspiration, Insights and Reassurance that what I am experiencing others experience as well. At the beginning, thanks to my private equity background, I had been doing VP intuitively before I even knew it was called VP. But I knew very little about the community and about the NGO world. Those days, going to the conference meant absorbing and listening so that I learnt more. Over the years I‘ve become a little bit more targeted and I’ve more actively chosen what is relevant for me, because there are issues that I have been struggling with. Also, I attend the sessions where I know speakers have a lot of insights and broad experience.  

This year, even if I live in the area, I am curious to find out in a more comprehensive way about the Nordic model, because the space has changed a lot in the last 10 years. Scaling is also interesting because this is the point we are at now with our investees.

Looking at your experience, what would you advise newcomers?

They are lucky now because there is this crash course for newcomers into VP and they should try to attend it. I would also take a look at the programme beforehand and see what is being advised for the different tracks to find the level that suits them best. In addition, they should look for are topics that rhyme with what they are currently interested in.

You are involved in a session on scaling. How should investors approach scaling in order to have the impact they want?

I think they should think broadly and with an open mind, and realise that scaling can be done in more ways than just expanding your own investee. There are other people out there addressing the same root cause that you are addressing. You can cooperate with them or at least coordinate, you can merge, but can you also scale through using other partners. Sometimes your investee does not need to grow. It functions better when it keeps the small team and and focus on what they do best: developing the product or the service. They can find partners to implement it in different countries.

For example, with Shifo, one of our investees, scaling takes place by working with implementing partners. The Shifo team remains quite small, but they have local partnerships in different countries where they sign agreements with governments and locally based NGOs, where Shifo trains the trainers and then the local NGOs train the health workers. This means you can scale much more rapidly. 

What are the main messages that you want participants to leave with from the scaling session?

Don't be afraid to think out of the box and look at different ways of scaling! By scaling I mean having more impact at the end of the day.  

Look for organisations that are addressing the same root cause and ask yourself if you can cooperate, coordinate, and build partnerships.

Many social entrepreneurs are not the best at scaling and building their own companies. The services or products they have developed should reach as many as possible and there are many ways to do it. Building partnerships helps entrepreneurs use their own resources more efficiently.

It is very important to think the matter through. What is the main purpose of scaling? If it is reaching more impact, in which different ways can it be done?

Find out more details about the Annual Conference here.

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