The Shaftesbury Partnership has developed a consistently effective pathway that takes a project from the identification of an entrenched social problem through to a fully scaled, high impact social venture. This process consists of four phases, though it is flexible to the needs of each venture and will always include cycles of iteration and learning.
Each venture starts with a concept that addresses the roots of an area of entrenched disadvantage – a market failure. This will be simple yet challenging idea, often entailing risks and uncertainties that the established system is unwilling or unable to bear. The idea will bring together a mixture of sector experience, leading research, and unconventional thinking, and will be tested with experts from the sector.
A robust concept will then form the basis of a business design. This starts with a feasibility study, surveying the market and engaging with stakeholders to validate the potential for a large scale and high impact intervention. A venture team with strong sector knowledge and business skills will build a business model, based on a sound and appropriate financial model.
With a business model and stakeholders in place, the venture is then taken to pilot stage. A strong emphasis is placed on execution, by making use of rigorous business analysis, exceptional people, and constant feedback and iteration.
A successful pilot will define the essential elements of a blueprint for scaling the organisation. This may take the form of franchising, replication, or integrated scaling, and the form will be defined by characteristics of the market and delivery model. The sustainable financial model developed in business design and pilot stages is crucial to enabling this scaling.