The Miller Center Replication Initiative, launched in 2016, builds off of our 13 years of supporting social enterprises through the Global Social Benefit Institute (GSBI).
What is replication and why are we interested?
Many social enterprises address similar problems afflicting the global poor—such as lack of access to drinking water or to clean, affordable energy—with highly localized solutions. But could the best solutions be better replicated across regions or industries, helping tackle social challenges more quickly? What if, for instance, a safe drinking water business validated in one location could be reproduced and introduced to other geographic regions that also lack potable water?
Replicating proven social enterprise business models, rather than starting over from scratch, can significantly decrease the time and resources spent on getting a social enterprise up and running. In addition, replicated enterprises also present reduced risks for impact investors. The key, however, is to ensure that the underlying business model is adapted and tailored to the specific needs of the new locale.
What does the Replication Initiative do exactly?
We support social enterprises to replicate in multiple ways. We are assisting social entrepreneurs to understand their readiness for replication, strategic options, and how to build core replication components into their operations. We primarily do this through curriculum in the GSBI Accelerator.
We are also developing a methodology to identify sets of best practices along with the conditions under which the social enterprises operate, to inform the development of “playbooks” that can help up-and-coming social entrepreneurs learn from the achievements and setbacks of those who have traveled similar paths before.
We are currently testing this approach. Want to learn more about replication and partnerships?
Contact Neal Harrison, Associate Director of Replication.