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 the scaling-out of social enterprise business models in two primary ways. Firstly, we have developed sector specific playbooks that distill best practices of pioneering enterprises to help up-and-coming social entrepreneurs learn from the achievements and setbacks of those who have traveled similar paths before. (See our Last Mile Distribution Playbook)
Secondly, we have developed a Scale-Out Module for more experienced enterprises to successfully grow beyond their initial commercialization into new territories and countries. The module will be part of the GSBI In-Residence and other entrepreneurs that are designing expansion strategies.
We are currently testing this approach. Want to learn more about replication and partnerships?
Contact Neal Harrison, Associate Director of Replication.