ventures worth scaling? One must first determine the ventures readiness for
scaling. There are two preliminary requirements: the first is a well thought
out logic model. This model lays out the inputs, activities, outputs, outcomes,
and impacts in a way that shows how the path is mapped.
requirement is success in practice. It is important to see results that are
clearly caused by the venture. The best method to gather results evidence is
though a “randomized controlled trial”. This randomly sorts participants into a
control and test group. The test group is assigned to receive the trial. The
World Bicycle Relief fund has used an alternative approach to evaluate the
effectiveness of its program to distribute basic functional bicycles to poor
African countries. Two groups with similar profiles but different support, one
receiving bicycles and another none, were matched and compared against one
another. Results showed that caregivers in the community with bicycles were
able to serve more people.
results evidence is established, it is important to ascertain whether the
venture has a minimum threshold of resources and capabilities to begin scaling.
The venture must consider the availability of various resources such as human,
social, financial, and technological. There are multiple examples of ventures that
delayed scaling due to a lack of resources. Operations include Bill Strickland’s
Manchester Bidwell Corporation and Paul Farmer’s Partners in Health. Strickland
was effective in job-training when he started in 1968. But he didn’t have
enough human and financial resources to scale-up until 2003. Similarly Farmer’s
began treatment for infectious diseases in Haiti in 1987 but only rolled out to
Russia and Africa after the year 2000, when the resources required for
maintaining quality control in health care delivery could be accumulated.
also been more recent examples of not being ready to scale, such as Libraries
Across Africa, Fenix International, and Coach for College. These organizations
have launched programs to accumulate seed funding. However, they have not yet
obtained evidence that they can generate social impact. Once they have
established their positive impact. They will be ready to scale.