Give Today!

$500 $100 $50 $25 $ Other

Title Image


Business Development: Narrowing our Scope

  |   business development, nicaragua, report from the field, socent, social enterprise, social entrepreneurship   |   No comment

“Nosotros no pensamos en chiquito” *

In between the extreme heat, rains and thunderstorms, and getting used to annoying promotional text messages sent day and night by the local cell phone provider, the last few days seemed to pass by in a flash. An intense flash. I’m writing from Nicaragua at the moment, with Spark being in the midst of a substantial business research project that will lead to Spark’s investment in a local for-profit venture to create financial sustainability for our partner, Las Tías.

A pretty monumental set of things took place this week. The MIIS Nicaragua Business Team arrived and within a day prepared a massive presentation of their research and analysis from the month prior, getting ready to meet and share their data with Las Tías Board of Directors. The next day they got a jump start with a tour of Las Tías programs and facilities, ending up at the Younger Kids Project, where I was waiting for everyone with a dozen bottles of water and piles of chocolate. Board meetings tend to run long 😉

The meeting itself was a very important one- the objective was to not only present the research and analysis done but to also get Las Tías’ feedback, reflections, and questions, and most importantly, recommendations on which sub-sectors to narrow in on and focus on further in the next phase of the field vetting stage. Las Tías’ leadership team, a dynamic mix of generations and experience in different sectors, would be key in the assessment of the most viable and profitable opportunities in Nicaragua, keeping in mind Spark’s anticipated level of investment and other important evaluation criteria.

After almost four hours, at many moments competing with pounding rain in order to hear each other, our goal was achieved- we went from a country and multiple industry wide discussion and narrowed it down to three sectors and opportunities within them.

The next day, that being today, Shravan Gupta and his Business Team and I had a teleconference with Spark Ventures’ Board of Directors to discuss their feedback, questions, and reactions to Las Tías Board’s feedback and recommendations from yesterday- an exciting conversation that would determine the course of the research and vetting stage for the rest of the summer. So what happened? Exactly that. After an hour of questions and deliberations, a decision was reached to pursue two sectors that showed great promise from our research and that both the Las Tías leadership and the Spark Board recommended. The next few weeks this team on the ground will assess the scope of the investment opportunities within these sectors, profile them in depth, and determine their viability and profitability.

* “We don’t think small.” – Las Tías co-founder and chief, Corina Alvarez, when discussing business opportunities that would help sustain Las Tías’ nonprofit operations. Equivalent to our expression of “Go big or go home.”

What sectors were chosen and why? Stay tuned to find out…


No Comments

Post A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.