© 2017 Virtue Ventures 

Consulting Services

from idea to impact 

Virtue Ventures offers comprehensive consulting services along the social enterprise continuum. We provide social entrepreneurs and development practitioners with a full suite of social enterprise services from idea to impact.

For donors and social investors we offer strategic advising and support to portfolio organizations. We help intermediaries and INGOs to design and introduce social enterprise  programs in their organizations.

 

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Prepare

Social enterprise is not for everyone.  Readiness is especially important for "want-a-preneurs" and NGOs that lack the business acumen needed for social enterprise success. We help you take stock of your personal or organizational assets, capacity, culture, and financial strength to engage in social enterprise. Then we develop a pre-launch plan to close knowledge and skills gaps that informs your decision to go forth and venture. 

Strategic planning. Business planning. Sustainability planning. Financial Planning. "Failing to plan is planning to fail"  (Effie Jones).  We literally wrote the first book on social enterprise business planning, and can help you and your stakeholders through an engaging and productive planning process intended to map a path forward.

Design

Process design. Business design. Human Centered Design. Client focused design. Service and product design.  Starting with a social problem you want to solve, we can help you design your way to a solution.  We take you from ideation through to concept and prototype design. Design may be for a new social enterprise or something more specific:  jobs for people with barriers to employment,  new services for the base of the pyramid, socially-beneficial inventions, new distribution system, and so on.

Start up

We work with clients who have a desire, an idea, a concept, or a problem that can be solved with a business.  We help you find an idea, put legs on your concept, and align your model with your mission, culture and capacity.  Then we coach you through a market analysis and feasibility process to determine viability of your concept.  Social enterprise concept refinement happens at this stage. Once a concepts is solid and vetted for its viability, then it's time for the business plan. 

Grow

Growth or scale comes in many forms: diversified markets, new products, other locations, strategic partnerships, franchising, increasing sales force. We help clients decide on a growth strategy and plan for their organization.  Then, we work with clients to meet growth stage capacity requirements, such as building middle management, developing systems, strengthening leadership, blueprinting, financial health and other aspects of institutionalization.  

Transform

Transformation is the process an NGO goes through to become a social enterprise or to create a social enterprise subsidiary.  Much of transformation is change management. Transformation might require: different management or leadership skills; changing organizational structure; adding new functions such as marketing;  developing business mindset; creating products and services; and more.  We help you transition your organization through a supported capacity building and change management process. 

Invest

Virtue Ventures is not a social investor. We cannot fund your social enterprise. We can help social entrepreneurs prepare for investment and social investors place investments. For social investors we conduct due diligence and valuation, develop investment pipeline and provide matchmaking services.  To help social entrepreneurs make their social enterprise investment ready, we conduct social audits, offer strategic fundraising advice, and provide technical services to close capacity gaps. 

Advise & Mentor

We provide advisory, mentoring and coaching services.  For donors and social investors we advise on investment and funding strategies as well as program design. We mentor funder portfolio organizations--social enterprises and NGOs on sustainability track--and also advise on how to structure and operate practitioner mentoring programs. We provide leadership coaching services or preparation for a pitch competition or other event. We teach mentors to support social entrepreneurs and also backstop their efforts. For the entrepreneur we provide mentor matching, coaching and direct mentoring. 

Research

Virtue Ventures conducts all manner of field and desk research. Most research is related to understanding markets and is used to inform strategy, business design, all aspects of marketing (target markets, segmentation, positioning, promotion, products, distribution, pricing) or operations and production planning. Primary market research --i.e. interviews, observation, surveys, focus groups --may target villagers in India or thought leaders and policy makers who attend the World Economic Form. We can do market research for you or teach you how to do your own. 

Program

We design social enterprise programs for large International NGOs, foundations, and funding agencies. Consulting capabilities are soup-to-nuts.
We can help you in any or all of the following programmatic areas: cohort recruitment and selection;  program structure, process and methodology; training of trainers, curriculum development; business plan development and pitch support; competitions; funder linkages; exhibitions and marketplaces; capacity building and  backstopping to internal technical assistance; and program execution.

Accelerate

Once a social enterprise has launched, achieved proof of concept in the market, and has ironed out the wrinkles in their early business model, it's time to think about scale. We help social enterprises, whether in a cohort or alone, accelerate their growth and manage the challenges that come with it, such as capital, building middle management, systems, business model for scale and so on.   

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