Frontier Market Scouts
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Course Descriptions

Each course in the Frontier Market Scouts training curriculum is carefully designed to provide participants with the skills and tools required to work effectively on the ground in the field social enterprise and impact investment management.

Designing an Innovative Business Model (1 credit)

Instructor: Dr.Yuwei Shi, Dean, Graduate School of International Policy and Management, Monterey Institute or Ian Fisk, Executive Director, The William James Foundation

Participants learn about the key elements of a business model and their underlying logics for business success or failure. They learn how to use the business model framework to evaluate a business and generate insights for its improvement, as well as to design and create and a new business. The course content is integrative and practical, particularly for social and commercial startups. The delivery of the content is highly interactive.

Introduction to Social Enterprise and Impact Investing (1 credit)

Instructor: Ross Baird, Executive Director, Village Capital

Social entrepreneurship and impact investing are tools that use business to solve the world’s social problems. The two­‐day course, “Introduction to Social Enterprise and Impact Investing,” will outline for students how an industry that uses markets to address social problems developed, popularized, and turned into an industry. Using interactive case studies, students will learn how to think through the opportunities and challenges facing social ventures through the perspectives of both an investor and an entrepreneur. Students will also gain familiarity with the landscape of enterprises in emerging markets, as well as the active impact investors in the space.

Scaling High-Impact Social Enterprise (1 credit)

Instructor: Miguel Granier, Managing Director, Invested Development

This course focuses on key challenges and methods in scaling a social enterprise from seed stage to growth —from a funder’s perspective. The course will address blended capital (public/private/grant), corporate partnerships, hiring and team-building strategies, partner selection methods, and will draw from case studies of leading emerging market enterprises, including Husk Power Systems, d.light design, IntelleGrow, and GroFin.

Profiling Ventures for Impact Investing (1 credit)

Instructors: Amit Sharma, Co-Founder of Empowerment Capital 

This workshop focuses on the development of value-based assessment and ratings criteria to assess impact and related-initiatives, including investing, corporate/commercial activities, and social venture creation.  The course begins with a review of the current universe of systems of environmental, social and governance ratings (ESG ratings and analytics), including those commonly used in impact investing such as GIIRS. They are compared with the commercial financial rating systems and associated business models. The common challenges to both the ESG and commercial financial ratings and analytics are highlighted with a view to understand the complexity of understanding "impact risks" more comprehensively, and in a manner that enables greater involvement by mainstream financial participants and stores of capital. This workshop offers participants an opportunity to develop a more comprehensive solution to impact analytics and management, brainstorm potential solutions, and share the visions for a new ecosystem that can be implemented and modeled by the Frontier Market Scouts program.  Fellows will also walk through the development of Impact Venture Profiles during their time in the field to assist in the above effort, facilitate appropriate and sustainable data capture of social ventures working with their counterparts, and provide for a final case deliverable for their FMS participation. 

Seed Stage Due-Diligence for Impact Investors (1 credit)

Instructor: Paul Breloff, Founder and Managing Director of Accion Venture Lab

This course will cover the process and techniques used to find, assess and invest in seed-stage impact investments. This course will dive deep into the full investment life-cycle in impact investing, with particular attention paid to the unique challenges of investing in startups, often including the lack of financial history or market data, unproven business models or customer demand, unsettled regulatory contexts, and first-time entrepreneurs. At each step of the process, from sourcing to screening and analysis to actually doing the deal, we will discuss both the theory as well as the practice through real-life examples and case studies. The course will culminate in group-based analyses of particular opportunities and the chance to decide whether we should invest and how we should get the deal done.