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 provides an overview of the current universe of systems of environmental, social and governance ratings (ESG ratings and analytics), including the ones 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 such efforts within the growing impact space to enable greater involvement by mainstream financial participants and stores of capital. This workshop offers participants an opportunity to brainstorm potential solutions, share the visions for a new system and the ecosystem to install and implement such a system, and explore the roles of Frontier Market Scouts in the development of such a system.  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 key techniques used to assess, value and invest in seed-stage impact investments. With little or no financial history, limited market data and unproven business models, seed-stage firms present one of the greatest challenges for impact investors. Learn how experienced investors distinguish need from demand, projections from probabilities and desire from commitment.  By taking students through two “live” investments from first review to mock investment committee we will explore techniques for: screening investment proposals, interrogating business plans/models, interviewing entrepreneurs, reviewing financial projections, crafting deal terms and making the final decision.