Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Support for the Kenya Climate Innovation Center’s Sustainable Waste Innovation for a Future in Transition Program (2024-2027)

WDI is collaborating with the Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC) on the Sustainable Waste Innovation for a Future in Transition (SWIFT) program, a three-year incubator and accelerator program targeting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the waste management sector in Kenya. Funded by the IKEA Foundation, the program’s primary objective is to transform the waste management sector through innovative business models that embrace the principles of circular economy. The SWIFT program will support 110 SMEs from across the country through business advisory services, technical assistance, mentorship and access to finance, and by fostering an enabling environment through advocacy and policy support.

WDI’s role is to design an impact measurement strategy, essential for evaluating the program’s effectiveness. WDI will also develop the research design, sampling strategy, surveys, and analysis plan. During this project, WDI will strengthen KCIC staff’s measurement capabilities while actively learning about the waste management and climate change context in Kenya. WDI will conduct the data analysis and identify statistically significant program impacts. These efforts will culminate in the production of detailed reports at baseline and end-line phases, encapsulating key findings. These insights will also support KCIC.

How Research is Sparking Innovation in Incubators, Accelerators and the Entrepreneurs They Serve

WDI Hosts a Panel of Industry Leaders for “How Research is Sparking innovation in Incubators, Accelerators and the Entrepreneurs They Serve”

Time: 9 AM EDT / 4 PM EAT

Date: Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Location: Zoom, click here to register or above.

Incubators and accelerators play a critical role in the startup ecosystem by helping entrepreneurs become investment-ready and develop viable businesses. In this must-attend session for accelerators, incubators, entrepreneurs and their funders operating in the Global South, join us to discover how rigorous research fuels innovation in program design, supercharges operational improvements, and attracts more funding to this sector. 

In this dynamic session, representatives from IKEA Foundation (Netherlands), William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan (WDI, USA) in collaboration with Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC, Kenya) and African Management Institute (AMI, Kenya) will share the following insights:

  • IKEA Foundation’s approach: Learn how evidence-based, stage-gated grantmaking unlocks innovation for accelerators like KCIC.
  • Real-world impact: WDI, KCIC, and AMI demonstrate how targeted research drives continuous program enhancement, transforming entrepreneur outcomes.
  • Dismantling barriers by WDI and KCIC: Discover how we break down colonial research structures, empower local voices, and foster true collaboration and inclusivity for groundbreaking impact measurement.
  • The AMI advantage: See how AMI’s skilled M&E team partners with external researchers to boost program effectiveness using a blend of established methods and cutting-edge insights.

Please submit your questions in advance.

Panelists

Yaquta Fatehi
Yaquta Fatehi
Program Manager,
William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan
Moderator
Stephen Musyoka, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Kenya Climate Innovation Center
Stephen Musyoka
Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Kenya Climate Innovation Center
Nic van der Jagt, Ikea Foundation
Nic van der Jagt
Monitoring, Learning, and Evaluation Manager – Employment & Entrepreneurship, IKEA Foundation
Jonathan Cook, Chairman, African Management Institute
Jonathan Cook
Chairman,
African Management Institute

Entrepreneurship Development Center

WDI shares lessons with hopeful entrepreneurs on identifying a gap in the marketplace and building a business around a solution.

Small- and medium-sized businesses drive up to 70% of global employment and gross domestic product, and many are started by determined, dedicated entrepreneurs. The economies in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are powered by these businesses.

Accompanying the call for entrepreneurship in emerging markets, there’s a call for the knowledge, tools and networks to bolster those businesses. Would-be entrepreneurs working to develop successful companies are seeking the know-how to get there in a more efficient, effective way. After taking part in courses on leadership, communication, and team-building, participants in the Ford Community Impact Fellows Training program — a development program for which the William Davidson Institute (WDI) at the University of Michigan has been creating courses since 2020 — asked for precisely that.

“They really wanted to know the nuts and bolts of entrepreneurship,” said Amy Gillett, Vice President of Education at WDI and co-leader of the Institute’s Entrepreneurship Development Center.

Gillett and David Estrada, Program Coordinator at WDI, created the “Starting a Business: Your Entrepreneurial Journey” course to teach participants the basic skills needed to effectively start their journeys. The 88 students in this summer’s program learned how to identify a need in the market, pitch a business plan, acquire funding, price a product and find a place for it in the market. While at work on the projects, the students were guided by 13 program mentors. These mentors had participated in previous online skills building programs offered by WDI and were eager to now share their knowledge and expertise in a guiding role.

The goal of the course was to set these committed students up for success in the business world by providing a foundation for a new company.

“We gave them an overview of the landscape and the fundamental skills they’d need to take an idea and get started,” Gillett said.

LEARNING FROM EXPERIENCE

A successful entrepreneurship path is forged by experience — even if someone else lived it first.

Course guest speaker Jakub Zaludko, leader of strategy and projects at Impact Games, explained how he reshaped digital challenges toward commercial aspirations. As a trained political scientist and anthropologist, Zaludko observed how students in his home country of Slovakia were largely disengaged in the classroom, but they were noticeably focused while playing video games at home. Zaludko and his partners offered a solution: games with positive social impact goals. They built an innovative platform to develop games that encourage educational progress, promote freedom, and boost inclusion and equality.

Just as he did in the educational market, Zaludko explored how students can find a gap in their marketplace and build a solution to fill the void. Participants learned from his experience in identifying the community need, navigating the business world and launching a product.

The course content echoed similar lessons on focused solutions, mainly within low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). When developing the class, Gillett and Estrada wanted to be sure that examples and questions were sourced from spaces where students could see their own potential.

“Great ideas emerge everywhere. We don’t have any kind of monopoly in the U.S., which is why we included cases from all over the world when we created the course,” Gillett said.

Building a Network

Participants from nine countries, including China, Hungary, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Serbia, Slovakia, South Africa and the United States, shared their backgrounds, skills and experiences with one another — all in an effort to grow their business ideas and abilities. Business can’t be built in a vacuum, and engaging relationships are just as critical to the participants’ business development as the lessons themselves.

“To be a successful entrepreneur, you need these connections — and this is a great way to start building or expanding that network, for both participants and mentors,” Gillett said. “With these courses, we are building a global network of learners and entrepreneurs.”

Beyond simply initiating these critical connections, participants were introduced to the deep value of these relationships through their course conversations, projects and group work. “I learned about the value and importance of working as a team to solve problems as they emerge,” said a participant from Nigeria. “Each team member brings a unique set of abilities to the table.”

Pitching a Business

Ultimately, participants worked together to build a business plan and create a video pitch. Gillett, Estrada, and program mentors evaluated the projects with an eye on how well the teams integrated the course lessons.

The winning pitch was for a personalized, flexible online education company: Explore Online. It highlighted the need for customized tutors on a global level, reviewed a break-even analysis for the business and considered the organization’s value proposition.

The second-place team set out to tackle the problem of teenage pregnancy and motherhood in Kenya. Vijana Artifacts dug deeply into the issue itself in their pitch and shared their solution: viable vocational training for young mothers. They shared their business model, target customers and expected revenue streams.

The Truly Glam Apparel team came in third place. Their business pitch focused on sustainable fashion and explored the gap in the marketplace. Their solution involves turning to local artisans, relying on local production teams, and opening up opportunities for personalized customer experiences.

These pitches pushed students to hone their presentation skills. “I gained a better understanding of how I can present my new project to others,” said a participant from China.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE

To the participants, this course wasn’t just an academic venture. It was a professional stepping stone. Most participants either had a business plan in mind before starting the class or were excited by one they came up with during the process. For them, these tools are providing the groundwork for a lifetime of entrepreneurship. This is the mission of the Ford Fund.

“Ford Fund is proud to invest in expanding access to entrepreneurship in communities where Ford does business with a focus on providing more widespread  access to investment capital and educational resources, partnering with local organizations who share our desire to grow entrepreneurial ecosystems in an impactful way,” said Mike Schmidt, Director of Ford Fund.

Excited by the prospects of a new business, one participant from Kenya said: “My partner and I are on a mission to implement the idea we built during the course. Our next move is to develop a solid business plan and budget, then we’ll approach the necessary funding platforms and apply for grants.”

Buoyed by these positive impacts, the WDI Education team is on its way to creating even more courses for Ford fellows. While it will continue to run the current lessons, a new subject — driven by student suggestions — is on its way for a 2024 launch.

Ford Fund is proud to invest in expanding access to entrepreneurship in communities where Ford does business with a focus on providing more widespread  access to investment capital and educational resources, partnering with local organizations who share our desire to grow entrepreneurial ecosystems in an impactful way.

About Ford Motor Company Fund

As the global philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, Ford Fund focuses on providing access to essential services, education for the future of work and entrepreneurship opportunities for under-resourced and underrepresented communities. Ford Fund’s partnerships and programming are designed to be responsive to unique community needs, ensuring people have equitable opportunities to move forward. Harnessing Ford’s scale, resources and mobility expertise, Ford Fund drives meaningful impact through grantmaking, Ford Resource and Engagement Centers and employee volunteerism.

About WDI

At the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan, unlocking the power of business to provide lasting economic and social prosperity in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is in our DNA. We gather the data, develop new models, test concepts and collaborate with partners to find real solutions that lead to new opportunities. This is what we mean by Solving for Business—our calling since the Institute was first founded as an independent nonprofit educational organization in 1992. We believe societies that empower individuals with the tools and skills to excel in business, in turn generate both economic growth and social freedom—or the agency necessary for people to thrive.

Develop a protocol for establishing seven Vision Centers around Kisii and develop recommendations on location of Vision Centers. Kisii Eye Hospital is also expanding into Kisumu with a second hub hospital. A second project this year is designed to put together an execution plan complete with financial and market analysis for the Kisumu market.

From Ethiopia to Vietnam, WDI graduate student teams go the distance

Student Opportunties

BA 685: International Center for Rehabilitation in Kumasi, Ghana.
Distributed Fertilizer New Product Commercialization, Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa; Kampala, Uganda.
BA: 685 Poovanthi (LiveWell) in Chennai, India
MAP: Poornatha in Madurai, India.
MAP: International Clinical Laboratories, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
MAP: Boston Medical / Busoga Health Forum in Kampala, Uganda.
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This spring, the William Davidson Institute supported 13 partner projects in nine countries  involving more than 75 University of Michigan graduate students as part of their MBA degree program.

WDI organized a total of nine multidisciplinary action projects (MAPs) with partners in India, Ethiopia, Ghana, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda and Vietnam. The MAP experience at U-M’s Ross School of Business is designed to help part-time, full-time and online students hone their analytical, project management and leadership skills while helping to solve real business challenges at participating companies and nonprofit organizations.

Four other projects as part of the WDI-supported graduate MBA course, BA 685: Healthcare Delivery in Emerging Markets, took place in the Dominican Republic, Ghana, India and Kenya.  WDI also supported 12 students traveling to Nigeria and Ghana to conduct due diligence on companies under consideration by the International Investment Fund, as well as an independent study for one student.

Learn more about the projects and their objectives below.

MAP:

TIP Global Health, Kigali and Ruli, Rwanda.
Objective: Conduct a financial analysis of the current digital health platform used to support healthcare providers in Rwanda, and develop a recommendation for pricing to implement and support the platform for other government health systems.

Boston Medical / Busoga Health Forum, Kampala, Uganda.
Objective: Working with an imaging business in Ethiopia and partners in Uganda, a team conducted market analysis and market entry strategy to extend the imaging services into Uganda.

PowerTrust, Accra, Tamale and Sunyani, Ghana.
Objective: Identify and develop a systematic way to capture, validate and communicate the value of distributed renewable energy credits (DRECs) in Ghana.

International Clinical Laboratories, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Objective: A feasibility study for developing manufacturing and supply hubs for clinical laboratory inputs in Addis Ababa Ethiopia for diagnostics laboratories located throughout Africa.

Distributed Fertilizer New Product Commercialization, Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa; Kampala, Uganda.
Objective: Develop a comprehensive market analysis and market entry strategy for a technology that allows for production of fertilizer at a smaller scale and lower energy cost in South Africa and Rwanda. The technology would significantly reduce the supply chain risks and potentially the costs to farmers and co-ops in these markets.

Poornatha Madurai, India.
Objective: Develop a plan to increase Poornatha’s business-to-consumer model complete with specific offerings tailored to consumers.

Solagron, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Objective: Conduct market analysis and develop a market entry strategy for high-protein, spirulina-based products by Solagron.

Two additional projects at Kisii Eye Hospital and a partner in the Michigan Academy of Development Entrepreneurs in Vietnam are planned for summer 2023.

BA 685

Clínica de Familia La Romana, Romana, Dominican Republic. 
Objective: Develop a financial model for adding GI services to the existing operations at the clinic.

International Center for Rehabilitation, Kumasi, Ghana.  
Objective: Develop recommendations for improving the efficiency of the clinic and doubling the capacity of the existing rehabilitation clinic.

Kisii Hospital Vision Center, Kisii, Kenya
Objective: To develop a protocol for establishing vision centers around Kisii and develop recommendations for potential new locations.

Poovanthi (LiveWell): Chennai, India
Poovanthi was established over 10 years ago and has expanded to 100 beds at its original facility outside of Madurai and 30 beds at a recently opened facility in Chennai. This team’s objective was to develop a five-year strategic plan to support Poovanthi’s expansion plans.

Learn more about WDI Student Opportunities.

Kisii Eye Hospital in Kenya is planning for expansion into a new facility and is developing a business plan that will allow it to apply for a loan to the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and other potential investors. The plans are based on the specifications provided by the IFC.

Infinity Advanced Technology Solutions has been a supplier of imaging and other medical equipment and consumables in Ethiopia since 2016. The company is exploring the possibility of offering radiation therapy and/or a Cyclotron facility for manufacturing Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG). The WDI team developed a market size estimate, understanding of regulatory hurdles and costs of production as part of a business plan.

WDI created an 8-week online course: Starting a Business: Your Entrepreneurial Journey. The pilot program ran in April-May 2023. The course consisted of live training sessions, guest talks, short videos, online quizzes, and a capstone project in which participants worked in teams to conceptualize and pitch a new business via a video. The video was then judged by the program mentors and winning teams received a special certificate. The pilot program had 88 participants from nine countries.

This primer provides a comprehensive but non-technical overview of the distinct health information systems (HIS) that all together support health care delivery in low-resource settings. It opens with a historical account and landscape assessment and describes the urgent need to build a lean rigorous HIS that integrates these different components. Subsequent sections describe the individual systems that: i) track individual patient and health care provider information; ii) directly document care delivery; iii) provide public and population health data; iv) support facilities’ and community health workers’ administrative and financial functions; and v) coordinate logistics and health commodities supply chains. A separate section describes imported data, including “master data” and manufactured (e.g., “meta”) data. The primer closes with recommendations for principled HIS stewardship.

An information session for students interested in enrolling in BA685: Healthcare Delivery in Emerging Markets will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 28 at the Ross School of Business, Blau Hall Room 1210. The class is offered by Michigan Ross and is organized and primarily funded by WDI. 

The class is comprised mostly of second-year MBA students, but is open to all graduate students. It provides students with on-the-ground experience in a foreign country while also contributing to the success of partner health clinics and hospitals. The class also is designed to increase participants’ international leadership capabilities and enhance their awareness of diverse business issues within the current global landscape. It is taught by WDI President Paul Clyde.

The course responds to the increasing need from future employers that managers have international business perspectives to augment their business and management knowledge. During the first part of the term, students learn about healthcare in emerging markets through lectures, guest speakers and case discussions. Students are then divided into five teams and prepared for visits to their selected country, traveling to those destinations in late February and early March.

Last year, student teams worked in Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Peru and Rwanda. 

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