A social enterprise is a business that, rather than focused on making money, tries to address a social problem. 

It has a double bottom line — to be financially sustainable and to have a measurable impact on a societal issues such as poverty, health and the environment.

In this podcast, Rupert Scofield explores the challenges of starting, building and running a social enterprise. Guests include other social entrepreneurs and impact investors who share their insights and experience.

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  • Episode 22: Productive Use Power for Off-Grid Communities - Andi Kleissner, Amped Innovation - July 15, 2019

    Andi Kleissner, co-founder and co-CEO of Amped Innovation, chats with Rupert Scofield about affordable energy solutions for off-grid communities. Amped Innovation is a social enterprise that designs solar-powered home energy systems and productive use appliances to help those living under $4 per day grow their wallets. This episode: How did the social enterprise get started? What is the go-to-market strategy for a hardware company? What are the unique challenges faced by a woman entrepreneur looking to raise early-stage capital?

  • Episode 21: Moving Smallholder Farmers into the Middle Class - Carl Jensen, Good Nature Agro - June 25, 2019

    Carl Jensen, co-founder and CEO of Good Nature Agro, chats with Rupert Scofield about agricultural solutions for smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. Good Nature Agro is a Zambian-based social enterprise that aims to grow farmer net incomes and bring smallholder families firmly into the middle class. It does so by partnering with farm families to improve their productivity through soil-enriching legume farming and links them to a high-value legume seed market. This episode: How did the social enterprise get started? What's it like tackling the entire value chain? How do you go about developing a market?

  • Episode 20: Solving Problems in Global Sanitation - Andrew Foote, Sanivation - March 10, 2019

    Andrew Foote, co-founder and CEO of Sanivation, joins Rupert Scofield to chat about market-based solutions to global sanitation. Sanivation provides waste-to-energy sanitation services to local governments and refugee camps, turning fecal sludge into environmentally-friendly fuel alternatives to charcoal and firewood. This episode: How did the social enterprise get started? How is it possible to perform waste treatment in developing countries profitably? What partnerships have been key to successful growth?

  • Episode 19: The Evolution of a Social Enterprise - Diana Sierra, Be Girl (30:46) - July 2, 2018

    Diana Sierra, co-founder and CEO at Be Girl, joins Rupert Scofield to discuss the evolution of Be Girl since the last time the two spoke more than three years ago. This episode: What have been the successes and challenges of scaling an early-stage social enterprise? How have you gone about attracting investment for growth capital?

  • Episode 18: The Role of Social Investment (47:31) - March 26, 2018

    Katy Pillai, Investment Director for Big Issue Invest and Christine Chang, Senior Investment Director of Big Society Capital join Rupert to discuss the importance of social investment. This episode: Where is social investment going and can it dominate the investment space? Will the entrance of Millennials to financial markets change what people invest in? How can social investors attract new investment in a competitive market?

  • Episode 17: Funding the Charitable Sector (53:18) - September 20, 2017

    Dawn Austwick, Chief Executive of Big Lottery Fund and Anthea Case, Principle Advisor of Arcadia Fund, join Rupert Scofield to discuss grant making in the charitable sector. This episode: What can charities do to give themselves the best possible chance of funding? How can funding grants be utilised to their fullest potential? What role should the government play in supporting the charitable sector?

  • Episode 16: In the Business of Change (34:51) - August 10, 2017

    Natalie Campbell, Founder of A Very Good Company and Ketan Makwana, CEO & Chief Disrupter of the Enterprise Lab, join Rupert Scofield to discuss how social enterprise can enact change within society. This episode: How can businesses positively impact the individuals they serve? Is scalability in social enterprise more difficult than in regular business? Do tensions between productivity and creativity still exist in the corporate world?

  • Episode 15: Special Interview - John Stone (28:36) - April 19, 2017

    John Stone, founder of the Stone Family Foundation, joins Rupert to discuss the challenges he has encountered - as well as his greatest achievements - in running a thriving social enterprise. Having built a hugely successful life assurance firm from scratch, John sold his business in 2005 and vowed to plough his resources into water and sanitation initiatives in the poorest areas of Africa. The Foundation’s impact over the past decade has been nothing short of astounding.

  • Episode 14: FinTech (37:40) - October 26, 2016

    Eunice Baguma Ball, Founder of the Africa Technology Business Network, and Gunnar Camner, Mobile Money Services Director at GSMA, join Rupert Scofield for this special edition of the show to discuss financial technology. This episode: How is FinTech transforming people's lives positively in Africa? How we can connect together capital in developed world with exciting ideas in the developing world? Apart from investment, what do exciting startups need to reach scale?

  • Episode 13: Special Interview - Percy Barnevik (33:16) - July 27, 2016

    On this special episode of the Social Enterprise Podcast, Rupert is joined by businessman and philanthropist Percy Barnevik. After a successful career in business - chairing companies including ABB, Sandvik, Skanska, Investor AB, and AstraZeneca - Percy founded non-profit organisation Hand in Hand International, inspired to help street children in India. Active in 10 countries, the organisation provides grassroots entrepreneurs in some of the poorest places in the world with the skills to start their own businesses. Percy reveals his motivations, some of the challenges, and how business informed his approach to charity.

  • Episode 12: The Changing Role of Philanthropy (36:54) - May 24, 2016

    Atul Pathak, Managing Director of Appt Corporation; Richard Ross, chairman of Regentsmead and the Rosetrees Trust, and Cosmina Popa, CEO of the Rainmakers Foundation, join Rupert Scofield to discuss philanthropy. This episode: How can businesses make a positive impact in their community? Are philanthropists now looking for different ways to give back, such as impact investment? Where does this leave 'traditional' philanthropy?

  • Episode 11: More businesses go social, whitewashing, & attracting top talent (36:34) - April 14, 2016

    Katie Hill, Executive Director of B Lab UK, and Andrea Warriner, Head of Developing Talent at the Skoll Centre, join Rupert Scofield to discuss the latest trends in social enterprise. This episode: In the future, will all businesses go social? Is there a risk that some large corporations are merely 'whitewashing' their activities to make them appear social rather than adopting truly ethical practices? And, will the next generation of top graduates work for companies they do not believe are making a positive impact on the world?

  • Episode 10: Special episode International Women's Day (35:02) - March 8, 2016

    What role can social enterprises play in improving the lives of women around the world? In this special episode of the show, entrepreneur Kresse Wesling MBE and Julia Rebholz, Managing Director of Ignite Social Enterprise, join Rupert Scofield to discuss whether women consumers have compelled businesses to become more social, the role that social enterprises can play in empowering women worldwide, and how to create a company culture that is welcoming to women.

  • Episode 9: Josh Spero, Editor of Spear's, & Christine Renier, founder of Greedie Goddess (30:34) - June 11, 2015

    Josh Spero, Editor of Spear’s magazine, and Christine Renier, co-founder of Nuva and Greedie Goddess, join Rupert Scofield to discuss the pressing issues in social enterprise. This episode: should brands partner with social enterprises? How can brands help communicate social messages to their customers? And should social enterprises look to alternative financing models, like impact investment, to raise funds?

  • Episode 8: Diana Sierra, Be Girl, & Ryan Walter & Brian Flores of Compost Crew (21:27) - March 9, 2015

    Diana Sierra, CEO of Be Girl, Ryan Walter, CEO of Compost Crew, and Brian Flores, COO of Compost Crew, join Rupert Scofield to discuss the pressing issues in social enterprise. This episode: How do you find your passion? How do you research, test, and implement your business idea? How do you persevere throughout the ups and downs of starting your business?

  • Episode 7: Chloe Hoole, Darlo & Vanessa Swan, Cockpit Arts (38:32) - January 20, 2015

    Chloe Hoole, founder of Darlo, and Vanessa Swan, CEO of Cockpit Arts, join Rupert Scofield to discuss the pressing issues in social enterprise. This episode: how can you raise funding to start a new business? How can you scale your social enterprise? And how do you find your social mission?

  • Episode 6: Andrew Croft, CAN & Jonathan Jenkins, Social Investment Business (30:13) - November 26, 2014

    Andrew Croft, CEO of CAN, and Jonathan Jenkins, CEO of Social Investment Business, join Rupert Scofield to discuss the social enterprise sector. This edition: what new challenges face budding entrepreneurs? Why move from the private to the social sector? And how has social finance and investment changed over the last decade?

  • Episode 5: Tom Ravenscroft, Enabling Enterprise & Greta Rossi, Akasha (31:33) - October 27, 2014

    Tom Ravenscroft, founder and MD of Enabling Enterprise, and Greta Rossi, CEO of Akasha Innovation, join Rupert Scofield to discuss their social enterprises. This edition: what's the best way to raise finance? How do you manage the difficult transition between start up and medium-sized social enterprise? And how do you maintain a good work-life balance?

  • Episode 4: Thomas Sweetman, Stickyboard, & Tom Sanderson, UK Microfinance Club (38:33) - September 24, 2014

    Thomas Sweetman, co-founder of Stickyboard, and Tom Sanderson, Chair of the UK Microfinance Club, join Rupert for this episode of the Social Enterprise Podcast. Rupert and guests discuss founding and funding a social enterprise; the challenges of running a social enterprise in the current financial climate, and the skills a social entrepreneur needs to be successful. Follow Rupert on Twitter at @rupertscofield, and find out more at socentpodcast.org.

  • Episode 3: Ilana Taub, Snact, & Tom Rippin, On Purpose (32:37) - August 5, 2014

    Ilana Taub, co-founder of Snact, and Tom Rippin, CEO of On Purpose, join Rupert for this episode of the Social Enterprise Podcast. Rupert and guests discuss founding and funding a social enterprise; the skills a social entrepreneur needs to be successful, and the challenges of running and growing a social enterprise in different countries around the world. Follow Rupert on Twitter at @rupertscofield, and find out more at socentpodcast.org.

  • Episode 2: Are You Experienced? (38:46) - June 23, 2014

    Joining Rupert this month are John Hatch, founder of FINCA, and Jeff Ashe, microfinance pioneer, educator, and author of "In Their Own Hands: How Savings Groups are Revolutionizing Development”. Through stories of first-hand experience, we explore the evolution of the microfinance, its controversies, and its remarkable impact as a tool to help alleviate global poverty. www.socentpodcast.org

  • Episode 1: Launch Episode! (26:42) - April 1, 2014

    In our first podcast, Rupert joins Mike Gama-Lobo, Vice President & Regional Director for Africa at FINCA, and marketing guru/entrepreneur Filip Matous, in a discussion about the challenges of finding a mission, building an organisation, and achieving a true work/life balance — beginning with that first leap off the corporate ladder and into entrepreneurship. www.socentpodcast.org

About Rupert

Rupert Scofield is a social entrepreneur and an agricultural economist with over 40 years of experience in developing countries.

He is President, CEO and Co-founder of FINCA International, the founder and majority owner of 20 community-based microfinance institutions and banks across Africa, Eurasia, Latin America, the Middle East and South Asia. Rupert now leads FINCA International on the next leg of its journey: supporting the rise of social enterprises delivering basic service and financial innovation. 

An expert on microfinance, social enterprise and impact investing, Rupert is an author, podcast presenter and frequent speaker, offering insights and guidance on market-based solutions to global poverty. 

Are you a social entrepreneur looking to raise startup capital? Check out what the investment process looks like at #FINCAVentures. #socent

For the latest episode of The Social Enterprise Podcast, Carl Jensen of @goodnatureago joins me to chat about agricultural solutions for smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan #Africa. Here's a video recording of the engaging discussion. https://t.co/8NAhK0ikwN #socent #impinv

Kenyan educator Peris Wanjiku now has less to worry about thanks to the Blue Box by @Sanivation, which allows her students to ease themselves safely and conveniently when nature calls. https://t.co/2Z3YJATqPp #FINCAVentures #impinv #socent

We’re committed to putting customers first in the #OffGrid #solar industry which is why @BrightLifeFINCA has signed on to the @GOGLAssociation Consumer Protection Code. https://t.co/iF0HQZxBSc

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