Scaling Up Social Impact Projects

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Nowadays, there are many worthwhile initiatives that aim to improve their own or other communities, but it’s easy to get lost in the sea of organizations and their projects. For this reason, many organizations have sprouted and served as a middleman between social impact projects and potential investors. One such organization is the Development Innovation Insider, which is doing solid work by giving a platform to grassroots organizations and making it easier for investors and companies to connect with them.

A grassroots movement or organization is one formed by ordinary people, instead of a political elite or other influential individuals. The group forming the organization works toward a common goal, which often seeks to improve the community. In the very beginning they have limited funds and because they are based on a bottom-up model, it can be difficult for them to get the attention and funding they need to do their work. The fact that there are so many projects being developed at the same time doesn’t help either. The increasing number of social impact projects and other initiatives is, of course, a good thing. However, it is not easy to stand out in such an environment.

This is where the middleman steps in. Next to social impact organizations themselves, there are also organizations that help them get more exposure. On the one hand, they provide a space where social impact projects can promote their cause. Additionally, they can provide support when it comes to making a business plan and give advice on possible collaborations. On the other hand, they get various potential stakeholders involved, such as companies who would like to collaborate and could help with a financial infusion.

Such projects need as much assistance as possible, but those who would like to contribute might need some encouragement. These organizations not only make it easier for potential contributors to navigate through countless projects but also ensure the validity and value of those projects.

Nothing would discourage even the biggest philanthropist more than getting scammed, so these organizations provide a sense of security. There is a growing number of such organizations and they mostly differ by geographical region. Some only work with a specific country, some are open to wider regions and some work on a global level.

To better illustrate how these organizations work, this article will focus on one example, the Development Innovation Insider.

DIInsider – shining a light on grassroots social impact entrepreneurship

Change Magazine for social impact projects
Change Magazine for social impact projects

Development Innovation Insider (DIInsider) deals with small social impact enterprises in emerging countries. They are based in Beijing but work on a global level. They recognize the value of grassroots projects as well as the need of lending them a helping hand. On their website, they showcase current social impact projects they are working with. Visitors can browse the website and find more information on the projects. Current examples include their work with JYOTY UNESCO Nepalinfo-icon, Third Story Children Book and Youth Alliance for Change, to name a few.

The first is trying to provide skill-based education to Nepal’s youth, the second designs learning the material and distribute affordable books for poor children in Myanmarinfo-icon and the last one is trying to improve the condition of Madagascar’s youth through education. This information and more is easily accessible via their website and with just one click world wide web users can get involved.

Helping Develop a Successful Business and Attract Investors

Social Impact Projects

According to DIInsider, as small as they are, grassroots entrepreneurship do eventually need to start making money by selling their service or product. They can rely on donations only in the very beginning, but when they develop a solid business plan, they need to start making their own money.

DIInsider points out it is not only necessary to identify a community’s problem, but also understand the needs and wants of its people, as they are the future customers. This will likely result in a successful business, which should also help companies or other organizations recognize the entrepreneurship’s value and motivate them to get into business with them. It is important for small entrepreneurship to pair up with someone as that increases their chances of success.

Apart from providing a web platform for small entrepreneurship and helping them run a successful business, they organize various events in order to highlight a certain issue, project or other organization.

In August this year, they co-hosted the first African Social Entrepreneurship and Impact Investing Forum in Beijing. The goal of the event was to highlight the importance of impact investments in Africainfo-icon and motivate potential investors.

A few examples of successful social impact projects developed there were mentioned as well as why Chinainfo-icon’s institutions should get more involved. Among several founders of various social impact entrepreneurship, Li Bolun, co-founder of DIInsider, spoke about the relevance of smaller African social impact institutions that need all the help they can get due to their limited funds. These kinds of grassroots organizations are exactly what DIInsider focuses on.

Change Magazine

Inspirational CHANGE Magazine

Another great way DIInsider helps provide a voice to organizations who are developing valuable social impact projects is via their magazine. CHANGE Magazine promotes innovative projects at grassroots level.

They dedicated their entire latest edition to stories about the problems women worldwide face, with female education in certain countries being the main topic of concern. Apart from highlighting the issues women face, some inspiring solutions to fight gender inequality came up. These amazing stories came from winners of a competition the magazine held not long before the September issue was published, and they came from all over the world.

The magazine features interviews with impact investors, who share their experiences. This is a good way for future investors to get an insight into supporting social impact projects. It is important to remember that it’s a two-way street and all contributors want to be assured they are getting involved in a valuable project.

If you too have been inspired to get involved in a valuable project, be sure to check out DIInsider’s website or leaf through the digital version of their magazine to read some inspiring stories.

Natasha Car freelance content writer at
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