IB Accelerator and Siemens Stiftung join forces to support entrepreneurs

Ben White
By on August 31, 2015

Setting up a social business in developing countries is challenging for many reasons. The IBAccelerator and Siemens Stiftung’s ‘empowering people. Network’ are both supporting entrepreneurs who are working on innovative companies in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Recently the two organizations formed a partnership to offer an online course on improving sales strategies to low-income customers.

The first online bootcamp, due to take place on 15th September, will be focusing on the topic ‘Market research for a successful marketing and distribution strategy to the Base of the Pyramid‘. Participants will be able to get access to the latest insights on business modeling, market research and they will also learn about different marketing and distribution strategies. By working on assignments they will be able to implement what they have learned right away by using their own business case.

Marketing and distribution strategy
Entrepreneurs will have the chance to strengthen their capabilities and use a variety of tools to develop a marketing and distribution strategy. Participants also have the opportunity to interact with experts and colleagues from businesses around the world.

The content of the upcoming bootcamp has been created by Endeva and by the BoP Innovation Center, the latter is one of the founding partners in the Inclusive Business Accelerator consortium. Both organizations have an impressive track record on supporting entrepreneurs in low-income countries.

Know-how transfer
“We are delighted to cooperate with a competent and experienced partner on know-how transfer and qualification that also strives to connect entrepreneurs with relevant actors in the field. By joining forces we are positive that we can help support even more social entrepreneurs and innovators,” explained Sabine Baumeister, project manager at Siemens Stiftung and responsible for on- and offline trainings within the ”empowering people. Network”.

Bertil van Vugt, platform director of the Inclusive Business Accelerator, says: “The partnership with the Siemens Stiftung is a good fit as we both target entrepreneurs who are looking to solve pressing issues in the developing world. They are not only working on technical solutions for people in low-income areas, but they are also employing people from their target groups as part of their business models. We have successfully organized two bootcamps earlier this year and we are excited about this partnership as we will reach other people who are interested in this topic.”

Scope and reach
“Scope and reach are definitely important to us. We have been offering training and coaching sessions to entrepreneurs on various topics over the past few years. However, as these workshops were held in different regions around the world, group sizes were limited. Using an online platform we will not be restricted to the number of participants, which means we will be able to reach even more people working in inclusive business – an exciting prospect”, commented Sabine Baumeister.

Bertil van Vugt explains that the bootcamp will focus on offering solutions the participants can use to improve their operations: “The biggest challenge for social entrepreneurs in general is transforming a very good idea into a profitable business. Operating in BoP markets with a new concept is very hard as there are many factors to take into account. How do you reach your target customers who have a very small income and who are used to buying kerosene for lighting for instance? How do you change their behavior and make sure that your product is available on every corner?”

Future collaboration
Bertil van Vugt sees many possibilities for further collaboration: “I think that the Inclusive Business Accelerator platform can play a role when the companies in the “empowering people. Network” are looking to scale up and therefore looking for outside investment. We can support them in their effort to connect to the right investors. These entrepreneurs are doing very important work and they need support to succeed. Let’s work together and contribute our part to make sure the members of our networks can find the information and connections they are looking for!”

Register for the bootcamp

Registration for the online bootcamp is open until September 11th. The online bootcamp will take place from September 15th until October 12th. See for more information and to register: https://iba.ventures/bootcamp/

Siemens Stiftung
Siemens Stiftung operates in the fields of basic services, education, and culture. As a hands-on foundation, it develops its own projects and implements them with a view to the long term. Together with its partners, Siemens Stiftung aims to help people improve their living conditions. By doing so, it tries to empower functioning communities in which people can have a good life. The foundation is committed to international, impact-oriented, and transparent project work. The geographical focus of its work is on regions in Africa and Latin America as well as on Germany and other European countries.
Visit: www.siemens-stiftung.org

empowering people. Network
The empowering people. Network (epN) is an initiative of Siemens Stiftung that promotes appropriate technological solutions for basic supply in developing regions. It provides a ground for partnership, exchange, qualification, publication of research findings, technology transfer and entrepreneurial thinking. Evaluated technological solutions with significant social and entrepreneurial potential are made accessible in a public database that provides in-depth information about functionality, social impact, facts and figures as well as examples of implementation.
Visit: www.empowering-people-network.siemens-stiftung.org

Inclusive Business Accelerator
The Inclusive Business Accelerator facilitates the acceleration of impactful entrepreneurship in Base of the Pyramid (BoP) markets. We do this by building a structure that supports the delivery of substantial numbers of investment-ready inclusive business plans that improve the well-being of people at the BoP.
Visit: http://iba.ventures