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Live from Skoll World Forum 2015

With so much going on at the 2015 Skoll World Forum, it's impossible to participate in everything. Our bloggers are sitting in on many of the exciting sessions at this year's event. Read their concise notes and observations to catch up on important discussions you may have missed.


FORUM2015: Explain Your Value-Add When Partnering

FORUM2015: Explain Your Value-Add When Partnering

April 16, 2015 | 3417 views

THU, APRIL 16, 2015; 11:45 – 13:00

In this session, Bhaskar Chakravorti led a group discussion of methods by which social enterprise organizations can initiate and structure high-impact partnerships with both global and local corporations and governments.

Several participants, especially Timothy Cross of YouthBuild USA, shared some invaluable insights into the ways their respective organizations were able to negotiate strong and fruitful partnerships with organizations around the world.

The main takeaway was that social enterprises need to fully explain their value-add to the organizations they aspire to partner with. For example, YouthBuild was able to secure a strong partnership with a global real estate investment firm by explaining that it could add value by training its students in construction skills – this aligned the interests of both organizations by providing a supply of skilled employees for real estate projects.

Some other key takeaways:

  • The closer your mission is to the core of a company’s business, the more they will invest.
  • Companies can view NGOs as a way to gain credibility in local communities they seek to expand into.
  • An ideal strategy would involve committing corporations to providing some upfront capital; when they have “skin in the game”, they’re much more likely to fully maximize their end of the partnership.
  • Several participants have found success partnering with global organizations by getting buy-in using a top-down approach – convincing senior management and then moving down to local teams.

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