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Villgro recently launched the Impact Report 2022: “The Better Story”. This year we have redefined our Impact Measurement and Management framework to capture holistic, multidimensional impact.
Why ‘The Better Story’?
Over the years we followed pre-defined metrics for impact measurement. These metrics were created by inferring the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG) and IRIS+ system. Although concrete & capable of capturing impact, they weren’t successful in measuring impact created ‘holistically’. Social impact is at the core of the social enterprise industry. However, the focus of startups has been largely limited to survival, sustenance, and scaling in the market which constricted social impact to its measurement and reportage according to predefined metrics. Thus, leaving little to no scope for reevaluation and evolution. Over the years, there has been a positive trend of looking at the impact and its measurement as essential and holistic. For example, it has evolved from measuring only the total number of rural end beneficiaries to measuring how the product or service improves their quality of life. Hence, we redefined our Impact Measurement by delving deeper into ‘how we visualised and categorized impact on the ground.’
This paved the way for the ‘multidimensional’ approach. Categorizing impact at Social, Infrastructure and Environment levels helped us visualise impact distinctly and understand its expanse.
What is The Better Story?
Our impact measurement framework at Villgro analyses the impact created across the three core sectors: Agriculture, Healthcare and Climate Action.
“Each of our enterprises creates impact in multidimensional ways basis their innovation”
For e.g, an enterprise that manufacturers fly ash bricks—reducing CO2 emissions creates an impact in a very different manner from an enterprise that works in groundwater harvesting—saving water. The challenge was to measure impact ‘holistically’.
What if we can measure the different kinds of impact created by our portfolio? What if we can measure the impact that is being made on last-mile infrastructure alongside the impact on the environment and the social impact?
The result is understanding change that is effected from multiple dimensions. It has the potential to make communities stronger and get people involved and invested as part of the process. It creates more demand for innovative solutions and generates new business for the innovators.
Image Description: Sectors and Startups that Villgro works in
1. The Virtuous cycle:
- Better measurement and understanding of data give us insights to build a better case for an inclusive business
- Better impact is the result of nuanced data gathering and a deeper understanding of the business value
- Better business enables us to demonstrate how incubation has made a difference in terms of creating scalable and viable revenue streams for social enterprises
2. The Better, Multidimensional Approach
A one-size-fits-all standardised model is not ideal for measuring impact. Our multidimensional approach aggregates data on universal dimensions and provides tracking of unique enterprise-specific metrics.
3. Enabling Resilience in Impact
Our incubation model addresses the changing needs of social entrepreneurs and the challenges of building a sustainable world in an equitable and inclusive manner. We work with startups that meet three criteria:
- Potential to Create Impact at Scale
- Feasible & Scalable Operating Model
- Financially Self-Sustaining and Viable
Image description: Villgro’s multidimensional approach and the virtuous cycle
We understand that ‘impact cannot be measured in isolation’. It is multidisciplinary and is governed by multifarious factors such as sectors, stakeholders, etc and how they interact with each other. For us, the need for a holistic multidimensional approach to impact measurement is derived from the urge to understand the actual impact being felt on the ground. Impact measurement can never be justified with quantitative analysis alone and needs to be coupled with qualitative inputs which allow for a deeper analysis. Now more than ever, the social enterprise ecosystem is becoming aware of the importance of holistic social impact and the need to ensure the impact is created on the ground rather than impact measurement and impact being treated as an isolated exercise.
Help us write a Better Story
Our multidimensional approach is just a first step in our journey of building a better story. We look forward to your feedback and suggestions to improve our approach to measuring impact to make innovative, impactful businesses succeed. (email us at [email protected])
Read the “The Better Story”, Villgro’s Impact Report 2022, here.