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Scale is a question of execution, not vision

Originally appeared in India Development Review on December 12, 2023

The nature of social entrepreneurship, the problems we need to solve, and the challenges of scale have important similarities across both for-profit enterprises and nonprofit organisations. This is most evident in the trajectories of many microfinance institutions, a sector that transformed from a nonprofit activity to banking within a decade. However, when it comes to questions of scale, nonprofits have some unique challenges.

The increased focus on scaling an organisation in the nonprofit world has tremendous implications on the breadth and depth of impact, as well as perceived and real obstacles. This article covers the challenges of scaling and includes practical lessons drawn from Sandeep’s personal experiences in helping organisations think through scaling.