I interviewed the CEO and co-founder of BagoSphere, a Philippines-based social enterprise which seeks to tackle rising youth unemployment through development programmes, and teased out interesting insights about the measurement and management of social impact as well as the importance of strong organisational culture.
Read “BagoSphere: To Scale A Social Enterprise“, and here’s a short excerpt:
“Having handled the operational challenges of starting and managing social enterprise BagoSphere for the last four years – of hiring individuals as well as overcoming complex operations and poor infrastructure for instance – CEO and co-founder Zhihan Lee and his team now confront strategic challenges as they scale the company. Based in Bago City in the Philippines, BagoSphere seeks to tackle rising youth unemployment through development programmes, with job trainings at its vocational school for those at the base of the pyramid.
As undergraduates at the National University of Singapore, all three co-founders, including Ellwyn Tan and Ivan Lau, gained insights through community service projects in India, Laos, and the Philippines, and his experience in Laos – where a volunteer-constructed community library ended up unused – spurred Zhihan to learn more, and to eventually work for a social enterprise in rural India in 2009. “Across the three months, I was inspired by the training provided for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) work and I was consequently struck by the global outsourcing phenomenon,” he recalled. At the same time Ellwyn and Ivan had developed strong cities with the city government of Bago City, and with plans and research for BagoSphere in the pipeline, Zhihan joined the pair straight after his graduation.
Bago City is a small second-class city in central Philippines, and in 2010 the BagoSphere team identified the problem of high unemployment within the population of 160,000.”