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Partnership Design in Social Enterprise at MIT’s D-Lab

  • In Innovation
  • 13 Jan 2020 - 3:27pm
  • By Mark Wamai
  • 14
Detail of Output from the remote Partnership Design session between Expressions Global, and Solar Freeze in Kenya. Photo Credit: MiT D-Lab

Blog | Jan 12, 2020 | Bart Doorneweert

Late last summer I ran an online Partnership Design workshop with 2 agribusiness social entrepreneurs from Kenya, Peter Mumo (Founder of Expressions Global) and Dysmus Kisilu (Founder of Solar Freeze). In this post, I’ll take you through the process of how a pay-as-you-go irrigation service (Expressions Global) could collaborate with a cooled storage service provider (Solar Freeze). A collaboration which appeared ready to go, but actually wasn’t quite there yet.

Partnership context

Peter, and Dysmus met as part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology D-Lab project on inclusive partnerships, which is a year-long learning lab on the topic of Co-Designing Inclusive Partnership Models.

When Peter, and Dysmus were introduced to the Partnership Canvas during the first session as part of the learning lab, they were inspired to collaborate with their 2 companies, Expressions Global (EG), and Solar Freeze (SF).

They were aiming for the same customer segments, smallholder farmers, and both companies could benefit from connecting their services. More, high-quality produce in stable supply from better irrigation, and trusty cold storage would mean more interest from well-paying (export) traders, and thus more interest from prospective smallholder farmer clients.

A few months after the initial workshop where Peter, and Dysmus met, I checked in on their progress together with Saïda Benhayoune, who is Program Advisor at MIT D-Lab. We proposed an online workshop to apply the Partnership Design process, in order to analyse the current status of their collaboration, identify next steps, and put the Partnership Design tooling to the test at the same time.

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