Aasha and Early Career Programmes
Aasha Initiative is a social impact project in Bangalore for students to work with social entrepreneurs for 6 months on poverty alleviation.
Julia Metzner and Patrick Plikat (MiM 2017) were hoping to learn more about the social impact sector alongside their Masters programme. They connected with LBS 1997 Alumni and Head of Global Action on Poverty at Head Held High, Manisha Dahad. Head Held High is an accelerator programme for social entrepreneurs and activists in India.
Together, with the help of the LBS’ Social Impact Hub, they set up the Aasha project. This involved two groups of MiM students volunteering as consultants for a NGO or social entrepreneur for a total of six months and spending 2-3 weeks with them in Bangalore.
The two groups of MiM students, worked with two organisations in 2017/18:
Liter of Light works with local NGOs/ initiatives to provide remote and off-the-grid communities with low- cost solar lamps. The Aasha project supported Liter of Light over the course of the six months with:
- Defining a growth strategy to scale up the organisation and find sustainable sources of sponsorship and suppliers
- Enable impactful communication by improving communication materials and building a brand identity
- Improving the core product by redesigning the product to make it easier to build and more sturdy.
Estah is a farming cooperative that empowers farmers to engage in natural food production and enables direct sale to end consumers. The Aasha project supported Estah over the course of six months with:
- Writing a compelling storyline and developing an impactful communication business model to be able to pitch to investors
- Defining the organisational structure and collating all available resources for farmers to access more easily in order to strengthen the organisation
- Defining KPIs and introducing an impact measurement tool to be able to showcase impact to investors
The project pilot has had a great impact for students, Head Held High and changemakers (Liter of Light and Estah) alike:
Over the coming years, new groups of Early Career students will take part in this programme to support other changemakers of Head Held High. Julia and Patrick were not only able to set up a project by themselves, but in the process created social impact. They managed to create a space for them to learn and enable peers to learn more about the world of consultancy in the social impact sector.
Read some of the student testimonials below:
To ready more about the student experience, please read Vicky’s blog post