We’ve learned a few things in helping support over 900 social enterprises around the world scale their operations with the help of our Experteers, Capacity Building Programs, research, and educational programming. Our work has touched early stage, award-winning enterprises long before they reached international acclaim, including groups like Inyenyeri, Sistema B, M-KOPA, Ubongo and BEMPU. At all stages in the social enterprise “pioneer gap”, we’ve been in the trenches with small, growing, and even large social enterprises. Along the way, we’ve scaled up our own award-winning social enterprise, too.

We’ve seen first hand what research continues to prove: Most social impact startups fall wildly short of their projections and end up going out business. The main reason? Social entrepreneurship is hard. Really hard. But there is another reason, too: founders, biased by their own egos and intuition, don’t take the time to truly embrace proven frameworks that will increase the odds of success.

Despite what you might think, there are no such things as visionary entrepreneurs. In fact, the number one reason that startups fail is because founders think they have an idea that will work, when in reality there is no market for it. This is why startup guidance is full of quotes like “fall in love with problems, not your solution”, “don’t become a technology in search of a problem” and “get out of the building”.

So how do you stack the odds in your favor when growing a social enterprise? Our guide below shares the most impactful frameworks and tools that you need to grow and scale your social enterprise. It’s still going to be a long, hard journey, but we’ve found that it helps to know that you’re not alone (even when it feels like you’re riding a lion).

Full guide is available HERE.