“Solving social issues for the 4 Billion people who live on less than $5/day is essentially about commodification: take socially beneficial goods and services and make them orders of magnitude cheaper, then sell them on massive scale.
Whilst the biggest attraction is social there is a huge fiscal attraction as well. Considering 4 to 5 billion underserved people and an economy of more than $13 Trillion PPP (Purchasing Power Parity) the market potential is huge. Finding co-operative ways to serve this market is a development activity, one that can pull the poor out of poverty, and also a play at changing incentives for the millennial generation. We seek to encourage this generation away from joining investment banks or defence contractors and towards building wealth through servicing this huge market in a socially beneficial way.
The methodology required to open these markets is based on co-creating products and services with the Bottom of Pyramid consumer (refer to our methodology section). The best time to do it is to engage with this consumer early in in a prospective entrepreneur’s career (whilst in their 20’s) when they are able to withstand the economic and travel hardships of building a social enterprise targeting this market.
Our view is that the optimal outcome for sustainability is to utilise Project Everest entrepreneurial methodology, in collaboration with the contextual understanding local communities and organisations have of their immediate environment, to solve selected social issues that fall outside the realm of what could be otherwise solved through conventional means, charity or government.
Project Everest is unique in its project application due to its social enterprise definition. Beyond this all PE Social Enterprises must have the following characteristics:
Socially Beneficial Product or Service
Product Market Fit
Healthy and Sustainable Cashflow
The social enterprise definition restricts PE in the social enterprises it will seek to create in order to ensure we are true to our purpose. For example, we fundamentally disagree with current ‘popular’ social enterprises that create dependent economic empowerment through the production of goods and services for a western market using community labour. Examples being bags and t-shirts. In turn we also disagree with the “Thankyou Group’s” model for social impact involving producing products for western markets and having a large CSR budget, however, we strongly encourage their continued success.
To achieve our promise of building socially beneficial enterprises based on our strict definitions Project Everest employs a core entrepreneurial methodology based on the following bodies of knowledge
Gazelle Company: a high-growth company that is increasing its revenues by at least 20% annually for four years or more, starting from a revenue base of at least $1 million. This growth pace means that the company has effectively doubled its revenues over a four-year period.
Globally companies have been scaling their operations for hundreds of years using traditional methods focused on the four core components. This methodology has been researched and documented as a traditional method of building large successful businesses. Project Everest ventures seek to be defined as a ‘gazelle company’ through their financial and thus social achievements. A core proponent of our value proposition is managing People through our Leadership training opportunities. We practice what we preach at Project Everest through core tenants such as strategy planning, exercising decentralised leadership practices and continually adapting our internal processes.
Exponential Organisation (ExO): is one whose impact (or output) is disproportionally large — at least 10x larger — compared to its peers because of the use of new organizational techniques that leverage exponential technologies.
- Massive Transformational Purpose
- Staff on Demand (External)
- Community & Crowd (External)
- Algorithms (External)
- Leveraged Assets (External)
- Engagement (External)
- Interfaces (Internal)
- Dashboards (Internal)
- Experimentation (Internal)
- Autonomy (Internal)
- Social (Internal)
The 6 D’s of exponential technology describe the process by which a product or services initially becomes digitised and ultimately results in becoming democratised. Following on from this premise Project Everest seeks to utilise off-the-shelf technologies on exponential growth paths in order to enable scale in the magnitude of ‘10x plus’ what could be achieved by a traditional gazelle company. The starting point for Project Everest and our ventures is to have a massive transformational purpose (MTP) which brings purpose and meaning to what we do- it gives us a compelling reason to get out of bed in the morning and face another day of eating glass and staring into the abyss (as Elon Musk so eloquently describes the difficulty of building a business). Beyond this Project Everest has developed ExO attributes across the following areas: Staff on Demand, Community & Crowd, Leveraged Assets, Engagement, Dashboards, Experimentation, Autonomy and Social.
Venture Capital: capital invested in a project in which there is a substantial element of risk, typically a new or expanding business.
- Angel Investment
- Seed Capital
- Venture Capital
The third method by which we increase the social impact we have through scale is by venture capital. Venture capital provides a financial and expertise input enabling a faster realisation of an enterprise growing in social and fiscal impact. We see this type of funding and support as significantly more powerful and impactful than donor raised capital, the reason being because of the ‘dumb money’ versus ‘smart money’ argument. Donor’s gain their returns in terms of personal fulfillment at the point of providing the capital into the hands of the NFP they have chosen to support. Not in all cases, but in most cases the donor will not follow up with how the money was utilised or take any active interest in the organisation realising it’s stated objectives- this is dumb money. Smart money, on the other hand, has not just capital but also expertise and connections that come with it and a vested interest from the Venture Capitalist in gaining a return, which is both financial and social, at the point of realisation of the business model. For this reason, Project Everest sees venture capital as an expedient way to realise our purpose but also, validation of the business model built to this point.
In order to deliver on our social outcomes, PE focuses on being a training provider of excellence to all our student ‘Trekkers’, team leaders, group leaders and staff. We hold the philosophy that the greater we can enhance our project team’s abilities then the greater outcome they will have on delivering on our purpose of solving social issues.
The intent of our projects is to partner with established community-based organisations in the countries we operate and to not reinvent the wheel in seeking solutions.
Current projects are based on United Nations identified issues, defined under the Sustainable Development Goals, thus have support and recognition on the ground. These include access to clean drinking water, education, health, sustainable food production, effective use of natural resources, renewable energy.