Brilliant example: The Taurai Foundation student project
Each year I teach entrepreneurship courses to university students. In some of those courses, students work in groups to identify and evaluate an entrepreneurial opportunity. In 2016, one of those groups wanted to explore a non-profit foundation that would co-brand feminine hygiene products in a “buy one give one” program. The intent was to increase sales of the product line for the manufacturer and simultaneously provide sanitary pads to young women in Zimbabwe who would otherwise miss school because of the stigma associated with menstruation. The challenge was assessing whether they could construct a viable business model around this social innovation. There were two critical business model questions to answer. What were the financial implications for the manufacturing partner, including public relations value? What resources, including time and people, would be needed to build the partnership? Answers to these questions were extremely difficult to generate. The students developed an admirable financial model, though their estimates for resource requirements were very limited. A sample of their final presentation can be found at the BBM website.