Between 2007 and 2014, BOI’s Scale Academy for Microenterprise Development provided grants, peer learning events, and technical assistance to 12 high-performing microenterprise organizations committed to scaling up operations to serve more clients. With the challenge of achieving greater scale a long-standing issue in the US microenterprise field, the Scale Academy focused resources on microenterprise organizations that were poised to scale and produce an immediate return in terms of increased numbers of clients served.
Grant investments helped Academy members transform their business models for increased scale and sustainability; improve products and services; and invest in market research and marketing pilots; and organizational development, including board and staff development, MIS systems, and fundraising. BOI shared the outcomes of many of these initiatives in publications, webinar forums, and conference venues.
Today much of the work and the learning activities initiated in BOI’s Scale Academy continues through its Microfinance Impact Collaborative.
The Scale Academy was funded by the Citi and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundations and operated in collaboration with the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO).