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Scaling is a critical shift in a social entrepreneur’s ability to make a difference, however it also has significant implications for the business or organization. It's critical to have the right foundations in place if a social entrepreneur wants to ensure their ability to generate impact on a large scale - without putting their business or the outcome at risk of failure. This guide will help you ask the key questions of yourself in order to scale successfully. 

As noted by the Ashoka Globalizer network, planning to scale should not be taken lightly.  They warn that it is important to put the right foundations in place if a social entrepreneur wants to ensure their ability to generate impact on a large scale - without putting their business or the outcome at risk of failure.

The general assumption is that the main barrier to scaling lies with access to funding, however there are in fact five key reasons why organizations struggle to address the real scale of need around the world.

1. Lack of outcome oriented purpose with poor problem definition, which leads to failures in design and decision making

2. Inapplicable/Non-scalable impact methodology (solution), which limits the flexibility needed to address the varying needs of new environments and demographics

3. Non-systematic approaches to set-up and implementation, which limits replicability and decreases both efficiency and effectiveness

4. Inflexible organizational design and lack of operational readiness, which limits ability to deliver at scale

5. Poor implementation planning, and hence inadequate cost modelling, leading to challenges with raising funds or finance.

The goal of the PATRI framework is to help social entrepreneurs scale their impact more effectively while avoiding these pitfalls. At its highest level, the Framework consists of a corresponding set of five key questions that will help social entrepreneurs scale successfully.

1. Is your goal valid and well defined? (Purpose)

2. Is your design applicable at scale? (Applicability)

3. Is your model systematised and transferable? (Transferability)

4. Is your organisation ready to scale? (Applicability)

5. Is your implementation planning robust? (Implementation)  

Learn more and download the complete PATRI framework here.

Originally published August 22, 2014