HR&S RISE Support Centre
HR&S has established HR&S Research, Innovation and Social Enterprising (RISE) Support Centres in six Sub-Sahara African countries, and we seeking opportunities to scale.
While the Centres provide support to local social entrepreneurs, researchers and innovators to offer their products and services to the local community, they also serve as local HR&S representatives and offices.
Each Centre is always on a programme of capacity strengthening through weekly interactions with HR&S Sweden.
It is the responsibility of the operations team within the RISE Centres to be active with generating income and to have annual financial plans so all costs are covered by income.
- Participant fee in annual webinar managed by HR&S Sweden and HR&S Expert Adviser.
- RISE Centre membership fee (two levels).
- Ten percent interest from giving out loans.
Capital raised through ActionInvest.
- Other offers by the RISE Centre such as computer and internet access, renting venues, back-office services and transportation.
- Other social enterprising type of offers by the RISE Centres.
RISE Centres operations staff supports Action10 to generate the ActionInvest funds by actively engage in crowdfunding campaign with f ex Action10 crowd-funding site, Global Giving and Kwanda.
Finance administration & accounting
The operations staff is obviously up-dated with and obey to the laws of the country. Tax is paid accrtingly.
Loans to Team of Operations members
Our main challenges is to identify accountable loan-takers. We need role-models. If the team of operations also take loans, we have role-models who both see the challenges with being a loan-giver as well as a loan-taker. It seems it will serve the HR&S mission well. The assessment is that the benefit overruns the potential conflict of interest. In case HR&S at a later stages experiences a conflict of interest, additional regulations will be added.
Signatories to bank account
Members of the Team of Oreations may have obligations towards their employers, and being a company co-owner can cause a conflict of interest. These HR&S team-members are welcome to have a position in the team of operations, while not being a signatiory of the back account nor the registration of the comapany.
Direct understanding and experience
One of our strengths is that we impose on ourselves the challenges that we want to guide our partners to manage, meaning we have direct experience. If we want to guide a partner on how to increase the number of customers in this targeted country, do we know how to increase the number of customers for RISE in this country? If we do, we can also give training to our RISE member. If we do not know how to increase the customers for RISE in this country, then the training we give RISE members may be more of theoretical, and not base on own experience and own understanding, and we may risk wasting our members time time. Score low on the Progress Markers.
That is why we may also encourage members of the operations team to become loan-takers, in order to get direct experience; from being boat a loan-giver and a loan-taker.
The HR&S RISE Centre Team of Operations
The HR&S RISE Centre Team of Operations is composed of very very special people. They are the fore-front of HR&S in each country; respected, appreciated and trusted by HR&S to represent HR&S.
- The HR&S RISE Centre Operations team members must make an effort to understand the core values of HR&S and then make a well-informed decision on if they want to become members.
- The HR&S RISE Centre Operations team members must be active, they must take own initiatives. They are free to improvise. Free to make mistakes. In HR&S we see mistakes as an opportunity to learn. If we do not make mistakes, then we also do not try new things. What we are proud of is that we learn from our mistakes, make informed decisions, and do not repeat the mistake.
- Cross-cultural understanding. In every country can it be difficult for the formally educated community and the illiterate community to understand each other. Thereby we may lack trust and respect and efficient communication may become a problem. In HR&S we depend on the coordination between groups with different capacity and experience, all being equally important, when improving livelihood for the under-served community; may it be the capacity to perform according to university education or to manage a programme within an under-served community. HR&S therefore depends on establishing teams of members with cross-cultural skills.
- As a result of the Aid industry, the expectation of persons seeking to become members of the local HR&S team of operations many be the donor-driven structure. Persons may expect that their salaries and other programme running costs shall be paid for by foreign donors, that foreign donors shall provide administrations services, pieces of training as well as equipment, consumables, service and maintenance, free of charge. But HR&S team members must agree with that salaries are not paid for by HR&S, training is not given for free by HR&S, programmes are not funded by HR&S. Instead the HR&S local RISE centres are social enterprises that generate the income required to do local social good, in deep, close and caring collaboration with HR&S Sweden. HR&S benefits from the Lean startup model, the Lean business model and the Agile strategy.
Assigning new members: Potential new members must be able to answer a few questions about HR&S proving they have studies carefully and understood HR&S very well. Potential new members are also assign on trial for six months before becoming full team members. During the six months of trial they will get assignments to deliver on and join a few meetings with partners. They have to prove that they will take initiatives, be active and attend meetings, show cross-cultural respect with other communities and not be judgmental, and accept that RISE are social enterprises that pay costs and reimburses team members from income generated by RISE itself.
Each Centre has its own set-up, depending on the needs and the context. Besides the support programmes to the member programmes, the Centres offer consultancy, seminars and workshops addressing the HR&S practical strategies and ActionAreas to strategic parnters.
It is important that the members has balance in their businesses. The ActionInvest and RISEinvest capital shall not decrease as a result of members failing to pay back. As donations are collected that capital shall always mirror this amount. The 10% interest is an income to the Centre as well as the 10% coaching fee.
Team of operations, Trainers, Supporters & Advisers
The HR&S Country team members, typically have the same position within the RISE Centre operations as they have as trainers, except the accountants; the accountant of the programmes cannot be the accountant of RISE Centres, as such an assignment must be kept independent of the operations. An independent accountant is assigned for the RISE Centres. Persons who seek to join RISE Centres Operations team are welcome on a probation period of six months, and will then take the positions of a Support Team member. In the position of a Support Team member the persons are not paid, but they can attend webinars free of charge. They attend meetings and get assignments like the rest of the team. IF they prove themselves to be active and take initiatives, they step up and become HR&S RISE Centre Operations Team member. RISE Operations team must have access to good internet connection.
Assignments & responsibilities
- Team-leader: coordination and communication.
- Keep track of the contracts with the coaches and auditors, and ensure payment is done in time.
- Ensures that requests for withdrawal of funds from the RISE account is sent to and approved by HR&S Sweden.
- Stakeholder analysis and stakeholder management.
- Developing an annual RISE Centre programme report.
- Developing and implementing a business plan that ensures a sustainable economy within a few years’ periods.
- Performing programme evaluation planning according to ROPE.
- Perform customer surveys targeting i) research & laboratory management, and ii) social enterprising.
- Collect photos and videos with consent to be used for fundraising campaigns.
- Perform programme surveys with scientific evidence.
- Developing a survey manual.
- Micro survey management; Compiling baseline data. Compiling monitoring data and evidence according to TestE.
- Macro survey management; Compiling baseline data collected from the Programme management. Compiling baseline data collected from the national development plan and related information. Compiling baseline data collected from regional and international documents. Do state-of-the-art research benefitting from the scientific literature.
- Developing an annual Survey report.
- Perform programme surveys with scientific evidence.
Business management, Branding & Public Relations
- All aspects of business management in general.
- Programme public visibility. We benefit from PR management to protect, enhance, and build reputations through the media, social media, and self-produced communications.
- Ensure branding that exposes HR&S Sweden and RISE Centres as high quality and professional. Performing an analysis on how our brand is currently perceived among supporters and customers, then proceed to plan on how the brand should be perceived if it is to achieve its objectives and
continue with ensuring that the brand is perceived as planned and secures its objectives.
- Connect the programme with the local community and share awareness about how this programme shall benefit the whole community. Invite the community member and leaders to make suggestions about the local benefit and sustainability of the programme.
- Assess the competition on the market.
- Develops stories for crowd-funding campaigns, with photos and videos.
- Share the link to crowd-funding campaigns on social media reaching out to the local and international community that may have an interest in that specific opportunity.
- Coach programmes on branding and public relations.
- Manage the RISE Centre local bank account as signatory together with the team leader.
- Make payments after approval from HR&S Sweden, using the HR&S template.
- Ensure that coaches and auditors are paid according to contract.
- Manage the RISE bookkeeping.
Please note that the HR&S ledger is kept separate from the Action10 ledger. ActionInvest is received from Action10 and can only be used as capital to give out loans from. The loans are paid back to the ActionInvest ledger. The 10 % annual interest goes to the HR&S ledger as an income.
- Manage internal financial control of RISE Centre.
- Develop and share with HR&S Sweden annual RISE Centre Financial reports, and quaterly financial narratives. The HR&S fiscal year is the calender year; 1 January – 31 December.
- Overview that the bookkeeping is well managed and prepare for efficient auditing by the end of the fiscal year.
- Develop and coach on internal financial control systems.
- Join when procuring items and ensure good and correct price in accordance with what is presented on the receipt.
- Accompany the survey management coach while performing surveys to collect financial monitoring data.
The auditor makes annual auditing of each RISE Centre programme.
- Accuracy of the bookkeeping according to international standard. Whether there is supporting documentation related to costs.
- Accuracy of that all funds related to the programme are kept at one separate bank account, agreed on by the Client.
- The accuracy of the monthly bank account statements was reconciled.
- Review if the outgoing balance for the previous period is the same as an incoming balance for the current period.
- Adequacy of internal control related to disbursement procedures.
- Follow up whether salary costs debited to the project/programme are recorded throughout the duration of the year in a systemized way.
- Examine whether foreign exchange gains and losses are disclosed.
- Compliance with the applicable tax legislation in regard to taxes and social security fees.
- Follow up whether procurement guidelines have been respected.
- Adequacy of internal control related to disbursement procedures.
- Review whether there is an unbroken chain of audited financial reports.
- Ensure communication around problems encountered.
Assignments & responsibilities – Advisers
Local advisers related to laboratory operations and accreditation are assigned to the RISE Centres.
The RISE laboratory technician advisers have the below assignments.
- Offer expert advice to RISE members linked to the HR&S Research management and Laboratory management programmes.
- Link HR&S to local laboratories.
- Coordinate the local nodes of the HR&S Network of Technicians.
The RISE operation staff
Actively reach out to institutions as ideal customers for webinars. Webinars paid for by institutions are also launched to the public who pays per person, this fee from individual participants is a direct income to the RISE Centres. The institutions pay to HR&S Sweden.
Invite to, and manage the exam after, the four annual webinars (Jan, Feb, March, April) arranged by HR&S Sweden, as well as the Certificate of those passing the exam. The fee from individual participants is a direct income to the RISE Centres.
Keep the networks active.
- Researchers: Kenya
- Technicians: Uganda
- Entrepreneurs: Nigeria
- Development stakeholders: Liberia & Togo
Arrange bi-annual training events for RISE members
In May and in October. The training events targets our RISE members and is free of charge for them, as one of the benefits from paying membership fee. Then also non-members are invited who pays a fee, this fee is a direct income to the RISE Centres, EUR 20 for non members (EUR 10 for students and non-employed). The focus of the biannual RISE training events are the members, arrangements are made to also serve non-members. The bi-annual events starts at the different RISE Centres and the team of operations are responsible for the planning and the implementation. The arrangements and lessons learned are discussed in the team-leader chat. The reason why it has to be separate is because the different businesses are very different, and we need to understand each entrepreneur as a family member, to be able to help in actual practice. RISE Centres develop a joint power point presentation, benefiting from the information available on HR&S website, and new information that they introduce to the team. Six hours in total, during three days. Online during to pandemic, thereafter physical + online. The RISE operations team PR officer is in charge of the launching of both training events.
- May (2021 August) – The Lean start and scale-up model. Guide on the Lean model through the SfC strategy. Identify and scrutinize the ideal customer segment, reach out and propose an adjusted value proposition for the ideal customer, follow-up and and secure first new paying customers. Expected outcome: Increased number of customers in actual practice. PM: 10% increase after 3 months, 30% after one year. The RISE operations team evaluation planning and survey management officers are in charge of the training together with the team-leaders.
- October – Accounting and accountability. The RISE operations team accountants and auditors are in charge of the training together with the team-leaders.
Locate a host for the start-up phase.
Arrange with good internet and computers, as well as IT training.
During the pilot phase, we aim for the team leader to have good computer and internet access.
We also aim for a zoom account.
HR&S training Events
RISE members and team of operations attend all HR&S training events for free. RISE team may as well participate in HR&S training as presenters and/or support staff.
External corruption control
Each centre develops good relations with a lawyer, a representative from the police and the bank.
Company limited by guarantee
The HR&S Research, Innovation and Social Enterprising Support Centres are initially registered in each country as a company limited by guarantee. The HR&S RISE Centres shall be exempted the liability to corporation tax which is made possible as a result of being registered as a company limited by guarantee. The Team-leader shall seek such exemption, arguing that we seek social good and not profit for share-holders. The status of being limited by guarantee does not, of itself, allow a company to escape the liability to corporation tax, but this has to be negotiated with the approriate national regulatory body.
The company is required to have at least one director, which is the team-leader. Other Directors can be the deputy-team leader, the accountant and other persons in the RISE Centre management & operations.
A company limited by guarantee is a limited company, but with the difference to the usual company entity of there being no share capital. The company’s members are guarantors rather than shareholders. The same rules and regulations apply to companies limited by guarantee as to companies with a share capital. This means that the company will have to file accounts at the appropriate national institution within the usual deadline, file annual returns, keep proper accounting records, appoint directors and file returns with appropriate national institution.The main difference between a company limited by guarantee and one limited by shares is that the liability of shareholders is limited to the amount unpaid on shares, whereas the liability of guarantors (the members of a company limited by guarantee) is limited to the amount that they guaranteed. In most cases, the amount guaranteed will be around Euro 1 (in local curency) per member (similar to the ordinary Euro 1 share in a company limited by shares). Members cannot receive dividends, and will usually be involved due to their commitment to the company’s objectives, rather than to benefit financially. The memorandum and articles will usually differ from those of the standard share capital company and will generally include a defined list of specific objectives, and also a clause that prohibits the distribution of surplus profits. The balance sheet of a company limited by guarantee will be the same as that of a company limited by shares, apart from the fact that it will have no share capital. The bottom section of the balance sheet should be headed ‘Reserves’ rather than the usual ‘Shareholders’ funds’. There is no requirement, but it is common practice, to also include a note disclosing the guarantees; something simple such as: ‘The company is limited by guarantee of members and does not have a share capital. The liability of members is limited to Euro 1 (in local currency). The usual rules about related parties will apply, and the director(s) will be related parties in the usual way. Whether or not a member falls into the definition of related party will depend on the circumstances. Payments to members can only be by way of remuneration, as no dividends are possible.
Company limited by shares
At a later stage a company limited by shares can be registered and are then sub-divisions of HR&S Sweden.
Establishing a new RISE Centre
HR&S is not aid but a social enterprise that establishes country representation. The RISE provides coaching to members, as well as, manages the centre and generates income. It is slow but firm process to establish a new RISE Centre, where the team members with time understands the concept and the meaning of the different assignments. It is a trial and error. All information is available on the website. The transitions from theory to actual practice can only be made organically.
Bank account signatories
Two members of the RISE Centre operations team are signatories of the bank account. These are the team-leader and the deputy team-leader or the accountant.
Pre-arrangements with the bank shall make it possible for the signatories to provide their statements electronically.
Bank account withdrawals
Withdrawal by RISE Centre
The team-leader provides a request to HR&S CEO when withdrawals are required.
Withdrawal from the bank account by the RISE Centre requires authorisation by HR&S CEO and the signatures from both signatories. The withdrawal request states the purpose for the withdrawal, which programme it refers to and wich agreements it is supported by. Thus the request compiles all the costs it shall cover.
Within two months after the date of the withdrawal, receipts for all costs are compiled by the accountant and shared with HR&S CEO and both signatories.
Withdrawal by RISE Member/Loan-taker
The loan-taker provides a request to the RISE accountant when withdrawals are required.
Withdrawal from the bank account by a RISE Member/Loan-taker also requires authorisation by HR&S CEO and the signatures from both signatories. The withdrawal request states the purpose for the withdrawal, which programme it refers to and wich agreements it is supported by. Thus the request compiles all the costs it shall cover together with a statement presenting how the loan will be paid back and when.
Within two months after the date of the withdrawal, receipts for all costs are compiled by the loan-taker and shared with HR&S CEO and both signatories.
Payments are made by the accountant and the team-leader together and the receipts are compiled.
Payment shall be made in a manner so that it is shown on the bank account statement, possibly by a check.
When major procurements are to be done by loan-takers, the loan-taker shall request the team-lear and/or the accountant to join when the transaction is made.
Loan-takers provide a guarantee for the re-payment of a loan. It is still a soft loan and the guarantee stands in propotion to the business ability of the loan-taker.
(Acknowledgement to Theophilus AGADA.) The “help-me” narrative must change. Once the partners are made to understand the expectations from the beginning, we’ll achieve success. The bottom line is setting the expectations right from the beginning to avoid unrealistic expectations. We shall get the right partners that could be the Change Agents to show that looking for handouts is not sustainable, but creating value will bring the desired prosperity.
1. We made them realized that this money to be giving to them is a loan to be paid back.
2. The amount given out as loan will be deducted from the principal amount at source.
3. We group them according to their business and the level of funds is then meant for that category.
4. They were made to understand that they will cross reference each other in the group, that is to say that if any member of the group default in repayment, the entire group will be held accountable.
5. If they are faithful in repayment, they will be qualified for applying for a higher loan.
6. They repay the principal on a monthly basis, more groups were being added and their businesses can expand.
For the RISE member social entrepreneurs.
Each Centre has a certain amount of capital to pay out as loans. Within the Centre we will have full transparency on how loans are paid back or not.
The RISE members can support each other to pay back. And if someone is not paying back, less will be available for the others.
The interest goes to the Operation teams as reward and to the Centre to grow areas of income, for example computers and internet.
What we are targeting is the motivation to pay back. In case there is an external challenge, maybe drought for a farmer, then everyone will accept a loss of funds, even though everyone will suffer from lass capital.
Each RISE centre has an emergency fund put aside so that they can assist where needed, and the RISE Centre fundraise for the emergency fund.
Communication & infrastructure
- The aim is that each RISE Centre has good communication and work infrastructure.
- Decent smartphone – 190 EUR
- Prepaid internet card- depends on the subscription package. The monthly one ranges from 8 EUR for 3GB.
- Standard laptop -340 EUR
- Decent smartphone- 200 EUR
- Prepaid card/data- 5GB monthly data at 12 EUR
- Standard laptop – 350 EUR
- Decent smartphone- 200-300 EUR
- Prepaid card/data- 3-4-5GB monthly data at ~23 EUR
- Standard laptop – 550-600 EUR
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