OPERATIONS – RISE Centres

HR&S has established HR&S Research, Innovation and Social Enterprising (RISE) Support Centres in Sub-Sahara African countries.

Each Centre is always on a programme of capacity strengthening through weekly interactions with HR&S Sweden.

The Centres provide support to local social entrepreneurs, researchers and innovators to offer their products and services to the local community.

Service

Each Centre has its own set-up, depending on the needs and the context. Besides the support programmes to the RISE members,  the Centres offer consultancy, seminars and workshops addressing the HR&S practical strategies and ActionAreas to strategic parnters.

support assignments

The RISE Centre support team typically have the same assignment as RISE Coordinators as they have as HR&S Branch Team of Operations. 

The auditors are usually independent from the Branch Team of Operations and can audit both the the Branches and the RISE members.  

Evaluation planning 

  • Develop SfC roadmaps for all RISE members.
  • Perform stakeholder analysis and stakeholder management.
  • Compile the necessary data about RISE members.
  • Support RISE members according to need.
  • Performing programme evaluation planning training according to ROPE.

Impact measurement

  • 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.

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.
  • 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.
  • Training
    • Coach programmes on branding and public relations.

Accounting

  • Overview and support the Branch team-leader with that contracts are developed and signed between the RISE members and the HR&S country branch.
    Compile and store the contracts. Support the team-leader with ensuring that the content of the contract is honoured.
  • Overview that the bookkeeping of RISE Centre members is well managed and prepare for efficient auditing by the end of the fiscal year.
  • Develop and give advice 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 officer while performing surveys to collect financial monitoring data.

Laboratory Technician Adviser

Local advisers related to laboratory operations and accreditation can be 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 laboratories in the target country.
    • Coordinate the country nodes of the HR&S Network of Technicians.

Auditing

The auditor is independent from the team of Operations and makes annual auditing of The HR&S local branch as well as each RISE Centre member.

  • 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.

Infrastructure

During the pilot phase, we aim for the team leader to have good computer and internet access. We also aim for a zoom account.

Training events

The training events targets our RISE members and is free of charge for them, as one of the benefits from paying membership fee.

RISE Centres may want to develop a joint power point presentation, benefiting from the information available on HR&S website, and new information that they introduce to the team.  The RISE operations team PR officer is in charge of the launching of training events.

Locate a host for the start-up phase.
Arrange with good internet and computers, as well as IT training.

annual training on the strategy for change
by HR&S Sweden

In September. 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 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.

Quaterly meetings with all RISE members

The meeting addresses knowledge-sharing and support between RISE members, discussion on the capital available for loans and the distribution of the capital between the members. Pay-pack periods to ensure funds are available for all members for the follow-up loans as well as generating the income from the interest to cover the running costs of the Centre.

Infrastructure

During the pilot phase, we aim for the team leader to have good computer and internet access. We also aim for a zoom account.

Accounting

Bi-annual training on accounting by HR&S Branches. April and July. Two hours per session.

The training events targets our RISE members and is free of charge for them, as one of the benefits from paying membership fee. We invite external participants who pay EUR 5 for two training events.

1. Book keeping.
2. Advantages with bookkeeping.
3. Bookkeeping as important part of financial management .
4. Financial management, expenditure prioritization, and business growth.
A whole package of why business accounting is important.

Strategy for Change / Lean business model

Bi annual training on the SfC by the Branches for RISE members, February. June. The SfC is developed to address progress for our RISE members exactly
We do not have to focus much on the method as such in the beginning but to use it directly. We go through slowly but firmly.

First training in the year

  • What do you want ? – ambition
  • What are your challenges to achieve your ambition? – outcome challenges
  • What can we do together to address the challenges – activity
  • Who shall do what and when – milestones

Second training in the year

  • Was the road-map useful? – outcome
  • How do we measure progress? – progress markers
  • Where do we want to reach eventually ? – sustainable impact
Benefit from the Lean Business model
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.

Accountability management

The capital

It is important that the members has balance in their businesses. The ActionInvest capital shall not decrease as a result of members failing to pay back. The 10% interest is an income to the Centre as well as the  coaching fee.

Bank account withdrawals

Withdrawal by RISE Member for business loan: 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.

Procurement

When major procurements are to be done by loan-takers, the loan-taker shall request the team-leader and/or the accountant to join when the transaction is made. 

Guarantee

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.

Pitching

  1. Potential new RISE members are pitching their business to the Country RISE Centre members. The size of the present capital is discussed and how the loans is distributed between RISE members.
  2. Potential new RISE members are ten pitching their business to Action10 in an ActionTalk. Action10 will be involved with agreeing what to fundraise for.
  3. RISE members can then pitch the business to the private sector in HR&S/Visit.org events, seeking advice and also proposing a donation.
unsplash - budget

Activity ONE
Understanding of expectations

Testimony:  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.

Activity TWO
Collateral

  • We  invest in businesses that can provide assurance of repayment through provision of collateral and we must have an independent adjudicator whose role is to take care of collateral.
  • We reach out to under-served populations with limited opportunities to provide collateral through our RISE members. RISE members originating from areas where collateral is limited are likely to be able to install accountability systems through maybe social awareness. This business idea builds on that, as the funds are paid back maybe weekly, it can be giving out twice. Thus the programme manager generates 20 % interest (or more), 10 for the RISE Centre and 10 for own income.

Testimony, Dec 2021: “Generally, people are never willing to repay loans if such loans were received on the premise of their morality and honesty. As a person who runs a financial services business with my sister, I know that even the most trusted and honest people will find it hard to repay loans of any amount of they have not been requested to deposit collateral.
We still need to use the funds as intended i.e. for social enterprising but we need to change the mode of financing. We may need to invest in businesses that can provide assurance of repayment through provision of collateral and we must have an independent adjudicator whose role is to take care of collateral.
We can go wide scale and announce the opportunity in public forums. And we will be able to get the right organizations to deal with. Of course after due diligence.”

Milestone

All RISE Centres implements Activity ONE and TWO starting from January 2022.