A Year of Discovery and Growth: Deepti Mathew

A Year of Discovery and Growth: Deepti Mathew

It’s truly remarkable to think that an entire year has passed since I joined Street Business School. This past year has been a period of immense growth for both me as a leader and for the organization.

Our Strengths. We have dedicated ourselves to defining what sets SBS apart as an exceptional organization our world-class entrepreneurial curriculum and training pedagogy.  We know that attending our training, whether directly provided to women or shared through our partner organizations, leads to unparalleled increases in income and life-changing impacts on resiliency and adaptability.

Our Challenges. We have also taken the time to thoroughly analyze our M&E data and financial information, evaluating the returns on our time and resource investments. We’ve learned that to realize the world-changing impact of our mission, we must explore ways to increase partner implementation rates over a longer time horizon. Simultaneously, we need to streamline our partner acquisition process, focusing on relationships that hold the most promise for sustained implementation and impact.

Our Response. Over the previous six months, with the guidance and support of our board, our team has grappled with big questions and brainstormed opportunities that leverage our strengths while addressing our challenges. This journey has led us to develop “strategic pathways” that we believe present genuine opportunities for taking our growth to the next level. Here are two such pathways that align closely with the relationships we are already developing.

Partnerships to Amplify Change through Entrepreneurship (PACE)

  • Leverage our expertise in direct implementation through a multi-year partnership with a large NGO in an adjacent field, accessing a large number of people while pursuing further proof of the multiplier effect created by boosting women’s income.
  • Addresses barriers to scaled implementation with large partners not traditionally focused on livelihoods programming.

How is this different than what we have done to date? We will be putting “skin in the game” with our partners and fielding a team of local coaches to directly train women in the communities they serve over a long period of time.

Alliance for Local Impact (ALI)

  • Deepen support for cohorts of smaller NGOs, building their capacity to provide livelihoods programming at a larger scale and overcoming barriers to implementation.
  • A partnership model that expressly supports localization, directing funding and support to grassroots organizations.

How is this different than what we have done to date? We will be increasing our investment in each partner by directing funding to them (as much as 75-80% of the total project budget) and doubling down on our initiatives to support their organizational growth and development.

Extensive research, market analysis, and discussions are necessary before any new pathway is adopted. Over the next three months, we will gain operational clarity to make the most informed decision on the path(s) forward.

Our Optimism: Our enthusiasm stems not only from the energy that surrounds the exploration of new strategic pathways. We are also delighted to expand our partnership with BRAC. The success of our previous collaboration, estimated to impact over 80,000 people over the next four years, has enabled us to secure funding to deepen this relationship and expand our work to reach tens of thousands more people with BRAC in the years to come. This collaboration, paired with the adoption of the strategic pathway(s), sets SBS on a trajectory of remarkable growth. The future is bright!

My Gratitude: As you may well imagine, this exploration and analysis is big work. The SBS team, its supporters, and the Board have shown tremendous flexibility, patience, and creativity. Thank you for your belief in our work.

Deepti Mathew

Deepti Mathew
Chief Executive Officer
Street Business School   

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