Windmill Microlending: Converting Potential to Prosperity
(8 pages of text)
Windmill Microlending, was established in 2004 by a group of community activists who saw the need to help Canadian newcomers restart their careers. The organization offered microloans to help pay the costs of reaccreditation and training. The organization’s first chief executive officer was hired in February 2017, and by September 2017, she had formulated a new vision for the organization that would address three goals: growing the number of clients and the number of loans, increasing clients’ success and their job placements, and maintaining the loan repayment rate. She also needed to address whether Windmill Microlending should expand into other cities and provinces and how to diversify the organization’s funding sources and revenue streams to generate more operating revenue and loan capital to support the required growth. She needed to present her vision and strategy at the next board meeting and ensure the board was onside.
This case is suitable for undergraduate- and graduate-level courses on social entrepreneurship, strategy, non-profit and general management, or social finance. It is well suited to discussions related to the triple bottom line, the economic inclusion of newcomers, financing growth in the non-profit sector, and analyzing the external environment. After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to
- apply strategy concepts and analytical tools, including PEST, SWOT, competitive advantage, and Porter's Five Forces;
- analyze an organization’s opportunities for growth, the development of recommendation, and the prioritization of next steps;
- create a theory of change that aligns with the recommended growth option;
- apply the Adaptive Cycle to a non-profit organization; and
- understand the organizational structure continuum, and the fact that registered charities and non-profit organizations operate in much the same way as for-profit organizations.
Social Advocacy Organizations
Canada, Small, 2017
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