IPODERAC: Finding the Path Towards Sustainability
(10 pages of text)
Since 1966, the Rehabilitation Institute of Puebla Civil Association (IPODERAC) had dedicated itself to providing a home and education for children who had been abandoned in the streets of Mexico. Using an educational model based on the concept of personal development through honourable work, IPODERAC had successfully combined its desire to be financially self-sufficient with its goal of teaching educational values, responsibility, and discipline to the children in its care, thus enabling them to develop a sense of belonging and some useful life skills.
This case explores the inception and long evolution of IPODERAC’s educational model, as well as the organization’s constant search for production projects that would enable it to generate income. After meeting this goal, IPODERAC also faced the ongoing challenge of maintaining its business units without deviating from its institutional mission. By April 2009, IPODERAC had all but obtained self-sufficiency; however, given the national financial crisis and the emergence of the swine flu epidemic, IPODERAC’s main source of income (the sale of gourmet cheeses) had suddenly diminished. This crisis affected the stability of the institution, and new proposals for diversification were needed to strengthen IPODERAC’s financial sustainability and avoid similar pitfalls in the future.
This case presents the opportunity to:
- Identify common mistakes made by entrepreneurs when starting their business.
- Analyze a business portfolio with diverse units using the BCG matrix (i.e., product lifecycles based on four categories: dogs, cash cows, stars, and question marks).
- Explore the concept of mission drift.
Use SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis to determine IPODERAC’s future.
Some of the concepts that will be approached in the case are:
- Business criteria for the creation of a business.
- Self-sustainability in a non-governmental organization (NGO).
- Socially inclusive business.
- Production projects in an NGO and their limitations.
- Differences between a company and a self-sustaining NGO.
- Business portfolio management.
Social Advocacy Organizations
Mexico, Small, 2009
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