In April 2011, Shujog sent its research team, Magnus Young and Shlesha Thapaliya, to Dhaka, Bangladesh as part of its impact assessment mission. The team was continuously reminded of the importance of leveraging local knowledge to empower people in a broad-based sustainable way – a primary principle underpinning all of Shujog’s impact assessment work. What did local entrepreneurs have to say?

By Magnus Young, Shujog Research Associate
From April 3 to 6 2011 the Shujog research team was in Dhaka, where we had the opportunity to conduct Global Impact Investing Rating System (GIIRS) assessments of subsidiaries of ASA International – our host during the trip. ASAI coordinates the activities of its subsidiaries based on the experience of ASA – Bangladesh’s third largest microfinance organization.

During the trip, we visited rural branches and interviewed individual entrepreneurs who have made use of ASA’s microloans. The social entrepreneurs we met with welcome scrutiny and impact reporting, as it highlights the difference they are making every day. From the entrepreneur perspective, understanding the impact of their efforts enables them to engage the right kind of investors while promoting social leadership and best practices across sectors and national borders.

Through our work we saw the power mission-driven replication of successful social enterprises like ASA can have on individual beneficiaries. We believe Shujog impact assessment work and contextualization of social entrepreneurship across Asia will be a catalyst for sustainable growth in the coming years.