Entrepreneurial Thought Leader Speaker Series

Tools

A Theory of Change = Business Model + Strategy - Kim Smith (NSVF)
Date: 10/19/2003
Length: 2 minutes
Speaker(s): Kim Smith
Sources: Stanford Technology Ventures Program
Description: Smith explains that a theory of change in the social sector is roughly equivalent to a combination of the business model and strategy in the for-profit world. You need to identify a change and have a hypothesis about how to make
it happen, she says. This is more complex in the social sector because, in additional to market forces, you have to deal with regulatory forces, emotional forces, social forces, and political forces, she adds. A set of core beliefs are usually
taken for granted in the business world, but in the social sector they need to be established. She believes the core beliefs are the basis of the theory of change and help you decide what to do--otherwise you could end up trying to change too
much. Though there is always a need elsewhere, a social venture can only take on what falls into its focused mission.

Other Videos in Series

A Theory of Change = Business Model + Strategy - Kim Smith (NSVF)
Kim Smith
10/19/2003
Summary: Smith explains that a theory of change in the social sector is roughly equivalent to a combination of the business model and strategy in the for-profit world. You need to identify a change and have a hypothesis about how to make
it happen, she says. This is more complex in the social sector because, in additional to market forces, you have to deal with regulatory forces, emotional forces, social forces, and political forces, she adds. A set of core beliefs are usually
taken for granted in the business world, but in the social sector they need to be established. She believes the core beliefs are the basis of the theory of change and help you decide what to do--otherwise you could end up trying to change too
much. Though there is always a need elsewhere, a social venture can only take on what falls into its focused mission. Watch More
Achieving Profits Through Customer Focus - Kim Smith (NSVF)
Kim Smith
10/19/2003
Summary: Smith poses the question: How can companies be profitable in the education sector? She discusses how education is more recession-proof than other industries and how newer schools have shifted their program focus to
non-profit. Watch More
Charter Schools - encourage diversity in the approach - Kim Smith (NSVF)
Kim Smith
10/19/2003
Summary: The charter school system allows the alignment of all the stakeholders: the board, the management, the teachers, and the kids, says Smith. They all are choosing to be part of this alternative system and therefore have a stake in
its success. Watch More
Education: Shift From Culture of Compliance to Culture of Performance - Kim Smith (NSVF)
Kim Smith
10/19/2003
Summary: There is a current shift in K-12 education from a culture of compliance, says Smith. Compliance is not a high enough standard and should not be accepted. Unfortunately, the culture shift to a new standard is uncomfortable since
the old system is so engrained. Watch More
Fixing problems in K-12 education - Kim Smith (NSVF)
Kim Smith
10/19/2003
Summary: School finance is inequitable between low- and high-income communities, says Smith. Is it better to try to fix the system or provide alternatives? New Schools funds projects for both options. Most reform efforts to date have
focused on only small improvements inside the system. Though most people think of charter schools as competition, says Smith, New Schools describes them as 'co-opitition,' providing an alternative but also helping to encourage improvement in
public schools. Watch More
Focus - Kim Smith (NSVF)
Kim Smith
10/19/2003
Summary: Smith talks about how focus is crucial for entrepreneurial leadership. It is impossible to do everything so the core beliefs of the venture provide the necessary direction. It is sometimes hard to turn down a project that will
help the people you are trying to serve, but a good leader knows what he is able to take on and what he must leave for someone else, she explains. It is important to recognize that change in education is not as easy as moving a policy lever,
and therefore entrepreneurs are critical for spurring the desired change. Watch More
Forming the Founding Team - Kim Smith (NSVF)
Kim Smith
10/19/2003
Summary: Smith believes that the most successful teams combine someone who has experience within the system, someone who understands technology, and a sales expert. The environment of the group has to be team based, with each member having
a voice in the company. Watch More
Founding of Teach for America: Entrepreneurs Envision What Others Say is Impossible - Kim Smith (NSVF)
Kim Smith
10/19/2003
Summary: Smith talks about how a series of experiences prepare an entrepreneur to found a new venture. Entrepreneurship is about solving a problem in a better way and finding a way to make it happen, despite everyone telling you it cannot
be done, she says. People did not believe Teach for America would work, but Smith and founder Wendy Kopp realized people weren't becoming teachers because they weren't being recruited and the process to get certified was too bureaucratic. They
created a model in Teach for America that solved these problems, and were successful, she adds. Watch More
Funding for arts and sports - Kim Smith (NSVF)
Kim Smith
10/19/2003
Summary: Smith believes that extracurricular activities are essential. Funds are being cut currently because, in trying to achieve funding equity, everyone's funding was reduced instead of simply increasing funding to those who needed it.
Fixing this is a matter of political will, she adds. Watch More
Hybrid Leaders - Kim Smith (NSVF)
Kim Smith
10/19/2003
Summary: Smith talks about how hybrid leaders are crucial problem solvers because they are able to think outside the box. It is very difficult to have no ideas and instigate change if you have spent your entire career in the same sector.
Creativity comes out of this diversity in experience and background. Watch More
Hybrids: Entrepreneurs Must Lead People from Radically Different Sectors - Kim Smith (NSVF)
Kim Smith
10/19/2003
Summary: Kim Smith, co-founder and CEO of NewSchools Venture Fund, is a leader in a hybrid environment between business people and educators, who speak different languages and come from different frameworks. A hybrid in this context
includes the public sector, non-public sector and business sector. It is difficult to manage a group that comes from such diverse backgrounds, says Smith. A lot of technology companies have to deal with the same sort of dynamic between
technologists and business people. Watch More
Leadership, Communication, and Facilitation Skills - Kim Smith (NSVF)
Kim Smith
10/19/2003
Summary: Smith says that John Doerr, renowned venture capitalist at KPCB, attributes his success to his ability to communicate and facilitate, above his technological expertise. Technical knowledge is useless if you cannot motivate people
to do something with it, she adds. Watch More
Measuring Social Return for Investors - Kim Smith (NSVF)
Kim Smith
10/19/2003
Summary: New Schools is non-profit fund with only a social return; any earnings are reinvested into the fund, says Smith. Ventures are chosen for their social impact. Watch More
Measuring success - Kim Smith (NSVF)
Kim Smith
10/19/2003
Summary: Smith explains that New Ventures measures success in four layers. The first layer of success is immediate outcomes for the kids served by current ventures. The second layer is the ventures' impact on the system. The third layer is
the success of New Schools in assisting their ventures. The last layer is the change in the entire system to a performance-based model with greater hybrid thinking. Watch More
New School Portfolio - Kim Smith (NSVF)
Kim Smith
10/19/2003
Summary: In five years, New Schools has given 10,000 kids access to new schools, says Smith. Public charter schools provide an alternative to government-run schools by giving the school much more flexibility while maintaining
accountability. She believes this flexibility encourages innovation and increased performance. Other portfolio items include: 1) Teachscape - an online teacher-training program, which uses a video case method of instruction 2) Successforall -
a non-profit literacy program spun out of John Hopkins 3) Carnegie Learning - a for-profit literacy program competitor. Watch More
New School Venture Fund History and Operations - Kim Smith (NSVF)
Kim Smith
10/19/2003
Summary: New School Ventures is a non-profit public charity with the sole purpose of creating better opportunities for children who are not currently being served by public education, says Smith. They are unique in that they feel it is
important to be able to invest in both for-profit and non-profit entrepreneurs, depending on the situation. Any returns are folded back into the fund and reused. Watch More
Parents as part of the K-12 learning community - Kim Smith (NSVF)
Kim Smith
10/19/2003
Summary: Smith belives that parents sometimes do not know what is best for their children. GreatSchools.net aims to make parents more informed about their education choices. Watch More
Scalability and Sustainability in non-profit sector - Kim Smith (NSVF)
Kim Smith
10/19/2003
Summary: Scale is very difficult in the non-profit sector, says Smith. The franchise model is not successful because there is no authority or ability to take away value if a franchise is not performing. Watch More
Strategic Investment Analysis Via a Hybrid Partner Group - Kim Smith (NSVF)
Kim Smith
10/19/2003
Summary: Smith believes that since their monetary values are not large in comparison to the size of the education industry, investments must be leveraged to get maximum effect. New School's helps to leverage their investments by bringing
together a partner group that includes venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and educators, who each bring different strengths and views to the venture. Watch More
Taking Risks - Kim Smith (NSVF)
Kim Smith
10/19/2003
Summary: John Kennedy said that there is risk and cost to a program of action, but it is far less than the long-range risks and costs that come from comfortable inaction, says Smith. Though it may seem scary to make changes and safe to do
nothing, it is not true. A leader's job is to be passionate, figure out what needs to be done, and then be willing to take the necessary risks to make it happen, she notes. Watch More
The investor community for educational ventures - Kim Smith (NSVF)
Kim Smith
10/19/2003
Summary: Smith explains that fundraising is very hard in the non-profit sector. New Ventures typically co-invests in A rounds with other venture capital firms, typically newer groups that have an openness to thinking about new solutions
and understand the power of entrepreneurs. Generally, deals are in multi-millions with clearly defined milestones over several years. Watch More
VC Values impact on education and non-profit world - Kim Smith (NSVF)
Kim Smith
10/19/2003
Summary: Smith talks about how the VC model allows for larger investments over a longer period of time. Also, the investment tends to be in organizational infrastructure rather than a service. VCs are more focused on growth than
bottom-line success, she says. An entrepreneur must be disciplined and willing to walk away from people who do not share the same values. Watch More
Venture capitalists as incubators and co-creators of new ventures - Kim Smith (NSVF)
Kim Smith
10/19/2003
Summary: Smith talks about how New Ventures aims to create systems that are K-12 to provide a coherent experience to children. Incubation is important. New Schools buys run down buildings and turns them into successful schools. They do
everything from recruitment to management to building, she adds. Watch More
Venture Philanthropy - Kim Smith (NSVF)
Kim Smith
10/19/2003
Summary: Smith explains that venture philanthropy means investing in ventures that lead to greater changes in the overall system to improve education for kids. The entrepreneur is a part of a much larger system and the aim is to leverage
the investments to provide the greatest possible impact. This strategy has led to three key activities at New Schools: the creation of a network to generate more hybrid leaders and inform policy makers, a charter accelerator fund to create
charter schools, and a performance accelerator fund to help schools become performance-oriented. Watch More

comments powered by Disqus

Search e360TV

Stay Connected

Email Newsletter Signup

Want to get connected? Sign up to receive regular news, polls and updates from The Kauffman Foundation.

Kauffman Founders School
A robust online curriculum for entrepreneurs.
Explore Founders School >



Top of Mind Blog providing the latest in entrepreneurial news.
Go to the TOM Blog >


1 Million Cups
A network of U.S. cities facilitating a weekly entrepreneur education program.  Go to 1 Million Cups >


FastTrac
Whether you are starting or growing a company, FastTrac will help you live your dream at each stage.
Go to FastTrac >

Email Newsletters

Want to be up-to-date with the latest news and updates from Entrepreneurship.org? To subscribe, just give us your email address below; you'll choose which e-newsletters you'd like to receive on the next screen.