Natalia at the VIVA Group Business Workshop

Natalia at the VIVA Group Business Workshop

Our new COO and expert in Impact Measuring, Natalia Benavides, participated in a week long workshop for Social Enterprises offered by the Schmidheiny Award. She shares her experience with us here.

For a week, I had the joy of participating in the Workshop for Social Entrepreneurs of the VIVA Group INCAE Business School in Costa Rica. This workshop was a perfect opportunity for me to go beyond my main focus of logistics of operations and dive a little deeper into the strategic part of x-runner.

In the workshop we learned to map and dissect our company’s business model, to identify our biggest challenges to become fully sustainable, and to look at the current model from various perspectives.

One of the most valuable lessons I learned was to recognise the importance of incorporating a more economic and quantifiable approach to the work I do every day. This is particularly applicable in impact measuring and defining impact indicators; I learned to think about how to assign economic value to our indicators that we use to measure our impact, such as the money customers and the government save by not using water for flushing the toilet.

Additionally, I was challenged to come up with creative solutions that would allow me to combine one of of my focus areas, which is achieving higher customer satisfaction, with my second focus area of how to reduce transportation costs. In other words, I had to design and create the perfect balance between revenue growth and impact expansion. That means also, how to quicker decrease the need for external funding and how to get the service to run smoothly with millions of people.

After this workshop, I have acquired a new perspective about my work in x-runner. A perspective that is more complete and that will allow me to make more contributions to the strategic planning of the business.Exciting times are ahead for the operations at x-runner and I feel that the workshop has opened my mind for identifying and catching more opportunities!

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