Acting for Spring Impact, we were pleased to be invited to facilitate two training workshops at the Westpac ChangeMakers Summit in Sydney in November 2018. Following our successful experience of running workshops in Bolivia based around five key questions for effective development practice, we took a similar approach here, but focussed on replication and scaling of social enterprises.The five key questions, drawn from our experience of working with organisations seeking to scale, were: 

  1. How do we choose a suitable scaling strategy?
  2. What are the options for a viable model for scaling?
  3. How do we know when we are ready to scale?
  4. So, what steps do we need to take towards scaling our work?
  5. How do we maintain a successful scaling strategy over time?

Over thirty representatives of social enterprises in Australia participated in the two workshops. They came from a wide range of businesses including employment for disadvantaged people, environment programs and support for people with disabilities. Using Spring Impact tools and methods, along with insights we have gained from projects in India, Colombia, Lebanon and Kenya, we presented a set of concepts, case studies and exercises within the three hours that was provided for each workshop.

According to feedback from participants, the most valuable parts of the workshops included: 

  • End game, which was an exercise to explore the ultimate and enduring change that organisations are seeking to achieve through scaling. An example for initiatives in health or education might be integration of their work into government policy and practice.
  • Capacity to scale, an exercise that encouraged participants to think through the existing skills and competencies in their organisation compared to those they might require to support a growing network of partners implementing the work in new locations. Examples include the capacity to manage a system of quality assurance across the network. 

The Replication Readiness Test, which enables people to score their organisation using an online test found here: In the workshop, we used the results to prompt a discussion on the work required for organisations to be ready to replicate and scale.

We also spent time during the workshops on scaling strategy, defining the core elements that will be replicated in new locations, the replication spectrum and replication models and sustaining scale over time.