#SGBClimateChampions is a global ANDE campaign that aims to share the stories and experiences of our members across ANDE’s network. These will highlight successful climate business models, showcase the importance of integrating climate across the ecosystem, and to share knowledge and know-how on how SGBs and ESOs can incorporate climate lenses into their work.
In this blog post, we are proud to introduce Global Business Inroads (GBI) which facilitate innovation and technology access into and out of India that can be leveraged by governments, private sectors companies, corporates, SMEs, start-ups, investors and financial institutions.
In order to find out more about their work, we spoke to Harsha Lingam, Chief Operating Officer, Global Business Inroads:
What are your key goals and mission?
GBI’s goal is to address the funding challenge and help SGBS access international markets. In addition, we are passionate about helping SGBs understand which international markets have good potential for their specific solution and how to develop these markets is an essential and unfulfilled business and investment arena. GBI has been funded by governments, NGOs, corporates, and investors to support SGBs in international market access and deployment. Secondly, GBI has successfully supported numerous Indian and international entrepreneurs and SGBs that have acquired such funds and provided hands-on support to help deploy innovative products and solutions. Through these funds, entrepreneurs and SGBs can collaborate with ESOs like GBI to support them with market research, competitor/SWOT analysis, viability assessment studies, opportunities to demo or pilot, mentorship on technology or business model localizations, connections to partners, customers, investors, liaison with various other key stakeholders and helping them develop an ecosystem to deploy solutions sustainably.
GBI has also developed and set up platforms like The Global Technology Interface (GTI®), an online platform for entrepreneurs and SGBs to showcase innovative technologies and facilitate collaborations in technology, science, research, and business on a global platform in a sustained manner. Online platforms like the GTI also allow SGBs to display, discover, develop, and deploy technologies in new markets while saving them time and resources. When supported by hands-on physical services, this enhances the scale and pace at which SGBs access new markets.
Why do Entrepreneurship Support Organizations (ESOs) and Small and Growing Businesses (SGBs) play an important role in combating climate change?
Entrepreneur Support Organizations (ESOs) such as GBI play a vital role in the fight against climate change by supporting entrepreneurs and small growing businesses (SGBs) and offering them services aimed at developing sustainable solutions that together lead to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs), especially climate protection and environmental challenges. Since its inception, GBI has developed and scaled various climate technologies and business models.
What has been your biggest challenge and what did you learn from this experience?
One of the biggest challenges faced by entrepreneurs and SGBs is access to funding to scale technology deployment in new markets. While they can raise funding in their local market, when they want to internationalize, their investors usually compel them to focus on the local market only. Product and service companies in the sustainability sector often fail as they cannot raise enough funding during the scale-up stage, usually having access to funds for developing a proof of concept or small-scale demos, but not when scaling up and deploying their solutions in new markets.
What was most successful in overcoming that challenge that might be useful for others going through similar challenges?
SGBs are critical in driving innovation and economic growth, particularly in developing economies. However, many SGBs need help entering new markets and scaling their businesses. To address this, hands-on support and local market navigation are essential for SGBs to succeed.
GBI, a global business incubator, recognizes this need and has developed a time-tested Technology Management Interface (TMI) process to help SGBs understand, learn, adapt, and enter new markets. Through this process, SGBs can better understand the importance of process when entering and sustaining themselves in a new market.
In addition, SGBs can leverage platforms like The Global Technology Interface® to showcase their innovative technologies to a broader audience and potentially identify technology/business collaborations, fund opportunities, and open innovation calls. It is also crucial for SGBs to have contacts with the right ESOs with relevant experience in technology access and deployment in specific markets.
What resources would you recommend for others interested in climate work?
Supporting SGBs in Emerging Markets
GBI has experience supporting SGBs to access markets in India, Sri Lanka, the USA, Europe, and the UK. ANDE members can identify and shortlist 20-25 SGBs annually with innovative products and solutions addressing climate change and high market potential in emerging economies like India. Through this process, ESOs like GBI can provide 1-hour free mentorship workshops to these SGBs and shortlist up to 10 SGBs to provide them with hands-on support to deploy their solutions in India or other relevant markets based on the technology.
In conclusion, the success of SGBs is critical for driving innovation and economic growth in emerging markets. Hands-on support and local market navigation are essential for SGBs to succeed in new markets. Through GBI’s TMI process, entrepreneurs and SGBs can better understand the importance of process and leverage platforms like GTI® to showcase their innovative technologies. Additionally, ANDE members can provide SGBs access to ESOs like GBI for mentorship and hands-on support to help them deploy their solutions in new markets.
We would like to thank GBI for participating in our #SGBClimateChampions Campaign. Stay tuned for more opportunities to meet our climate SGBs and ESOs in this series in the next few weeks.