The generic edition of Prodegee is ideal for social enterprises, which are hybrid organisations that seek to apply market-based solutions to create social value. It is ideal because it allows them apply for funding, by providing projected financial statements that prove the financial soundness of the idea. It also allows them to properly account for such contributions, whether it be through grants, loans or capital.
In a way, it is like saying to a potential donor, lender or investor: “provide us with the funds, so that we can finance these assets, which we will use to provide these services or products, and to prove you the financial viability of the idea, we are showing you the estimated financial statements for the following 16 years.“
Indeed, Prodegee was born when I was responsible for evaluating the financial soundness of the applications for funding made under the third call for proposals of the Energy and Environment Partnership with the Andean Region. The program was being funded by the Government of Finland. Its main objective was to increase the quality of life of population living in rural areas and to assist in their development by providing an easier access to sustainable energy.
The strategy was poverty alleviation through market-driven initiatives. Organisations applying for funds had to submit a business plan that proved the long term financial viability of their suggested project. They were required to provide a service or product related to renewable energy or energy efficiency, at a price, and make it viable, with the funding contributed by the donor to be used only as a start-off.
The program was equally open to both: the profit and non-profit sectors. Most of the applications came from NGOs. The main difficulty NGO applicants encountered was the requirement to apply a business logic to poverty alleviation.
On seeing that they neither had the skills to project financial statements nor a proper tool to easily do so, I decided to program such a tool and make it available for free.
I did so, hoping I could help promote the concept of social enterprises, as I explain in this article that latter on I published on LinkedIn.