Announcing Scale x Design Accelerator’s Cohort 2!

It’s been a crazy month here at SxD! Cohort 2 is fully in the swing of things. We have just finished up our first Core Lab – Mindsets & Methods for Innovation (previously Human Centered Design) and are on to our second Core Lab – Designing for Scale.

We will be picking up on the frequency of our posts here on the blog to keep everyone up to date on all of the new teams, events, plus updates on all of your Cohort 1 favorites!

Without further ado, Scale x Design presents Cohort 2:

Fee-based SMS of Weather Forecast and Agricultural Advisory – Vietnam

Making Treasure from Trash – Ghana

Financial Product for Digital Purchase of Agri-input by Poor Farmers – Bangladesh

Farmer Field & Business School – Mali

Community-led Safe Water Supply System for Urban Resilience – Bangladesh

Vijana Juu/Up with Youth – Democratic Republic of the Congo

Circles of Change – Egypt

Security Unit Global Training Initiative – USA/Global

Teaching Resource Laboratories – India

The Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab – West Bank/Gaza

The Cooperative Fund – Georgia

VSLA for Community Resilience – Democratic Republic of the Congo

Additionally, we are ecstatic to welcome Habitat for Humanity International, World Wildlife Fund, and Population Services International (PSI) to SxD! They have dedicated teams to participate side-by-side with our internal CARE teams. Look for a separate post on these partnerships in the coming weeks.


Scale X Design Media Roundup

Over the past couple of months Scale X Design has been featured in a number of news articles and blogs! Find summaries of some below as well as links where you can read the full source material. Happy reading!

Shark Tank Meets Teach a Man to Fish on Inc.

CARE has evolved into one of the world’s largest humanitarian organizations delivering both aid and lasting change in the most vulnerable communities on the planet. CARE is now using an innovative program called Scale X Design, as a catalyst and platform to multiply impact of groups that innovate to help lift people out of poverty. The organization is providing funding to social entrepreneurship programs. 15 teams from around the CARE world pitched to a panel of judges and each poverty-fighting project got a chance to explain why their approaches should be scaled up with the help of CARE’s global resources. They innovators hail from India, Bangladesh, Malawi, Sri Lanka, Ecuador and elsewhere and support female entrepreneurship, job training and fair pay initiatives. From Tanzania, Chomoka aims to take traditional village savings and loans groups and bring them into the digital age with a user-friendly mobile application. From India, CARE’s Inclusive Dairy Value Chains model enables women to become entrepreneurs in all aspects of the dairy business. From Sri Lanka, A Different Cup of Tea addresses social and economic injustices for workers while increasing productivity and reducing costs for tea companies. Read the full article here.

Nonprofit CARE Takes Hint from Startups with New Accelerator on WABE/NPR

The Atlanta-based global humanitarian aid group, CARE gave their staff an opportunity to pitch their ideas in Atlanta and New York as part of its inaugural Scale X Design Accelerator to get $150,000 in funding to implement their ideas. There are many ideas on how to effectively fight poverty and achieve social justice but it often takes years to bring these ideas to scale. CARE’s Village Savings and Loan Associations program is a great example but it took about 25 years to achieve 19 million users. CARE is now one of the first large global humanitarian aid groups to create a customized accelerator program to push through quick ideas, just like startups. For its first Scale X Design Accelerator program, CARE received 73 applications from staff members in 35 different countries, which were narrowed to 15 teams. They participated in an eight-month program and pitched their ideas in Atlanta and New York for more funding. Congratulations to the winners: The Mobile Application to Secure Tenure (MAST) from Tanzania, Krishi Utsho from rural Bangladesh and the CHAT! project from urban Cambodia. Read more here.

Creating an adaptive culture and speeding up the time it takes to adapt on Beam Exchange 

Krishi Utsho (KU) is a CARE social enterprise focused on generating systemic change to improve the availability and accessibility of agricultural inputs and services to small scale farmers in rural Bangladesh. This has been done by supporting the development of a network of microfranchise shops which serve underserved farmers. One of KU’s key goals for the market system is to improve communication between supply companies and small-scale farmers so companies are more responsive to farmers’ needs. In early 2016, the KU Team was selected to participate in CARE’s Scale X Design Accelerator, which aims to reduce the time it takes for an innovation to scale from an idea to widespread impact. From this experience the team learnt about Human Centered Design (HCD). This approach brings to the forefront the needs of the people you are designing for and tests what works and what does not in real world situations. One example of the approach to understanding the needs of the farmers was to ask them what method they preferred for receiving new information and also working with them to develop a way for them to effectively send feedback to the KU Team. Through HCD the KU team was able to better understand the problems that they are trying to solve. This experience provided them with an important perspective on the challenges as well as the needs and interests of the stakeholders. Through the new approach to prototyping they are able to learn and adapt the program much more easily. Two-way communication has proven effective and beneficial for the stakeholders and will continue to be a key component in the strategy moving forward. Read the full blog post here.

Development’s design challenge: Before creating new projects, scale what works on Devex

About 40 percent of women aged 15-49 report emotional, physical or sexual violence from their spouse in Rwanda. This is an alarming number but it is possible to stop this violence. Through a four-year-old effort called “Journeys of Transformation,” couples work together to tackle violence, and develop much healthier relationships. Nearly 8,000 people have gone through the program but much more needs to be done to end violence against women in Rwanda. Initiatives like the Scale X Design Accelerator can do just that. Its purpose is to scale up proven solutions to the barriers holding poor communities back. Scale X Design includes mentorship, labs that build scaling skills and the opportunity for greater investment. There is a proliferation of pilot programs in the development sector. Successfully scaled solutions remain exceptions rather than the norm. Journeys of Transformation involves 20 intense training sessions. Husbands and wives work together to tackle domestic violence, disproportionate workloads and other issues at the core of inequitable gender roles holding women and communities back. The immediate goal is to end violence but husbands that complete the course are more inclined to treat their wives as equals and to enjoy more engaged and positive relationships with their wives and children. The Scale X Design Accelerator has helped the team troubleshoot barriers to scaling through a human-centered design. Through these more deliberate and focused actions this life saving program can reach many more couples in need in Rwanda. Read more here.

Scale X Design Challenge Practice Pitch Event Save the Date

Before the Scale X Design Challenge in New York City, we are hosting the first stage of the SxD competition- Pitch Practice- in Atlanta, where CARE is headquartered. Register now to attend!


With financial resources and the agility to implement their programs on a global scale, these teams will lead the way with shared intelligence, a unified vision and a singular focus to empower millions of people and inspire lasting change. Send your questions to

Thursday, January 19, 2017 at Atlanta Tech Village

  • 6:30 – 7:00 p.m.: Reception
  • 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.: Scale X Design Challenge Practice Pitch
  • 8:00 – 9:00 p.m.: Pitch Wrap Up & Feedback

If you will be in Atlanta on January 19th, join us to help decide who advances to the final competition in New York!

What We’re Reading: Getting to Scale: How to Bring Development Solutions to Millions of Poor People

At 356 pages of fairly dense writing, you’d hardly call it a page turner. But if you’re a global development practitioner, you might have hard time putting it down.

Getting to Scale: How to Bring Development Solutions to Millions of Poor People looks at the hard truths of how few development solutions go to scale and provides the most in-depth analysis and evidence on the topic that we’ve seen so far. Read, enjoy and share your thoughts on scale with us!

Getting to Scale: How Bring Development Solutions to Millions of Poor People. By Laurence Chandy (Editor), Akio Hosono (Editor), Homi Kharas (Editor), Johannes Linn (Editor)