What happens at Bootcamp…

… doesn’t stay at Bootcamp!
But what actually happens at Bootcamp you may ask?

First, what is Bootcamp?
Bootcamp 1 is the first step of the SPRING programme. It’s an important introduction to how we work, and the first chance to begin developing a model for the business at scale.
We focus on developing an understanding of our participants consumers and create solutions that address their needs, and how the participants will impact them. We call that solution ‘Business Prototype’. It can be a product or a service, but most importantly, it’s an extension of the core business of our participants, not an additional initiative. We co-design it with a business model for getting it to market.

The plan:
All participants convene in Kenya for immersive advising and customised coaching to identify challenges, articulate opportunities, craft solutions, and create a plan to test elements of their Business Prototype.

The reality:
The 19 participants arrive, excited to get started, wondering what will be discussed during these 2 weeks, and also a bit worried about how they will combine very packed days with keeping in touch with their business. After a couple of days, everyone settles in and participants start realising that their business hasn’t crumbled while they were away. They can keep their mind fully focused on coming up with a vision for the next 9 months.

Step 1: Initiation to Human Centred Design
Human Centred Design (HCD) is a process of gaining a deep understanding of people in order to develop new solutions. This is core at SPRING, and at this first Bootcamp. To initiate the participants to HCD, we make them go through the 5 steps of the full process in one day, but reflecting on another business than their own. They start with a research field trip to an actual business – this time, we take them to the biggest mobile network providers shop in Nairobi. Half-way between a disco and a train station waiting room. Participants wander around, observing and interviewing real life users.

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Participants interviewing ‘real like’ mobile network customers

They then come back to our venue to synthetise the insights of the morning, and start identifying patterns, challenges users are going through. Teams brainstorm around solutions to improve the services delivered in the shop, and start building a prototype of the one solution they decided to go ahead with. The fun and laughter entailed in this day finishes to break the ice between participants.

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“We are serious at what we do, but we don’t take ourselves seriously”

Step 2: See the world through her eyes
By 2019, our goal is to reach 200,000 adolescent girls with products and services that help them learn, earn, save, and stay safe. That’s why we bring our technical expert Rebecca Calder to open participants’ eyes to the reality of adolescent girls in their country.  They put on their girl glasses and learn about the hopes and dreams of adolescent girls, but also the contraints they deal with in their daily life, and their multiple needs as direct or indirect consumers. Our participants begin to articulate how their business could have a positive impact on girls.

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“SPRING made it easy for me to weave in Girl Impact in my day-to-day business”

Step 3: Deconstruct and rebuild your business

By then, the participants can’t wait to get started to work on their own business prototype. Luckily enough, that’s what we have planned for them. The rest of the week is jam-packed with HCD modules for them to get a first draft of their prototype: understand your consumers, define your value proposition, tell your story… participants look at every single aspect of their business under the HCD-SPRING lens.

Beyond modules, bootcamp is offering bespoke follow-up sessions with the workshop facilitators to discuss the participants’ work, refine their ideas, and identify next steps. As their Business Prototype begins to take shape, they have a series of reviews to present progress and receive feedback. SPRING also brings in partners from its extended network to share their expertise and incorporate additional perspectives.

Because we want to track and evaluate SPRING’s impact on girls, the participating businesses, and the wider market, we have a strong Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) system in place. The participants are initiated to the basis of measuring their impact, and design their theory of change. This captures the problem they are trying to tackle, and the solution they are bringing to solve it. We walk them through how we will be measuring impact with them as part of our own targets. If we want to reach 200,000 girls, we need to count them, and we need to know how our businesses are impacting them!

And finally, we work with the businesses on a thorough human centred research plan to test the viability and potential of their business prototype between now and Bootcamp 2 in 3 months. We want them to succeed and as such we give them all the resources to.

As you can tell, Bootcamp is packed with all the ingredients to be a life-changing experience, and we’re not the ones saying it!

” I don’t think there is one business that can afford not applying to SPRING”
Kevin O., CTO, MO-DE

“SPRING helps entrepreneurs uncover businesses insights that were hiding in plain sight by asking us to challenge our assumptions and go straight to the source (our end-users) for information.”
— Ayla S., CEO, Resonate

“It was quite an experience, a brain shaker, mind opener and very insightful and resourceful opportunity that happens rarely in one’s lifetime.”
— Robert M., CEO, ACTT

So what happens at Bootcamp shouldn’t stay at Bootcamp!

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Final presentation exercise in front of their peers and the SPRING team