When you are a business professor, you are supposed to use a 2x2 matrix to explain your ideas. This past week I was in Dallas at the NCIIA March Madness for the Mind, a conference of collegiate entrepreneurs and engineers. Several asked me for feedback about choosing a business model for their ventures. So here is a matrix that may help entrepreneurs designing a new venture: (i) select a business model, based on the income level of their market and whether the problem is a chronic one or an emergency/crisis; or (ii) select a potential partner if they are working on a solution that goes across quadrant boundaries (particularly vertically). It should be read in conjunction with my Hand-Up and Handout post of March 15 to make much (any?) sense.
This matrix implies that Millennium Villages Project might be better organized as a hybrid social enterprise, in that the challenges it is addressing are chronic in nature. While the combination of challenges (hunger, AIDS, etc.) may contribute to a feeling of "crisis," the underlying problems are primarily chronic ones of agricultural practice and markets, which may be exacerbated by a crisis such as drought. The matrix would suggest that if MVP is in the botton left, but has occasions to deal with crisis isssues, it could move vertically up to the upper left quadrant for a partner.