1st June 2020
Explaining the 4Ps - A framework for thinking about social entrepreneurs’ responses to Covid-19
Since the emergence of Covid-19 and lockdown measures to limit its spread, social entrepreneurs have faced many new challenges to their work.
We have been listening to our award winners and alumni, understanding more about how they have been responding to the current crisis, and adapting our support offer to better meet evolving needs.
In this blog, we want to share some of what we have learnt so far, introducing you to our 4Ps framework which summarises and categorises the different avenues we’ve seen social entrepreneurs take in their response to the pandemic.
We hope this insight will help you reflect on your own response to Covid-19 and how you might manage different aspects of your social venture as government restrictions ease over the next few months.
Where did the 4Ps come from and what do they describe?
When we collated examples of social entrepreneurs who had responded effectively to the challenges of Covid-19, we found that there were 4 broad types of response - Proceed, Pivot, Pilot and Pause.
While the specifics varied greatly, for instance on the character of existing businesses and the issues ventures were tackling, all of the responses we saw fell into one of our four categories.
This categorization became known as ‘the 4Ps’.
Given the diversity within the social entrepreneur community, some of these options were more accessible to some than others. Equally, some social ventures pursued several types at once, particularly where they usually offered multiple products or services which lent themselves more readily to different ‘Ps’.
What do the ‘4Ps’ really mean?
Proceed - Perhaps the most intuitive of the four, in this response, a business continued to operate almost ‘as normal’.
Pivot – this response involves changing the way that you deliver an existing product or service to meet the needs of your current beneficiary group.
Pilot - this response involves trialing a new product or service to meet the needs of a new beneficiary group.
Pause – this response involves stopping delivery until an activity is able to resume
How can I use the 4Ps?
The 4Ps framework demonstrates that there is no ‘correct’ way to respond to the challenges that Covid-19 has presented. All of these options are valid, as is using multiple strategies at the same time for different parts of the business.
We hope this 4Ps framework can be used as a tool to reflect on what you have been doing to date.
It may help you consider how you have adapted during lockdown and any changes you might make moving forward.
The framework may also help you talk to others about the steps you’ve taken so far, and explain any adaptations you’ve been making.
In the coming months, we’ll be conducting research to explore the effectiveness of different response strategies, if you are interested in contributing to this please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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