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CASE at Duke
Scaling Pathways
Published in
3 min readDec 17, 2020


We’ve taken 13 meaty PDF reports and broken them into shorter articles on this site — but you may just want the full PDFs. Look no further.

Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash

Theme Study PDFs

In-depth insights from the field around key operational scaling challenges

Financing for Scaled Impact

The world beyond start-up financing is complex, but we break it down with tips and advice to maximize the impact of your external funding (e.g., flexible capital, impact investing, RBF), and to effectively leverage your internal options (e.g., earned revenue, cost reduction, hybrid forms) to fuel your journey.

Leveraging Government Partnerships for Scaled Impact

Effectively leveraging government partnerships requires a marathon mindset: clearly articulating the goals you want to achieve, preparing for the race ahead, and tapping into helpful tactics to make progress as you move toward your goals.

People Matter: Evolving Talent to Drive Impact at Scale

It isn’t “business as usual” with your organization’s human capital as you scale. We share tips for evolving your organizational structure and roles, assembling and maintaining flexibility with your team, leveraging outside capacity, and maintaining a robust organizational culture.

Using Data to Power Scale

One of the significant challenges for scaling social ventures is learning how to create the right data strategy for their organization. We share tactical insights about setting a foundation grounded in equity, the building blocks for a robust system and process, and additional strategies as you grow, partner, look to systems change, or desire to use advanced methods.

Deep-Dive Case Study PDFs

In-depth stories of three social enterprises on the road to scale

Imazon: Using Data & Partnerships to Save the Amazon

Recognizing that they could not solve deforestation alone, Imazon scaled its impact through government partnerships and open source data — rather than growing its organization.

Evidence Action: Dispensers for Safe Water

After a successful RCT and pilot, Evidence Action’s scaling efforts led to decreasing impact. It took a step back to focus on behavior change, right-sizing data collection, and improving infrastructure.

VisionSpring: Business Iteration in Pursuit of Vision for All

VisionSpring launched — and then shuttered — a retail “hub and spoke” model in Latin America. The scaling experiment led to valuable lessons about knowing when to pivot and preparing to fail.

Case Study Capstone: Pivoting to Impact

Pivoting to Impact is the foundational piece for the series, defining key terms, underscoring key takeaways about scaling, and highlighting five common roadblocks.

Scaling Snapshot PDFs

Mini case studies of ventures’ scaling journeys, including pathways followed and lessons learned

The Health Care Without Harm Story

Achieving sustainable, equitable, and healthy communities through health sector alignment

The Fundación Capital Story

Improving the financial lives of millions of people living in poverty

The Living Goods Story

Scaling to improve the health and wealth of 50 million people by 2025

The One Acre Fund Story

Changing the lives of 4 million smallholder farm families by 2030

The WSUP Story

Scaling to ensure universal water, sanitation, and hygiene coverage for the urban poor

To see the articles broken up into smaller pieces, along with additional content for funders and on scaling through crisis, visit www.scalingpathways.com.



CASE at Duke
Scaling Pathways

The Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) at Duke University leads the authorship for the Scaling Pathways series.