From the introduction:
Preparing for the unknowable
The global spread of Covid-19 has had an unprecedented impact on all markets and communities. It has made being an entrepreneur more challenging than ever.
Although it seems like a crisis unlike any other, the pandemic has many lessons to offer entrepreneurs working with underserved communities in low-income markets. Outside of the context of Covid-19, these entrepreneurs are regularly exposed to exogenous shocks that destabilize their work, from currency fluctuations and unstable supply chains, to scarcity of resources and weather-related risks.
Strengthening leadership capacity to manage and adapt to multiple types of crises is a long-term project for the MIT D-Lab Scale-ups program. As a first step, we embarked on a mission to collect and share many of the useful tactics and strategies that entrepreneurs can employ to manage uncertainty or radical change.
A Manual to Land - a draft in progress
Not all entrepreneurship has to be a high-pressure guessing game. Although galvanized by the pandemic, a “Manual to Land” is more than a Covid-19 guide. Building on research, as well as conversations with entrepreneurs and practitioners, it was developed with the broader lens of helping entrepreneurs better navigate crisis leadership. Please note that this is a first draft. We will continue to revise it over the coming months.
The guide is most relevant for entrepreneurs that are:
- Early-stage: Running small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that have some market traction and are preparing for an expansion phase.
- Inclusive: Developing commercially and socially viable business models and activities which include people in the Base of the Pyramid (BoP) as consumers, producers and entrepreneurs.
- Working in low-income markets: Serving communities in emerging markets where people live on less than US $8 per day.