AJ Tibando: Scaling Social Innovation

portrait of AJ Tibando
AJ Tibando Explore the art of scaling social innovation with AJ Tibando, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Palette Skills. In this episode, AJ navigates the journey of transforming big ideas into impactful realities. She delves into Palette's approach to tackling societal issues, employing innovative funding models and a strategic non-profit mindset. AJ discusses the importance of thorough research and deep customer understanding in developing sustainable and socially conscious business models. Ideal for social entrepreneurs, policymakers, and change-makers, this episode offers a practical look into creating lasting change in the tech and education sectors. It’s a must-listen for those eager to make a difference in the world of social entrepreneurship, providing actionable insights and valuable perspectives.

5 Tips for Scaling Social Innovation 

  1. Start with the Problem, Not the Solution:
    • Strategy: Dive deep into your problem before you jump to solutions.
    • Action: Connect with your target audience. Run surveys on Insta stories, start Reddit threads, or host a virtual meetup. Find out what keeps them up at night. 
  1. Impact > Profit:
    • Strategy: It’s not always about the money. AJ focused on making a difference first.
    • Action: Set clear goals that measure the impact you’re making. Think about the change you’re driving, not just the dollars.
  1. Flexibility is Key 
    • Strategy: The only constant is change. Stay flexible and ready to pivot your strategies as needed. 
    • Action: Keep a ‘Plan B’ ready. Regularly tweak your strategy to stay ahead of trends and bounce back from setbacks.
  1. Get Creative with Cash Flow:
    • Strategy: Don’t limit yourself by only knocking on traditional doors for funding.
    • Action: Scout for unconventional funding sources. Ever thought about online crowdfunding, collabs with local businesses, or pitching to a research institute? 
  1. Ride Your Unique Journey:
    • Strategy: Your diverse experiences are gold. AJ rocked her shift from politics to entrepreneurship, showing us it’s all about using your story.
    • Action: Map out your unique skills and experiences. How can they fuel your world-changing ideas? Think and act out of the box.

People Mentioned:

  • Arvind Gupta: Co-founder of Palette Skills, instrumental in the early days of the organization.
  • Brookfield Institute: Played a crucial role as an angel investor by providing initial funding and support.