Steve Andrews Finding Impact

FIP 46: Tackling Unit Economics with Steve Andrews

This week’s Finding Impact Podcast (FIP) features, Steve Andrews, Founder and CEO of NewLight Africa. After spending years in the solar industry, Steve found himself asking what else did his customers need? Since 2010 Steve has been hard at work bringing life-enhancing products to rural people across Africa. Frustrated by the challenges of scaling up through the existing (non-profit) model, Steve is pursuing a for-profit model with a strong focus on marketing and solid distribution network, in order to rapidly scale-up impact. With around 600 million people living without electricity in sub Saharan Africa alone, and the off-grid population outgrowing grid expansion, there is an enormous opportunity to create a sustainable business whilst creating incredible social and environmental benefits.

On this episode, Steve will show us the benefit of taking time to understand the unit economics surrounding your business. We’ll also learn more about:

  • The importance of listening to your customers and selling what they need in a way that works from them
  • Can community based models be scaled? Is there a limit to their growth?
  • What are the benefits to starting small with a focus on unit economics?
  • Does each decision you make impact the potential profitability for your company?
  • When is it okay to turn down opportunities that you feel may not be right for your business?
  • If you can build it and make it profitable in one county, you can do it in two and if you can do it in two….
  • How can a cookie cutter core model work for your business?
  • How to develop a financial model for scaling your social enterprise.
  • How do you choose your unit economics? (county, state, city, country?) what will be right for your business?
  • When does a change of direction become a distraction and how to keep simplicity at the forefront of your plan.
  • Are your KPIs ‘vanity measures’ or are they helping your business to grow?
  • When is your model tested and ready for the “replicate” button?
  • The importance of a realistic and generous margin for error

Links to Resources:


Connect to Steve:

What was your favourite lesson from this episode? Let me know on Twitter by clicking here!


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