BIG: Impact Assessment

In terms of revenue- and cost streams, an assessment of the economic impact of our
business needs to be made. Besides this, as a social entrepreneur it is very important
to make a detailed assessment on the social impact. This means the impact on the
environment, the planet, and the people, the social impact.

The Environmental impact, or the Costs and Revenues concerning the planet, can be measured by reviewing the Ecological footprint, by conducting a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) and by measuring the CO2 emission. This impact can be described both qualitatively and quantitatively, namely with the EP&L (environmental profit and loss) account. EP&L was introduced by PUMA and is a way to monetarize our environmental impact (Balch, 2011). At this stage, it is not in our capacities to assess our environmental impact, but in the future it is important to do this. For the social impact, we need to determine whether the value proposition of our business will positively influence the people or organizations that we work with. What is the change that we are looking for? What are our values, vision, mission, aims and objectives (Meldrum, 2009)? Often, a product or service is brought to the market without properly thinking about the impact. Who really benefits from our foundation? And is it a counterproductive measure for other people? Is there really demand for greenhouses or is it a typical example of Western people imposing their own technologies and standards on developing countries? And how are we able to measure the change that we aim for?

What is the change that we want to bring to people`s lives?

The BIG foundation creates impact on the society of the Siaya County. The way the people think and attitude towards greenhouse farming has to be changed. To do this, the BIG Foundation delivers information to the people in the Siaya County, by providing examples of well-managed greenhouses and their economic benefits. With help of the BIG foundation greenhouse farming becomes more accessible. In this way the farmer is able to start his/her own business in greenhouse farming, in which he/she can also gain entrepreneurial skills. These are the main changes the BIG Foundation brings to the community of Siaya County.

How will this change be measured?

It is always easy to create ideas about change, but it is harder to assess if the change is really there and if the change is in fact a positive change. To make this assessment of change, the following measurements will be conducted.

• Evaluation forms are made to try to make a well-founded evaluation of the course on greenhouse farming. Both the teachers and the students need to fill in their expectations of the course beforehand, and an evaluation afterwards.

• The evaluation of the effectiveness of the greenhouse is rather difficult. There are many factors to take into account. First of all, the rise in purchasing power can be mapped. In order to compare this to the situation without a greenhouse, the cost- and revenue streams of the farmer before he started greenhouse farming are needed. Next, we have to oblige the farmers to do strict bookkeeping in order to keep track of the change. There are also other changes that a greenhouse can bring, such as changed working schedules, different labour costs, difference in status etc. These are very subjective changes, making them hard to assess. Still, evaluation forms will be handed out to have an insight of the farmer’s opinion.

• Our impact can also be described by evaluating the Millennium Goals and the Sustainable Development Goals, and by reviewing the Social Return on Investment (SROI). The results are explained below.

It is important to note that it is extremely difficult to measure the actual impact of our foundation, especially since the people who attend the course and who get approval for the lease of a greenhouse are generally more entrepreneurial minded, have more knowledge and capacities and have possibly also more money. That is why there is not a good comparison group. This means we have to be extra careful when developing program evaluations, (Duflo & Kremer, 2003).


MIllenium Goals
• To eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
• To achieve universal primary education
• To promote gender equality
• To reduce child mortality
• To improve maternal health
• To combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
• To ensure environmental sustainability
• To develop a global partnership for development

Sustainable Development Goals
1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable
3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning
opportunities for all
5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive
employment and decent work for all
9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization
and foster innovation
10. Reduce inequality within and among countries
11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable
15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably
manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and
halt biodiversity loss
16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide
access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions
at all levels
17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for
sustainable development


Looking at the Millennium goals, the BIG foundation mainly aims at the first goal, namely to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. According to Sach’s vision, the first step to reduce poverty is to increase the productivity. We also want to ensure environmental sustainability by making efficient use of resources. The Sustainable Development goals 1, 2, 6, and 12 are most important within the project of the BIG foundation. Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere is, as stated above in the explanation of the Millennium goals, is a long-term goal of the project. Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture, is the most relevant goal for the project. While making greenhouse farming accessible for farmers, food security is achieved and a sustainable agricultural business can be set up. Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. This goal is being accomplished by implementing a rainwater harvesting system in the greenhouses. In this way the farmers are assured of a sustainable management of water within their greenhouse.

Social Return On Investment

Because the BIG foundation is a NGO, there is only case of Social return on investment, as we don’t make profit in terms of money. Our investments are mainly paid out in terms of poverty alleviation, increased productivity and increase in entrepreneurial skills.