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For Organizations and Social Entrepreneurs

Leadership and Staffing

It is important to hire an operationally and mission-aligned General Manager and support the GM with existing staff.

Absent high cash balances or a wealthy benefactor, most organizations will have insufficient reserve capital and will therefore use existing staff from the parent organization and subcontractors to start the new business. This is actually beneficial to the PPESCO start-up.

This approach means that PPESCO management can select from the parent organization the exact type of talent that is needed, when it is needed. This avoids the need for the start-up to carry excess staff and infrastructure capacity before the new business stabilizes. Experienced leadership will be needed, of course, to attract capital to fund a PPESCO’s projected initial losses, just as experienced management needs to be brought in to drive the business.

Experience and qualities needed for PPESCO leadership

An ideal experience base for PPESCO leadership would involve a background in building science and new-business start-up. This person or team will also need experience in financing / deal flow, ESCO work experience or deep knowledge of ESCO business practice, affinity for the PPESCO’s mission, and an ability to accommodate a likely modest compensation structure. If no ideal candidate can be found, then the PPESCO should consider prioritizing the following attributes:

  • PPESCO mission-aligned
  • Experience in starting new businesses
  • Ability to structure deals
  • Self-directed
  • Orientation to selling / marketing (good presentation skills)
  • Good management and people skills
  • Evidence of interest in long-term relationships, project management, start-up experience, and affinity for the culture and mission of the parent.

Beyond the hiring of the General Manager, PPESCOs can expect to add the following expertise:

  • Techincal services (engineering, energy consulting, advanced technical analysis)
  • Administrative support--both general administration and finance related
  • Capital, finance
  • Sales /service support
  • Operations support