Emerging Innovation: How we are growing a small business across five continents
Every small business faces the common challenge of finding high quality employees at an affordable cost. At Emerging Innovation, we tackle this problem through outsourcing and up-skilling our team.
Identifying a team of entrepreneurs
Our inspiring stories of entrepreneurs, thinkers and activists necessitate that we source team members who are on the ground, living and working in emerging countries.
In these bustling and rapidly urbanising cities there isn’t a shortage of talent, simply a need for skill and professional experience. We connect with existing talent through digital platforms, getting in touch with like-minded folks or using our existing network of contributors-at- large, freelancers and friends around the world. We upskill our team members through our ‘pay-it- forward’ company culture. Weekly conversations transfer knowledge and experience from senior members to junior members.
Our management style is designed to encourage an ‘entrepreneurial mindset’. Our employees are given business skills and creative freedom to independently identify and solve challenges that a growing business faces, meaning that our team can succeed with limited face-to- face management.
Capitalising on our network and emerging cities’ affordable real estate
Since our team and network of freelancers are based in developing cities like Bogota, New Delhi and Ho Chi Minh City, cost of living and office space offer a great quality of life. Co-working spaces and internet cafes are important to our business model, as they enable our team to stay connected to the local entrepreneurial scene, along with a stable internet connection and bottomless cups of coffee.
As a growing business, we are limited in the number of full-time employees we can hire, but often need injections of top talent to help us grow. At times, we rely on a network of passionate freelancers from around the world. From graphic designers to journalists, they work in the locations we write about, and are excited to participate in the development of their region.
An offsite in Ho Chi Minh City
Last week we were connected by more than an internet cable. Our team met up in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam for capacity building workshops, strategy meetings, and of course, a little fun around town.
Some lessons learned from members of the team
‘Managing a global team is one of the most rewarding things you can do, though it is also one of the hardest – you are not always present. Often times it’s hard to build strong relationships. The key is to consistently communicate and over-communicate in order to build that sense of trust because sometimes things can get lost in translation’. – Marilyne, Founder and Editor
‘I would like to start my own business at some point, so working for a small business allows me to try on the many ‘hats’ entrepreneurs must wear. One day I may lead an online marketing campaign and the next day I’ll have lunch with an important stakeholder. It’s a complete mentoring experience, I almost feel like I’m getting paid to go to business school.’ – Kelsey, Assistant Country Manager, Vietnam
‘I came back to Ho Chi Minh City after five years of studying in Finland because I like the dynamism, environment and atmosphere of the city. I think it is a good time to come back because the SME environment is improving and the economy is getting stronger. It is a compelling time for young people who want to make change happen in emerging markets’. – Nga, Business Development Associate