Board Leadership for Impact Program

Board Leadership for Impact Program

Board effectiveness executive education for social enterprise leaders

BLI is an executive education program for social enterprise leaders that delivers board effectiveness as a strategic imperative for achieving growth and impact.

The social enterprise sector strives to serve underserved communities and create societal change, all while delivering quality products and services, generating revenue and investment, achieving scale, and much more. Amid these demands, corporate governance can sink to the bottom of organizational priorities, but it is crucial for the success of the business.

The Board Leadership for Impact Program (BLI) is dedicated to empowering corporate leaders in the social enterprise sector to achieve business growth and social impact. By focusing exclusively on executive leadership and reframing board effectiveness as a strategic imperative, BLI strengthens leadership and management to ensure these companies sustain business growth and drive social impact.





Tackling challenges like sustainable growth or digitalization, particularly as a mission-driven organization, takes strategic leadership. We are cultivating a community of leaders who are as committed to impact as they are to growth—with the know-how and the network to achieve both.
Deborah Drake, Vice President, Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion

BLI In Action

What you can expect from participating in BLI

Syllabus and Structure

Governance. Digitalization. Inclusive Finance.

BLI is designed for social enterprise leaders to learn and exchange ideas about issues critical to social enterprise growth and impact. BLI is offered as a two-day interactive workshop where participants gather with faculty and facilitators for role play, simulations, discussions, and more. Prior to the workshop, participants convene on our virtual portal to access resources and videos, participate in discussions, and connect with like-minded leaders confronting similar challenges. Following the workshop, participants stay connected through the portal, joining hundreds of social enterprise leaders in our global network. Workshops are offered in East Africa and Asia throughout the year.

Our syllabus spans inclusive finance to digitalization, but is grounded in board effectiveness—a foundational issue applicable to all companies, no matter its industry or maturity. Participants will walk away with new perspectives, practical tools and useful lessons they can immediately put into action.

Engineered to make strategic leadership come alive and resonate in meaningful ways, BLI re-energizes CEOs, executives and board members to develop and sustain behavioral and institutional change.





Topics covered in this area include:

  • Board Dynamics
  • Challenging Environments
  • Risk Management in a Rapidly Changing World
  • Social Value Creation
  • Sustainable Growth





Topics covered in this area include:

  • Change Management
  • Data Privacy and Security
  • Digital Transformation
  • Strategic Partnerships
  • Strategy





Topics covered in this area include:

  • Client-Centricity
  • Policy and Regulation
  • Tech vs Touch





When you’re in the execution phase, the problems you’re trying to solve are quite different from the problems boards solve. BLI is a great tool to actually lift your mind up to the roles and responsibilities of the board rather than of the executive team.
Lesley-Ann Vaughan, Director, MiLA Consulting & BLI Faculty Member


BLI is restricted to C-suite executives and board members of companies in the social enterprise sector working with underserved clients. Ideally, the CEO and board chair would attend the same in-person workshop together to catalyze change upon returning to the organization.

To participate in BLI, you and your company must meet the following requirements:

Participant Profile

Serve as a C-suite executive or board member, e.g., CEO/President, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Strategy Officer, Board Chair, etc.

Company Profile
Companies and institutions of any stage—from early stage to mature—that offer financial services to underserved customers and operate in emerging markets around the world are welcome to participate in BLI.

  • Work in the social enterprise sector in financial inclusion, agriculture, education, energy, housing or related field
  • Provide financial products or services (either standalone or alongside other products or services)
  • Operate in emerging markets from any part of the world
  • Demonstrated commitment to serving low-income, vulnerable or otherwise underserved clients





I definitely recommend BLI to any small/medium-sized organization that is looking to grow and has a similar composition to ours, where the founders or family make up the board and you need to be accountable to other people.
Thomas Kirengo, CEO, Imara Mediplus Hospital

Understanding the Value of Board Effectiveness

BLI participants talk to us about what governance and board effectiveness means to them.

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BLI in Asia

We are planning a BLI Asia 2020 Workshop in the fall of 2020. If you're interested in participating in this workshop, sign up for email notifications.

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BLI participants, faculty and staff at the Launch Workshop in Nairobi, October 2019.

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