FMS Program Review


FMS is a global fellowship program that selects and trains young professionals who aspire to a career in social venture and impact investing. The program engages students and young professionals in a rigorous, practitioner-led training for over 100 hours and then places these “Scouts” with partner organizations working in this space in emerging markets. Practitioners leading the trainings are social entrepreneurs and impact investors who cover a vast range of material such as organizational management, due diligence and hard finance skills, business model design, and basic start-up theory.

Following the training sessions, Scouts are deployed throughout the world (though not all students who complete the training go through placements): past locations include India, Kenya, Brazil, Nicaragua, Turkey, the Netherlands, Colombia, Nigeria, Peru, Vietnam, and China, among others. The Scouts’ roles vary widely, depending on the needs of the partnering organization. Some Scouts help develop and implement ‘accelerator programs’ for social entrepreneurs. Others work exclusively to scout the potential for future accelerator programs or investment by building a pipeline of investable enterprises in new locations. Still others have worked with startups that have operational and analytical needs, while there are some who have assisted investors with market research and due diligence.

 The program enables Scouts to acquire a wealth of knowledge over the course of the program. Scouts learn skills and knowledge imparted in the training sessions, with a specific focus on finance and organizational management. The training placement processes provide the Scouts the context on the location they are operating in and enable them to discover the proper placement. Post-placement, Scouts develop a potential career path through contacts and experiences within the program.

 The partner organizations to the FMS program become attracted to Scouts because of the suitability of preparation given to the Scouts for their placement. Through the rigorous coursework, partner organizations understand the value the Scout will add to capacity building and performance of the organization that often is not available through local talent pipelines.

 The FMS program begins with a condensed two-week, practitioner-led training program, resulting in a two to six month placement in a selected region around the world. FMS Scouts consist of young professionals who desire to enter the social enterprise and impact investing space through their placement in emerging markets. Like many other fellowship programs, often times, these Scouts take on high levels of responsibility within the startup enterprises they join, from directorship positions to portfolio management for impact investors.”

- from ‘Frontier Market Scouts Evaluation of Outcomes and Potential for Expansion’, a 2013 report by Ross Baird, head of Village Capital, of which Sanghata is a Global Founding Partner.