Scalability, Structure, and International Expansion

06-10-2019

In December of 2018, we added a new chapter in The Fedcap Group’s distinguished history. We pushed our boundaries beyond the United States to include a partnership with Kennedy-Scott, a 30-year-old social services agency dedicated to putting people to work. Since then we established Fedcap Employment and Fedcap Scotland—all part of Fedcap UK—created to expand our proven model for assisting the chronically unemployed obtain employment in high-growth sectors with strong career ladders.

We have spent considerable time honing the precise interventions within this model of service, collecting data, evaluating outcomes and refining as indicated.  We have expanded these services in diverse locations across the country.  Scaling our models and replicating them for an international market is an important next step in our long-term vision. 

That said, scaling any model of intervention is challenging, ensuring model fidelity even more so, and doing both “across the pond” demands strategic and detailed planning and execution.  In any international expansion there are cultural barriers, tax code and compliance issues,  and complexities associated with shared infrastructure and communication.   Our advisors were in agreement that it was  crucial to establish a local office and team that understand the market and language , ensuring we were in compliance with local regulations.

First, we found organizations that had similar missions and histories of delivering effective services. These critical relationships allowed us to hit the ground running while at the same time, avoiding pitfalls that can occur without “boots on the ground” knowledge.  Having a local country manager has been tremendously effective in ensuring that we are compliant and competitive within the new market.

Second, working in partnership with local funders and providers, we evaluated our human, technical, and organizational resources—filling critical gaps as identified.  This focus on structure was advanced by our decade-long commitment to building robust structure, systems and processes.  We already had experience in putting management teams in place that effectively delivered services in very different jurisdictions across the US.   We had worked through which business decisions can be made on a local level and which need to be made centrally.  We had tested our capabilities to set up IT systems that ensured secure data sharing.  Effective structure has been essential in our success to date, allowing us to recruit top talent, ensure ease of international communications and provide real time outcome and financial reporting.  

Third, we created scenarios to test our proposed structure, ensuring the systems were in place to support our high standards for service delivery.   We understand that it is the “known unknowns” that we are preparing for.

Expanding internationally takes a lot of time, testing, and hard work.  To date, we have provided services to over 7000 individuals through Fedcap UK.  We are convinced of the value of these efforts, and the importance of making our service model available to individuals with barriers to economic well-being—changing lives one person, one community and one country at a time.