Pro-Circuit Coaches

Arnaud Blanchet

8 April

Founder / Last Mile for BoP


"How to create a Lean Startup"


"Rather than wasting time creating elaborate business plans, The Lean Startup offers entrepreneurs - in companies of all sizes - a way to test their vision continuously, to adapt and adjust before it’s too late. The Lean Startup approach fosters companies that are both more capital efficient and that leverage human creativity more effectively. Inspired by lessons from lean manufacturing, it relies on “validated learning,” rapid scientific experimentation, as well as a number of counter-intuitive practices that shorten product development cycles, measure actual progress without resorting to vanity metrics, and learn what customers really want. It enables a company to shift directions with agility, altering plans inch by inch, minute by minute. The lean startup philosophy was originally developed in 2008 by Eric Ries with high-tech companies in mind and became popular due to the success of his book, The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses. The lean startup philosophy can apply to any individual, team, or company looking to introduce new products or services into the market. This talk will give the basic knowledge and useful tools you need to understand the Lean Startup methodology and to use it for your own project.""


“I run a profit for purpose business, Last Mile for BoP. It’s mission is to improve the distribution of social products, (solar lights, clean cook stoves, sanitary pads, water filters, etc.), in the areas where people do not have access to electricity, clean water and other basic needs. We are currently working on a new project to improve the management of spaza shops to transform them into reliable and affordable alternatives to supermarkets in townships around Cape Town. Prior to starting up Last Mile for BoP, I travelled for a year to 21 countries to visit and advise profitable and replicable social businesses. It gave me the idea of focusing my business on last mile distribution at the Bottom of the Pyramid, as it is a very common challenge for social entrepreneurs. I studied finance and entrepreneurship at Icade (Madrid, Spain) and at Edhec Business School (Lille, France) and I hold a Masters in Management. I worked in a Private Equity firm and a Consultancy firm specialized in turnaround, and served as Chief Financial Officer at the Women's Forum for the Economy and Society for five years before turning to social entrepreneurship. ”


Why do you want to be part of UCT Upstarts? “UCT Upstarts is the programme I would have liked to attend when I was a student!”

HOW DO YOU ‘IMAGINE A NEW AFRICA’? “I work to build a new Africa where everyone has access to basic needs like clean water, electricity, healthcare, education, etc.”