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Member-Driven Network: Arielle Molino on the Uniqueness of Pollinate Impact

“The beauty of networks is that they can offer members so much unique value” – Arielle Molino

In this interview with Arielle Molino, she talks about what she finds exciting about her role as a Chief Convener, why she thinks Pollinate Impact is different from other networks, and what’s in store for its members – the Pollinators!

What do you find exciting about your role at Pollinate Impact?

One of the most exciting things for me in this new role, is the growing recognition of the importance of networks and the power they hold.  The idea that a position of a Chief Convener never crossed my mind as even being a role! This really speaks to the evolution of the sector.  I’m also really excited to be able to build deeper relationships with new and potential network members.  I have been a connector of people for a long time, but to have the opportunity to do it in a way that creates deeper meaning and bears fruit for our members is something that is an extraordinary opportunity for me.

How is Pollinate Impact different from other networks? What are its core offerings?

The beauty of networks is that they can offer members so much unique value, and in a collective effort, networks really have the potential to change the game for the entrepreneurship ecosystem. Pollinate Impact is unique in several different ways, but I’ll highlight just a few here. One is that we’re focused solely on supporting and building the field of incubation and acceleration. Two is our Global South perspective, and embracing the opportunities for South-South exchange and collaboration, particularly across Asia and Africa. Lastly, Pollinate Impact is fully member-driven, where each member has the opportunity to co-create and design interventions that will support the field of impact entrepreneurship acceleration and incubation. In order to facilitate this co-creation and co-ownership, members will benefit from access to funding opportunities, skill-building workshops (for all levels of the team), networking activities, opportunities to share learnings through success and failures in a safe environment, and develop shared resources that will support their incubation strategies and efficacy.

Who can apply for membership and what benefits can they avail?

We only have a couple of membership criteria:
  1. Members should be incubators or accelerators
  2. Members should be registered in the Global South OR doing substantial work there (if not registered in the Global South)
  3. Members should have an impact focus 
Pollinate Impact defines an incubator or accelerator as any organization with programs that primarily focus on vetting and selecting, promising social enterprises, and providing them with a comprehensive range of support services aimed at building and growing them to achieve maximum sustainable impact.We also welcome partners and allies that may not be incubators or accelerators, but that would like to develop the impact incubation field in your geography or region.  Partners and allies can include (but are not limited to) impact investors, philanthropic foundations, academic researchers, government representatives, or media agencies. 

What does it really mean when you say that Pollinate Impact is a member-driven network?

The Pollinate Impact members will define nearly every aspect of what the network does, solutions that we want to develop, and how it is governed. Our governance council, the Stewardship Group, is comprised of members to help set the strategy, targets, and help define the network’s priorities. Based on members’ interest areas, the network will support the creation of Collective Action Teams (or CATs as we call them), which are coalitions of the willing for members who want to tackle a specific challenge or co-develop any specific resources that could benefit the field of incubation. As the network secretariat, we are keen to keep our ears to the ground to understand what priorities are most pressing for members, and help develop resources and opportunities to address those. Our role is a facilitation role only — to help members identify and co-create solutions that can benefit the incubation industry.

Arielle Molino

Arielle Molino is the Chief Convener of Pollinate Impact. She has 15 years’ experience in the impact investing, social entrepreneurship, and non-profit sectors in Africa, India, and the United States.

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