January 2023 Social Impact News Roundup: The Only Way Forward Is Together

Alexandra Nemeth

Senior Manager, Content Marketing & Storytelling at MovingWorlds

Davos 2023 & The Power of ‘Radical Collaboration’ 

At the end of January, leaders and changemakers from around the world convened for the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland. A number of exciting new initiatives were launched and built on at Davos, but as our CEO shares in this reflection, what matters most is what happens after the conference to turn these commitments into action. A few examples of high potential collaborations to come out of the conference include: the Catalyst Business Commitment launched by Catalyst 2030 with support from the Global Alliance for Social Entrepreneurship and leading corporations like SAP, Microsoft, EY, and eBay to advance social procurement, and the launch of the Ukraine Impact Business Accelerator led by Impact Force with support from partners like MovingWorlds, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, SiLab Ukraine, and more.

Impact Investment in the Last Mile

Impact investment has the power to be catalytic, but many last mile distributors (LMDs) struggle to identify and effectively communicate with suitable investors given the high administrative burden of becoming ‘investor ready.’ To help close this gap, our partners at Global Distributors Collective (in collaboration with GET.invest) put together a free set of investment-readiness tools to help early-stage LMDs begin their fundraising journey and pave the way to connect with investors. Of course, early investors also need to understand that entrepreneurship is a long game. Our partners at Upaya Social Ventures recently shared lessons learned from their own early investment and successful exit from Tamul Plates, including qualities and practices it looks for when assessing potential portfolio companies.

New European Regulations Crack Down on Greenwashing in ESG Reporting

Regulators and policymakers have begun to crack down on funds managers for greenwashing, proposing new rules to weed out unfounded ESG fund claims through the United States, European Union, and United Kingdom. The largest clamp down is coming from the EU in 2023 with the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), which goes into effect this summer. To make it easier to understand, Proof and SLR Consulting have compiled the most important information about the new regulation and its impacts in this report. For investors based in the EU, Proof also put together an SFDR timeline and workback plan to help teams ensure compliance by the June 30 deadline.

Innovations Towards Health Equity in Africa

To activate solutions to systemic challenges like health equity, stakeholders must work together to create enabling environments.. These include formal elements (like public policies, governance structures, regulatory frameworks, and investment programmes) and informal elements (like cultural, social and economic norms and practices.) A new whitepaper from Bayer Foundation, World Economic Forum and Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship showcases actionable ways social innovation in health can address barriers and promote health equity in Sub-Saharan Africa, and provides insights into how governments can support social innovators and entrepreneurs in creating inclusive and sustainable health systems.

Social Impact Job Openings

Upcoming Events & New Programs

  • February 7: Deadline to apply for the Echoing Green Fellowship, open to leaders whose enterprises are at an early stage and who are experts on the challenge they’ve chosen to confront.
  • February 14: Join Unity Effect for a free online workshop, “Leading with Values & Purpose.” Register here.
  • February 15: Deadline to apply to The Ripple Center Fellowship, a fully funded immersive social entrepreneurship program, open to young changemakers aged 18-24. 
  • February 17: Deadline to apply to the SOCAP Entrepreneur Program
  • February 19: Deadline to apply to the OPEN Accelerator, open to women-led last mile distribution social enterprises operating in Africa to provide energy access products
  • February 22: Deadline to apply to the Pizzigatti Prize for Software in the Public Interest
  • March 10: Deadline to apply for LSE’s 100x Impact Accelerator, a 12-week program that includes 150k in catalytic capital. Open to impact enterprises with a minimum viable product and track record of creating impact. 
  • Ongoing: Do you know of an impact enterprise with a story to tell? Or an impact investing or other funding initiative that is advancing the SDGs + Impact Economy in significant and measurable ways? Use this form to pitch your story to the Impact Entrepreneur magazine.
  • Ongoing: Philanthrofi is seeking beta testers for its new app, which helps companies create positive impact with their ESG and CSR goals. Learn more and sign up here.

Congratulations to….

  • African Bronze Honey Company on being selected as a 2023 Canadian Coralus Venture semi-finalist for its work advancing the SDGs of responsible production and consumption and climate action!
  • Burn Manufacturing on its new partnership with Environmental Commodity Partners to expand access to clean cooking in Kenya!
  • Caare on its new partnership with Mobius Foundation and WISH Foundation to expand access to rural healthcare in India!
  • Farm to Feed on being selected as one of ten Africa-based start-ups for the inaugural cohort of Catalyst Fund’s new $30M pre-seed VC fund and accelerator! 
  • Kaka Cesspool Services on graduating from the 2022 waste logistics innovation lab organized by the Toilet Board Coalition and Aqua For All!
  • Wateroam on being selected as a Top 10 Winner of the Global Freshwater Challenge for its work advancing fresh water access for all!

A final bit of inspiration

“In an uncertain and challenging time, one thing is clear. We can shape a more resilient, sustainable and equitable future, but the only way to do so is together.”
World Economic Forum President Børge Brende