January 2021 Social Impact News Roundup: Partnering for Progress

Alexandra Nemeth

Senior Manager, Content Marketing & Storytelling at MovingWorlds

Only coordinated action by business, combined with global, multistakeholder cooperation – at exceptional scale and speed – can potentially mitigate the risk and impact of this unprecedented crisis.
World Economic Forum COVID Action Platform

A New Year represents a fresh start. And while the crises that came to a head in 2020 are far from solved, the commitment from across sectors to tackle these challenges head-on has never been stronger. No single organization — company, government agency, or non-profit — can tackle the world’s biggest challenges on their own. 

In January, we were inspired by the way that actors are collaborating across sectors to develop solutions that move from recovery to reimagination. At the center of many of these collaborations are social enterprises, something highlighted in a number of new reports last month. Catalyst2030 launched the New Allies Report, which unpacks ways that governments can accelerate change and achieve the SDGs by collaborating with systems social entrepreneurs. Sattva launched a similar report exploring business alignment to the SDGs in India. Village Capital was featured in a World Economic Forum report about accelerators’ role in closing the gender financing gap. Walker’s Legacy also focused on mobilizing support to multicultural women small business owners across the United States through its Micro Grant program

Combining these different perspectives and resources has helped unlock new solutions in areas like financial inclusion, healthcare, and education. Village Capital and Johnson & Johnson Impact Ventures recently published the results of a research study into what it takes to make healthtech more culturally competent. Sattva also launched its Education Circle to reimagine children’s education in India post COVID-19, and shared the resulting recommendations in these videos

When it comes to the role of the private sector, global consulting firm Resonance published 7 best practices for supply chain sustainability which echo the importance of partnering with grassroots organizations to co-design smarter solutions that are more inclusive, effective, and ultimately sustainable. Based on interviews and close collaboration with sustainability teams from major companies across diverse industries, Resonance also identified four points for sustainability teams to keep in mind to successfully navigate today’s sustainability challenges. 

As evidence that a more sustainable form is becoming mainstream, SAP announced its 5’ and 5’ by ‘25 initiative where it will be spending 5% of its global procurement budget with social enterprises, and another 5% with minority-owned business thanks to partnerships like S-GRID. Buy Social USA are also facilitating the shift towards social procurement and more sustainable business practices with its #BuyBetter and #BuySocial campaigns, and invites social enterprises interested in B2B partnerships to submit their impact stories here.

Social impact job opportunities

Upcoming events & new programs

  • February 4th: Resonance is hosting “Expanding Digital Health Innovation in Emerging Markets,” a webinar that will unpack key trends in consumer healthcare in three diverse settings, how innovative business models can expand access to health services, and the impacts of COVID-19 on digital health innovation. Register here.
  • February 10th: Join ANDE West Africa members and partners for “Building Corporate Partnerships During and Post COVID-19,” a workshop on how Entrepreneurship Support Organizations (ESOs) can build Corporate partnerships. 
  • February 11th: S-GRID is hosting a webinar on sales best-practices for social enterprises
  • February 15th: Walker’s Legacy is hosting a Men Who Enterprise Masterclass on Politics 
  • Every Wednesday through February 24th: Fledge is hosting The Angel Accelerator series, a hands-on, online program teaching individuals how to invest in early stage social impact companies. RSVP on Eventbrite here.
  • One Seventeen Media recently launched a mental health podcast, Mental Muscle, which will publish teen-focused interviews with experts on mental well-being.

Congratulations to….

  • Nazava for being selected as one of 60 finalists from over 10,000 participants in the UNWTO SDGs Global Startup Competition! 
  • Fundación Capital for being selected as an awardee of the data.org Inclusive Growth and Recovery Challenge for its work harnessing the power of data science for workforce nurturing in Mozambique!
  • Burn Manufacturing for achieving the significant milestone of 1 million clean-cooking stoves sold!

A final bit of inspiration

Last May, we had the pleasure of hosting Steve Schmida, Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Resonance Global, for a discussion about what it takes to build effective partnerships that deliver world-changing outcomes. You can watch the webinar recording here!