May 2021 Social Impact News Roundup: Accelerating the Social Sector

Alexandra Nemeth

Senior Manager, Content Marketing & Storytelling at MovingWorlds

In May, we were inspired by the way that governments, the private sector, and individuals are stepping up to accelerate the social sector, with a focus on social enterprises. Here are a few highlights from May 2021:

What Exactly is a Social Enterprise?

Check out this short series of posts explaining what a social enterprise is (and isn’t), what a Benefit Corporation is, and why both are critical to address the Pioneer Gap.

How COVID is Reshaping CSR & Supply Chains

Amid the raging second wave of COVID in India (find up-to-date metrics in these dashboards), the Indian government has amended the CSR laws to aid COVID relief. Our partners at Sattva Consulting were featured in a Forbes article about how companies are likely to change how they spend CSR money and work with the social sector. 

Another sector being reshaped by COVID is last mile distribution (LMD). Our friends at the Global Distributors Collective released a new report examining how the LMD sector is adapting and innovating following COVID-19.

Accelerating Entrepreneurship over the Long-Term

For the past five years, GALI has been collecting data on accelerators around the world and the entrepreneurs who seek their support, with a particular focus on accelerators operating in developing economies. Its latest report synthesizes the key findings from this research, with actionable insights for accelerator program managers, entrepreneurs, funders, investors, and other stakeholders who support and engage accelerators around the world.

Partnerships are another effective way to accelerate entrepreneurship over the long-term, and in this interview James Bernard, Vice President of Resonance Impact Advisory Services, explains what it takes to not just launch, but effectively build a partnership across sectors. A great example of what this looks like in practice is Microsoft’s MySkills4Afrika program, which we featured on the MovingWorlds blog here.

Making Social Sector Resources More Accessible

An exciting new resource to bookmark is the Social Design Directory, an interdisciplinary project developed by MovingWorlds Institute Global Fellows Mike Hepler, Joelle Atallah, and Natalia Rudiak. The directory is collaborative and accessible, allowing anyone to explore human-centered design practitioners with a focus on social impact. 

Our partners at Flone Initiative also released a new Gender-Sensitive Mini-Bus Services & Transport Infrastructure for African Cities toolkit, which it is utilizing to integrate gender-sensitive organizational policies and service principles into the culture of transport organizations in Nairobi and Mombasa. Flone Initiative Founder, Naomi Mwaura, shared more about the organization’s work creating a safe and professional public transport industry in Kenya by generating knowledge to influence behaviour change in this TED Talk

Featured Experteering Projects

Looking for an opportunity to use your skills for good while challenging yourself to grow? Check out this month’s featured projects from our S-GRID network:

  • Training on using the cloud to host affordable banking services: equips financial institutions with a digital platform to personalize and simplify loan application processes. The team is looking for a trainer to deliver a one-off workshop to start hosting its core banking services in Azure so that smaller lenders can use them to provide financial services to people and small businesses.
  • Marketing/Sales expert to support entry into US market: Studio Coppre is a social impact brand working towards promoting heritage crafts by retaining traditional crafting techniques and designing contemporary wares. The team is looking for an experteer to help address the requirements of the US market in the retail boutique sector through branding, marketing and sales.
  • Connections to purchasing departments of major retailers: Re-mat currently makes dog beds from recycled memory foam mattresses. The team is looking for introductions to procurement departments of major brands that sell pet products. 

Social Impact Job Opportunities

Upcoming Events & New Programs

  • June 9: The Unity Effect team is hosting a free online workshop about Team Decision-Making. Learn more and register here.
  • June 9-10: SOCAP is hosting SPECTRUM21, a virtual event bringing together diverse stakeholders to inspire and build a more inclusive impact economy. Get your ticket here.
  • June 15-17: United National Global Compact is hosting its Leaders Summit to explore the role of business in achieving the SDGs. Members of MovingWorlds can register for free here.
  • June 16: The Possiblists is hosting a virtual launch event to reveal the results of an extensive global study of the impact, challenges and needs of young changemakers around the world. Register here.
  • June 22: Sustainable Pathways is offering a practical online course for leaders wanting to understand sustainability, develop psychological safety, and tackle resistance to change in their organisations. Learn more and book your space here
  • June 30: Application deadline for the MovingWorlds Institute Global Fellowship cohort launching in July!

Congratulations to….

  • Community Solutions for being awarded the MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change grant of $100 million to solve a critical problem!
  • Studio Coppre for winning the prestigious Shilp Udyam Samman for ‘Save the Craft’ category instituted by All India Artisans and Craftworkers Welfare Association (AIACA)! established in 2004, is a membership based non-profit organization for the handloom and handicrafts sector in India. It seeks to ensure the growth and continued vibrancy of this sector and a better standard of living for artisans and crafts workers.
  • OneLamp Uganda for being awarded the EEP grant “Clean Energy Powering Green Growth” from a pool of over 350 global applicants! With the grant financing, OneLamp will launch pay as you go solar milk coolers for Uganda’s 2.5m small dairy farms that lack access to refrigerated storage.
  • Pawster Nashville: Pawster Nashville for being awarded the Delek Fund for Hope: Most Unique Donors Prize during Nashville’s The Big Payback!

A Final Bit of Inspiration

We’re big fans of Simon Sinek’s book Start With Why, and in the video below he shares what that looks like amidst a global pandemic: