For every environmental and societal challenge facing planet earth, we can show you hundreds of social entrepreneurs with inspiring, demonstrable, and scalable solutions capable of making a real impact while achieving financial sustainability through the power of the market.
Here are just a few of them categorized by common challenges:
- Plastic in oceans: Seabin is already cleaning them.
- Clean water: Drinkwell provides clean, affordable water to those living beyond municipal systems, while UrbanSpring eliminates waste in water distribution, and Desolenator uses the power of the sun to convert seawater to potable water.
- Waste: TrashCon, Ashaya, and Arqlite eliminate and upcycle plastics to keep them out of landfills.
- Food: Sibö develops clean & efficient insect-based bio-materials to create sustainable ingredients for food manufacturers.
- Nutrition: Farm to Feed aggregates food loss and waste and gives it purpose.
- Healthcare: Bempu‘s wearable tech innovations save the lives of newborn children and WASHKing provides clean sanitation for communities without access otherwise.
- Poverty: Nuru supports marginalized communities to lift up smallholder farmers.
- Affordable housing: Mākhers Studio upcycles modular shipping containers into affordable housing.
- The list goes on…
These social entrepreneurs are the on-the-ground heroes demonstrating that we can build a more just, equitable, and sustainable global economy – according to the World Economic Forum, they are an emerging form of business that represent the “pioneers of a green, inclusive society and economic system.”
For more than a decade, MovingWorlds has been exploring how to best support more of these social enterprises in reaching their world-changing potential. Along the way, it’s become clear that doing so requires more than just financial investment: the right connections, resources, customers, and partners — at the right times — can make social enterprises more impactful, and more successful.
At the same time, corporations that are committed to building a sustainable and circular economy are increasingly looking to partner with social enterprises. Moving far beyond philanthropy, corporations have already committed over $500 Billion in annual spending toward social enterprises. The trend of “social procurement” is on the rise in both the public and private sectors. As just a couple of examples, SAP has committed 5% of its procurement spending to social enterprises through its 5 & 5 by ‘25 initiative. Unilever is planning for $2 Billion per year to be spent with entrepreneurs from diverse and under-represented backgrounds by 2025. Governments, like the UK, are following suit, and considering the fact that its procurement department spends £284 billion a year on buying goods and services from external suppliers, even a tiny percentage commitment will result in massive capital flows to social enterprises.
Beyond creating social good, these spending commitments with social enterprises also help public and private sector actors create future-proof business models and services. When corporations partner with social enterprises in core business activities, they can find the partners they need to achieve their ESG (environmental, social, governance) targets, develop more innovative products and services, and also help their employees find more purpose at work.
MovingWorlds, with support from SAP, TRANSFORM, and Unilever, developed a solution to help social enterprises build the connections they need to grow through revenue-based partnerships with the private sector, and to build the capacity they need to deliver on them: The TRANSFORM Support Hub. MovingWorlds Co-Founder and CEO, Mark Horoszowski, describes the TRANSFORM Support Hub as “A global platform to help social enterprises work with the private sector and public sectors to build a more sustainable, equitable, and just economy. By helping social enterprises grow, we believe they can change industries. When we change industries, we build a better economy that works for all of us.”
By helping social enterprises grow, we believe they can change industries. When we change industries, we build a better economy that works for all of us.
Mark Horoszowski, Co-Founder and CEO of MovingWorlds
The World Economic Forum’s Global Alliance for Social Entrepreneurship will support the growth of the TRANSFORM Support Hub. (Read the press release here). Strategic social enterprise support organizations, like Acumen, Agora Partnerships, Mercy Corps Ventures, the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, and Yunus Social Business are also members of the Global Alliance and will support the expansion of non-financial support for social innovators.
This newest partnership with the World Economic Forum’s Global Alliance for Social Entrepreneurship will make it easier for corporations to support social enterprises, and for social enterprises to access more non-financial support, sales opportunities, and capacity building through a single platform. This partnership will also help us provide more education, resources, and networking for professionals from corporations that want to learn more about social entrepreneurship, and how they can support it as part of their jobs.
“It’s essential for actors in the social innovation ecosystem to join forces in their bid to support social entrepreneurs building a just, inclusive and equitable future. The TRANSFORM Support Hub is that much-needed platform where organizations, including the Alliance members, can directly provide support to social entrepreneurs.”
François Bonnici, Director of Schwab Foundation and Head of Social Innovation at World Economic Forum.
By connecting social enterprises with corporates, peers, learning content, and a global community of pro bono professionals, the TRANSFORM Support Hub is helping more social enterprises build the capacity and connections to deliver market-based solutions for the Sustainable Development Goals, making the entire economic system around them more sustainable in the process. This unique, cross-sector initiative offers benefits not only social enterprises, but also individuals, companies, and accelerators across the ecosystem committed to supporting the social enterprise movement:
- For social enterprises: Access pro-bono support from skilled professionals, make corporate connections, and network with investors – while continuing your own education as a social entrepreneur with expert-led workshops and learning content.
- For individuals: The TRANSFORM Support Hub is an easy way to make a difference with the professional skills you use at work every day. Access targeted learning modules on sustainability topics, join live events, and bring your skills to verified social enterprises as a pro-bono consultant, coach, trainer, or mentor.
- For corporations: The TRANSFORM Support Hub offers corporations an all-in-one solution to help you integrate sustainability across your business and engage and develop your employees — without expanding your CSR team.
- For Impact Investors: The TRANSFORM Support Hub helps social enterprises access expertise to overcome any challenges, certifications that can help them build partnerships with corporations, networks for new sales opportunities, and learning to support their growth and impact.
We invite you to follow along on our journey of supporting social enterprises. Join us.