Global social innovation round-up #12

Impact investment infrastructure strengthened in Canada

Social and corporate leaders have teamed up to announce the launch of a new platform, programme and space to support impact investors and social entrepreneurs in Québec. SVX Québec is an online platform that will ‘connect social enterprises and funds with accredited investors’. Impact8 is an investment readiness programme ‘for high potential social enterprises’ that aims to help these ventures attract investment. 

Both SVX Québec and Impact8 will be location at Esplanade, a collaborative space dedicated to social entrepreneurship in Québec. The initiatives have been launched by a cross-sector group of organisations including foundations, financial institutions and financial services, which is being led by MaRS and Explanade.

Dutch social enterprises celebrate 2015 turnover increase

Social enterprises in Holland have increased their turnover by 24% since the start of 2015 in comparison to last year, according to a new report. The research was based on the responses of Social Enterprise NL’s members and also revealed that the employment rate among these companies has risen by 36%. Of the organisations that took part in the research, just under 40% are currently profitable and approximately 30% are breaking even. The remaining enterprises consider themselves to be in in the start-up phase.

New Zealand’s Labour Party speaks out against social impact bonds

The deputy leader of New Zealand’s main opposition party Annette King has warned that the current government’s plan to allocate NZ$28m to paying returns to private investors putting money into social impact bonds in areas including mental health services is too risky. 

According to 3News, King said: "The risks associated with this are huge. In order to meet targets the focus is likely to be on the easier-to-help, not the more difficult – read expensive - clients...Not only is there a lack of overseas evidence that social impact bonds actually deliver on their contracted outcomes, but there is nothing to show any of the international pilots have provided the expected investment return."

British Council hosts social enterprise film screening in Malaysia

The British Council has hosted a film screening for its Journalism for Social Good programme, which in partnership with Pioneers Post teaches social entrepreneurs and students how to make impactful documentary style films about Malaysia’s social enterprise sector. The programme was launched in 2014. Among the films showcased this year was one about Edunation, a non-profit social enterprise that provides free tuition. Its platform currently has approximately 1,800 videos that cover most subjects taught in schools. To watch the film, click here.

London gets set to host social enterprise market 

The founders of ethical baby wear brand Darlo have teamed up with Social Enterprise UK (SEUK) and its Buy Social campaign to host a social enterprise market in the North Yard of Camden’s world famous market. The A Little Giving Market will be open for business during the weekend of 20th June. Membership officer at SEUK said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Darlo to further raise the profile of our Buy Social campaign. We think the A Little Giving Market is a fantastic initiative and embodies the spirit of Buy Social, whilst helping to raise the profile of social enterprise in the UK”.

Social enterprise salvation in Singapore

Red Shield Industries, the social enterprise arm of The Salvation Army, has opened a Family Hub in Singapore. Red Shield upcycles objects donated from the public and corporations and then sells them at Family Thrift Stores. Its new Family Hub will offer tennis and computer classes, and has facilities including a 24-hour gym to encourage families and local communities to spend more time together. It will also have a drive-thru kiosk for the public to drop off donations for its Thrift Stores.  

Young Foundation CEO steps down

Simon Willis has announced that he is stepping down as CEO of the Young Foundation to pursue a new opportunity as european director of The Young Foundation is a non-profit, non-governmental think tank based in London that specialises in social innovation to tackle inequality. Baroness Glenys Thornton, who is currently opposition spokesperson for women and equalities in the House of Lords, will take over as interim CEO. Applications for the CEO position should be sent to the think tank’s Trustees via this email address: 

Charity Bank receives stamp of social enterprise approval

Charity Bank – an ethical bank that uses savings to make loans to charities and social enterprises – has announced it has become the only UK bank to be awarded the Social Enterprise Mark. The Social Enterprise Mark is a community interest company which offers organisations social enterprise accreditation and aims to raise awareness for the sector among the public. 


Header photo: Edam, Holland

Photo credit: Moyan Brenn