Briefing: Skoll awardees, social value and Sir Ronald Cohen

Are you ready for the week ahead? Here's a round-up of what's on the social enterprise agenda right now.

What’s on

The Skoll World Forum begins tomorrow and, ahead of the event, the four recipients of the 2017 Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship were announced. They are Kola Masha of Babban Gona, Elizabeth Hausler of Build Change, Rajesh Panjabi of Last Mile Health and Bradley Miles of Polaris. The winners are described as “transformative leaders whose organisations disrupt the status quo”. Each awardee’s organisation receives $1.25m investment to scale up its work. Click here for more information, including films of the awardees. Pioneers Post will be at the Skoll World Forum, so keep an eye on this website and Twitter for our take on what's going on.

Social Value Matters takes place in Istanbul next week on 10 and 11 April. It's organised by Social Value UK and Social Value International and Pioneers Post is a media partner. For an introduction to the event's key theme of how to tackle inequality, take a look at this article by Jeremy Nicholls which we published last week.


Social investment news

The Real Lettings Property Fund2, which launched in February, has bought its first property which will be handed over to a homeless London family within a few weeks. The first Real Lettings Property Fund launched in 2013 and achieved a final close of just under £57m in April 2015. The second Real Lettings Property Fund followed this success and had initial investment of £45m from three London local authorities. It’s run in partnership between social impact investment company Resonance and homelessness charity St Mungo’s and it aims to provide homes to let to vulnerable people as well as providing social and financial returns for its investors.


Impact measurement news

Today, Social Value International launched the results of its 2016 survey on the understanding and use of the principles of social value. One finding was that more than two-thirds of respondents believe that their understanding of the principles of social value has affected how they work to improve the social value they create. See here for more.



Bangladeshi social entrepreneur Durreen Shahnaz has been selected by a committee of Nobel Prize winners as a 2017 Business for Peace Award Honoree. The award recognises people who ethically create economic value while generating value for society. Shahnaz is founder of Singapore-based IIX which has positively influenced the lives of 10m people so far. She recently wrote to US president Donald Trump to ask him to support impact investment. The award will be presented in Oslo on 16 May.


Funding and support

The deadline to enter the European Social Innovation Competition ‘Equality Rebooted’ is this Friday 7 April. Three 50,000 euro prizes are on offer for the best ideas to spread the benefits of technological change in Europe.


Monday inspiration

“Life has to be about more than just making money.” This is what Sir Ronald Cohen, co-founder of Apax Partners and globally-recognised Godfather of social investment, told young entrepreneurs today. Speaking at the Forbes Under 30 Summit EMEA in Tel Aviv he told under-30s from across America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa: “Start young, think big, stick with it – do those three things and you’ll be very successful.”


Header photo: A beneficiary of Skoll award winner Build Change, which trains people to construct or retrofit disaster-resist buildings in areas vulnerable to earthquakes and typhoons. Photographer: Gabriel Diamond. 


► Have you signed up to our free Friday newsletter yet? It keeps you up-to-date with the news, views, knowledge and analysis – straight to your inbox. Click here.