The Impact World this Week: 14 March 2024

Your quick guide to the most interesting news snippets about social enterprise, impact investment and mission-driven business around the world from the Pioneers Post team. This week: Primark wins sustainability prize, Tony’s Chocolonely mounts last-ditch campaign to save EU supply chain directive and does the UK need a mission-led economy minister?

Our key news stories



Plus: other stories that caught our eye


UK: The Future Economy Alliance wants the UK government to appoint a minister to transform the UK’s economy to become “mission-led”. In its Business Plan for Britain, published ahead of an anticipated general election, the partnership of social enterprises, social investors, mutuals and others proposed measures including devolved power to local communities, a people-powered green transition, better public services and the introduction of a Better Business Act.

13-15 Dock Street home of Social Enterprise UK

13-15 Dock Street, London, the new home of Social Enterprise UK and the School for Social Entrepreneurs, when it was a warehouse in the 1930s


UK: Social Enterprise UK and the School for Social Entrepreneurs have co-invested £3m in new shared London headquarters via a new limited liability partnership that they hope will serve as a model for sector collaboration. As well as giving the two organisations a permanent and accessible workspace, the building will provide space for social entrepreneurs from around the UK when visiting London. Financial support was provided by City Bridge Trust, the Postcode Innovation Trust, CAF Bank and CHK Foundation.

Asia: Fashion store Primark, social enterprise CottonConnect and India’s Self-Employed Women’s Association trade union won one of the partnership and collaboration prizes at the “edie” sustainability awards. Together they deliver the Primark Sustainable Cotton Programme which equips smallholder farmers in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Turkey with skills to adopt more sustainable agriculture practices.

Europe: Investment management company Mirova aims to raise €200m from institutional and individual investors in Europe to fund Mirova Impact Life Essentials (MILE), a new social impact private equity strategy. MILE will support unlisted European companies that address sustainability challenges, including climate change and growing inequality. The fund will be headed by senior investment director Judith-Laure Mamou-Mani, who said the strategy “will give investors access to an unrivalled ecosystem dedicated to impact and real assets”. 

Europe: Social enterprise Tony’s Chocolonely is lobbying for all EU member states to approve the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD), a law that will require EU and non-EU companies to conduct environmental and human rights due diligence across their supply chains. The law has faced increasing opposition since December, and a last-minute change of heart from member states, including Germany, France and Italy, who have feared it will negatively impact businesses. The cut-off date to ensure members of the European Parliament can agree the plans before the elections in June is 22 March. 

Deal of the week: The Growth Impact Fund, developed by Big Issue Invest and UnLtd, has announced a first debt investment of £500,000 in Genius Within, a specialist employment and training provider that helps neurodivergent people get jobs and supports them in the workplace. The investment will be used to develop Genius Finder, an online assessment tool to help neurodivergent people identify work-related strengths and struggles, and help their employers understand the most effective reasonable adjustments to make.