The Impact World this Week: 21 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: disgruntled Body Shop staff launch ‘Anita’s Law’ campaign, Europe’s CSDDD passes but worries remain, and more.

UK: Employees of The Body Shop UK, which went into administration in February, this month launched a campaign called ‘Anita’s Law’, named after the ethical retailer’s founder, Anita Roddick. It aims to protect employees from the effects of “asset stripping” when a business goes into administration. The move comes just weeks after the retailer’s administrators at FRP Advisory, appointed by its private equity owner Aurelius, confirmed that they would close nearly half of its 198 UK stores by April, resulting in almost 500 staff losing their jobs. Jo Webb, head of sustainable procurement at The Body Shop, said in a LinkedIn post: “Anita Roddick founded The Body Shop on principles of ethical values and activism... Anita would have urged us all to be activists, a #changemaker by supporting the Anita’s Law petition.” The petition points out that more than 250 employees were sacked immediately without redundancy.

Global: “Working with social innovators who are advancing racial and ethnic equity is a smart business decision.” This is according to Cheryl L Dorsey, president of US social investor Echoing Green which has supported research launched today by the Schwab Foundation’s Global Alliance for Social Entrepreneurship. The report, Innovating for Equity: Unlocking Value for Communities and Business, highlights how companies and governments can work with social entrepreneurs around the world.

Europe: On 15 March, the European Parliament approved the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD), a law that requires large EU and non-EU companies to conduct environmental and human rights due diligence across their supply chains. Member states had to make compromises on the initial proposal for the directive, with its requirements now only applying to larger companies, both in terms of minimum turnover (€450m up from €150m) and in terms of workforce (1,000 workers up from 500). The approval has garnered mixed responses, with some celebrating the long-awaited agreement between all EU member states, while others have expressed concerns about the directive being too ‘watered down’. At the Euclid Network Impact Summit this week, Ruth Paserman, director for funds, programming and implementation at the European Commission, told Pioneers Post: “Of course we are happy that there is an agreement. It could lead to a better understanding of the value chains of companies and their effects on social and environmental impact.”

UK: Social Enterprise Scotland, supported by the Scottish Government, launched this week its Buy Social Pledge, inviting businesses, SMEs, academic institutions and public sector bodies to commit to bringing social enterprises into their supply chains. Early adopters include Glasgow City Council, the Robertson Group, Keegan & Pennykid, Morrison Construction, City Building (Glasgow) LLP and Edinburgh Napier University. 

Movers and shakers 


  • Cliff Prior will stand down as CEO of the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment in six months. He was appointed CEO in 2020 and has previously been CEO of Big Society Capital and UnLtd. A successor is yet to be appointed.
  • Scottish impact investor, SIS Ventures, announced this week that Amir Rizwan will chair its investment committee. Rizwan has campaigned for more diversity in social investment, including through chairing the Diversity Forum.
  • B Lab co-founder Andrew Kassoy will join The Rockefeller Foundation’s 2024 Bellagio Center Residency cohort. The group of international artists, policymakers, scholars, authors, practitioners and scientists will spend a month-long residency focusing on climate solutions, reinventing capitalism, and promoting well-being.

Read our Pioneer Interview with Andrew Kassoy: The purist part of social enterprise 'plants a flag' for the rest of us

Hello Tractor

Figure of the week: 227% is the amount that smallholder farmers’ incomes increased in Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda, after a pilot pay as you go scheme allowed them to rent tractors at an affordable price. NGO Heifer International gave a US$4.5m grant to social enterprise Hello Tractor to pilot the model. In two years, this catalytic capital unlocked commercial capital of US$7m, according to a new impact report