The Impact World this Week: 4 April 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 Skoll announces its prize winners ahead of next week’s world forum; Unity Trust reveals record-breaking social investment figures and find out who’s moving where.

Global: Four organisations from India, Kenya and the United States have won the 2024 Skoll Awards for Social Innovation. The winners, who receive US$2m in unrestricted funding, are Food for Education (Kenya), IllumiNative (US), Meedan (US) and SaveLIFE Foundation (India). The awards ceremony will take place on Thursday 11 April, as part of the 21st Skoll World Forum. Pioneers Post's Anna Patton will be reporting from the event which takes place in Oxford, UK.

Global: ChangeNOW, the social enterprise which runs the ChangeNOW Summit, has launched a new initiative called ChangeNOW Hubs. The ChangeNOW Hubs will be local events licensed by ChangeNOW, bringing together regional impact ecosystems to accelerate positive change throughout the year. The application process for obtaining a ChangeNOW Hub licence is now open.

EU: Dutch health tech social enterprise Goal 3 was awarded €150,000 for achieving second place in the European Prize for Humanitarian Innovation this month. The social enterprise’s IMPALA system enables healthcare workers to monitor and prioritise patient care, supporting a transition from reactive to proactive care, which, it says, saves thousands of lives

UK: Directors’ duties under UK company law require consideration of nature-related risks to the business, according to a new legal opinion commissioned by climate change advisory firm Pollination Law and the Commonwealth Climate and Law Initiative. “The state of global ecosystem collapse poses material risks to companies and their directors,” said Thea Philip, associate director of Pollination Law. 

Global: FaithInvest and investment consultant NEPC have released a paper arguing that ethics represent a unique and essential element of investment governance for faiths. The paper, Faith-based Investment Governance, says while ethics committees are not necessarily the exclusive domain of faith-based investors, their contribution to achieving faith-consistent integration is essential.

Scotland: Investment-ready nature-focused projects in Scotland will be introduced to potential investors and buyers by social investor Social Investment Scotland through a new partnership with NatureScot and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. A cohort of projects already involved in two national support programmes will also have the opportunity to get involved in workshops, coaching and peer-to-peer learning led by Social Investment Scotland.

Movers and shakers 

  • Independent grantmaking foundation Asia Community Foundation has appointed Sue Toomey as CEO. Toomey was previously chief impact officer at Asia Community Foundation’s sister organisation the Asia Philanthropy Circle.
  • International development organisation the British Asian Trust has appointed Geetha Rabindrakumar as chief operating officer. Rabindrakumar has held senior roles at Big Society Capital and most recently at charity The Reader. She’s also a member of our WISE100 network.
  • Rebecca White is stepping down as CEO of UK social enterprise Your Own Place CIC, after founding it ten years ago. Listen to our founding editor Tim West interview her recently on our Good Leaders podcast.

Figure of the week: £1bn is the amount the UK’s Unity Trust Bank reported lending in its 2023 annual results, published at the end of March. The amount is a record high for the bank, which supports organisations to deliver positive social impact around the UK. The bank’s overall lending increased by 21%, after-tax earnings rose from £22.8m to £48.9m and almost half of the financing (45.3%) went into areas of high deprivation.