The Impact World this Week: 11 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: government boost for Australia’s social enterprises, France ranks its impact start-ups, EU pushes buying social, and more.

Our key news stories



Plus: other stories that caught our eye


Global: Ashoka and the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship launched the Climate Changemaker Playbook this week, a report that outlines three strategies for people to play an active role in the systemic shifts needed to tackle climate change. The report is based on research into hundreds of social entrepreneurs from around the world. 

Global: The Elders Council for Social Entrepreneurs announced this week that it has received a £150,000 grant from the Skoll Foundation. The Elders Council for Social Entrepreneurs works to promote the importance of eldership, encourage social entrepreneurs to plan for succession and enable social innovators and younger generations to learn from elder social entrepreneurs.

Europe: The European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency this week introduced WeBuySocialEU, an EU-wide initiative focused on socially responsible public procurement. The initiative aims to encourage national, regional and local contracting authorities to integrate socially responsible public procurement into their purchasing policies and practices, as well as increase access to public procurement markets for social economy entities, such as social enterprises. As part of the initiative, the European Commission will be hosting two WeBuySocialEU training workshops in Brussels on 24 May and 5 June, targeting civil servants, public administration agents and social economy workers.

France: Mouvement Impact France unveiled the first edition of its new “Impact 40/120” index at the ChangeNOW summit in Paris on 26 March. The list aims to recognise the 120 most promising French impact start-ups, selected from a pool of around 3,000 organisations, which were judged based on impact criteria, value creation and economic performance. The index also lists the most promising 40 future ‘impact unicorns’, identifying the companies that have been in existence for less than 10 years and generate more than €50m in avoided costs for society per year.

Ireland: Social Enterprise Republic of Ireland this week sent a letter to Simon Harris, the newly elected taoiseach (prime minister) of the Republic of Ireland, urging him to include social enterprises in his plans for the country. The letter, written by CEO John Logue, commended Harris’s commitment to supporting small businesses, but emphasised the significance of the upcoming National Social Enterprise Policy as a “unique opportunity to fortify and transform” the country’s social enterprise sector. Read about Ireland’s diverse, growing social enterprise sector, and the challenges it faces.

Global: The Skoll Foundation, Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies, New Profit and Beja Instituto announced on Thursday the launch of the Centre For Exponential Change to inspire and promote “ideas for social change that can keep pace with humanity’s evolving challenges”. Rohini Nilekani, chair of Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies, said at the Skoll World Forum that the centre would help to fill various gaps faced by social change organisations, with $40m directed to “paradigm grants”.

Movers and shakers 

  • Sana Kapadia is joining Heading for Change as chief catalyst as Samantha Anderson leaves later this month. Heading for Change was launched last year with a US$1m endowment from Suzanne Biegel and Daniel Maskit to provide investments and grants to accelerate solutions to the climate crisis and advance gender equity. 

Read more: Suzanne Biegel launches Heading for Change as she reveals cancer diagnosis

Figure of the week: AUS$11.6m is the figure that the Australian government will invest into the country’s social enterprise sector through the Social Enterprise Development Initiative. Announced in the 2023-24 budget, the initiative aims to support social enterprises to be more efficient and effective by providing them with $6m in grant funding (up to $120,000 each) and $3m for a one-stop online education and networking hub. To deliver the initiative, the government will partner with Impact Investing Australia and Social Enterprise Australia.