The Impact World this Week: 20 June 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: King’s recognises members of UK impact community with honours, Ashoka benefits from Austro-German heiress giveaway, and more.

UK: There is a cause for celebration across the UK’s impact community, following the release of King Charles III’s annual Birthday Honours list on 15 June, which featured several changemakers in the social enterprise and impact investment sector. Honourees featured on the list include: 

  • Daniela Barone-Soares OBE, CEO of Snowball Impact Investment, recognised for services to business and to impact investing
  • Kieron Boyle OBE, CEO of Impact Investing Institute, recognised for services to impact investment and impact economy
  • Alastair Davis OBE, CEO of Social Investment Scotland, recognised for services to social enterprise and to charity in Scotland
  • Cemal Ezel OBE, founder and CEO of Change Please, recognised for services to social enterprise and to homeless people
  • Lisa Hilder MBE, co-founder of Preston Road Women’s Centre, recognised for services to social investment and to charity
  • Celia Hodson OBE, founder and CEO of Hey Girls, recognised for services to promoting period dignity and raising awareness of free period products in Scotland
  • Rachel Lynch MBE, CEO of The Community Network CIC and founder of The Urban Factory, recognised for services to young people and to sport in north east England
  • David Parks OBE, founder and managing director of The Skill Mill recognised for services to young people
  • Danyal Sattar OBE, CEO of Big Issue Invest, recognised for services to business and social finance
  • Mark Simms OBE, CEO of P3 Charity, recognised for services to social enterprise
  • Nick Temple OBE, CEO of Social Investment Business, recognised for services to social enterprise 

Austria: Ashoka Austria’s ‘Generation changemaker’ project is to receive a share of a €25m inheritance giveaway. Austro-German BASF heiress Marlene Engelhorn handed over her fortune to 50 representative citizens of Austria’s population in January to decide how it should be spent, saying it was unfair that the wealth of the richest wasn’t taxed enough. In a large-scale example of participatory grant-making, Guter Rat, the citizens’ council for redistribution created for the fund distribution, chose 77 organisations to receive grants from €40k to more than €1.5m with the most popular causes including environment, education and poverty. 

Latin America: The Amazon basin’s bioeconomy has an urgent need for inclusive catalytic investment, according to a new study. The research, conducted by impact investor NESsT, is based on interviews with 40 local smallholder farmers, community members and leadership teams to find out the financing needs and growth challenges of enterprises operating in the local bioeconomy – defined as the production, use, conservation and regeneration of biological resources to create economic growth – as well as their impact on local communities. Simplifying access to credit and the need to build a more favourable market to sell their products are among the recommendations issued in the report. 

Movers and Shakers

  • Jacy Stewart, founder and CEO of social economy consultancy For Business Sake, has been appointed as strategic lead at The Diversity Forum, a collective aimed at driving inclusive social investment in the UK.
  • Chris Underhill MBE, chair of the Catalyst 2030 Mental Health Collaboration and Ashoka fellow, is stepping into the role of CEO of the Elders Council for Social Entrepreneurs.

UK: Charities and social enterprises are being sought to make offers for the House of St Barnabas Soho building, following the members’ club’s closure in January. The club was founded in 2013 and supported homeless people to get into employment, winning an SE100 award in 2016. However, it faced overwhelming challenges following the pandemic followed by structural issues with the building. The liquidators have appointed Allsop LLP to market the building, which is held on trust for charitable purposes, saying they hoped the building could build on its historic legacy and resume its good work of supporting people in need.

South America: Nine new social enterprises are to join the NESsT–Ikea Social Entrepreneurship South America Accelerator Programme. The enterprises in the cohort aim to create dignified jobs and improve the quality of life of marginalised communities in South America, with a focus on environmental sustainability and gender equity. The chosen businesses include a sustainable honey producer in Chile, an association that supports small-scale coffee producers in Colombia, and a business providing clean energy solutions to remote farming communities in Colombia.