We are excited to announce our partnership with IKEA Foundation as part of their expanding focus on social entrepreneurship. The €3 million partnership will run over three years to dramatically expand opportunities for social entrepreneurs and the communities they serve, as well as to grow a community of practice among the intermediaries and investors that make pathways to scale possible.
The partnership will be based on the shared priority of learning between the organisations. Since 2011, Yunus Social Business has built an extensive track record of supporting and growing social businesses across the globe, including in Kenya and India. The key focus of the partnership will be exploring how social businesses drive employment in developing economies, and how we can crowd in further resources and support for the most successful enterprises through different blended finance approaches.
Entrepreneurs who put social issues—such as job creation, health and education—at the centre of their business models can help lift communities out of poverty but they need support and access to finance to do so. With IKEA Foundation’s support, Yunus Social Business will expand a mix of local and global approaches to support entrepreneurship. Locally, we will deliver further hands-on business development support with our experienced local teams in Kenya and India. Globally, YSB will expand our ecosystem building work, leveraging our existing work in the sector and complementing the work of our peers and fellow investors.
Social enterprises are driving innovation to find more efficient solutions to end poverty, but they need support to access finance that suits their needs and build strong, resilient businesses. The partnership with IKEA Foundation will create a platform for engagement where we can collaboratively build up the sector, harnessing the power of business to end poverty.
Together we will support more than 130 social entrepreneurs to grow their businesses, enabling them to reach many more people with their products and services and improve the incomes of 100,000 women and young people in their communities.
The ancient Greek philosopher Diogenes once famously noted that: “we have two ears and one tongue so that we would listen more and talk less“. The act of listening as a means of truly understanding an entrepreneur is an important skill when it comes to tackling the challenges they face.
As an entrepreneur, when your company gets to a certain stage the question of whether join an accelerator often arises.
In the midst of profound setbacks, we have been able to carry out work which has shown us that we are an organisation that lives up to its mission and remains true to its purpose.