Leveraging Finance 4 positive Social Change
Social entrepreneurship (SE) has become increasingly relevant in today’s economic setting as social changes have mounted,(World Economic Forum, 2017) while at the same time, public funds in many countries are under pressure. The Danube region currently lags behind global trends in the field of SE and social impact investments (EVPA Annual Survey, 2016). Statistics show that only 2% of global social impact investment (with a potential for growth of up to 450 billion EUR by 2019) is targeted towards the Danube region social enterprises, compared to 78% reaching Western Europe. Evidence shows that in the Danube region, there is lack of "blended" financial instruments which would complement non-repayable grants with new forms of finance (venture capital, equity, impact investments microcredit, and fundraising). In addition there is a lack of impact investors and policies to support the improvement of social impact investment markets.
Finance4SocialChange project brings together a multi-disciplinary quadruple-helix partnership of 14 partners from 12 countries, 6 ASPs from across Europe to deliver improved policy learning, and develops practical solutions on impact investing to better shape the regulatory framework for the proper functioning of the social financing sector in the Danube region. Sofia Development Association is one of the project partners.
Finance4SocialChange works towards creating the first "Social Impact Investment Strategy for the Danube region"by paving the way for promoting more social innovations and social impact investment ready social enterprises. The project delivers 130 hours of "blended" learning experiences through the ”Social Impact Investment Transnational Design Academy”, and launches the first "Business Plan Competition" warm-up 2-stage investment ready competition", funded through EUR 200,000 investment capital. A mentorship pool, the "Social Impact Investment Community Council" will be established to provide mentoring to scaling up SEs, and will continue beyond the lifetime of the project by merging with GSEN.
Project co-funded by European Union funds (ERDF, IPA, ENI)
Project website: www.interreg-danube.eu/approved-projects/finance4socialchange