Unlocking social capital in Europe

Unlocking social capital in Europe

From my experience at Africa Interactive I know how hard it is to build a business with a social mission. In Dutch law you are either a business or a non-profit organization. There have been discussions but still we wait for an alternative legal form that starts to bridge the gap between the two i.e. a social venture that seeks to better the world but still meet its bottom line. Given increasing cuts in govt. spending across European countries and a shift in mindset that demands sustainability across financial and social metrics, laying new foundations seems imperative.

In the end Africa Interactive found the right investors and has built its foundation as a business. What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger:) That said, it probably took us twice as long and required twice the effort to make it happen. In the interest to promote the emergence of new efforts, a culture around social venturing, its critical we start to look at ways to foster a community and support its development. On one side its about improving access to social capital and on the other hand its about learning from a combined experience, improving access to the supporting service, knowledge and network needed to make it happen.

This spring we will witness the first SOCAP/Europe here in Amsterdam. This is a perfect location for this event as the Netherlands, and Amsterdam in particular, is really a hotbed for this stuff. Just a top of the head list includes remarkable organizations like the 1%Club, Akvo, Text to Change, Butterfly Works, GhettoRadio and our own beloved Africa Interactive. At Sanaga Ventures we also promote ActivSpaces, VC4Africa and Afrilabs.

I believe this is a milestone for our efforts here in Europe and an important platform for outlining plans of action for the coming years. As SOCAP champions, ‘the event will be a place to discover and discuss the latest in European social enterprise and beyond, meet like-minded attendees from around the globe, pitch your ideas, find and provide funding and more.’

Here are some of their latest announcements and I look forward to coming together around this event.

Social entrepreneur scholarship deadline

If you’re a social entrepreneur putting your passion, money and time to scale solutions for a better world, then we invite you to apply by the end of this weekend! If you don’t fit the social entreprenuer description, but still have value to contribute and gain at SOCAP/Europe, then we invite you to apply as a volunteer by our April 15th deadline.

More SOCAP/Europe speakers announced

In addition to the pioneering names announced in our first two waves, we are happy to now confirm the participation of these speakers. See a full list of SOCAP/Europe speakers here.

Pieter Oostlander – Noaber (Netherlands)
Natarajan Ishwaran – Unesco (France)
Tris Lumley – New Philanthropy Capital (United Kingdom)
Lisa Hehenberger – EVPA (Belgium)
Nigel Kershaw – Big Issue Invest (United Kingdom)
Maria Cavalcanti – AVINA (Panamá)
Brian Walsh – Liquidnet (United States)
Dirk Elsen – SNV (Netherlands)
Felix Oldenburg – Ashoka (Germany)
Ajaita Shah – Frontier Markets (United States)
Gerhard Pries – Sarona Asset Management (Canada)
David Bonbright – Keystone (United Kingdom)
Tamzin Ratcliffe – Nexii (South Africa)
Antony Ross – Bridges Ventures (United Kingdom)
Tim Radjy – Alphamundi (Switzerland)
Tim Draimin – Social Innovation Generation (Canada)
Martin Rich – Social Finance (United Kingdom)
Stephen Dawson– Jacana (Ghana)


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About zia505

The world is changing right before my eyes. Sometimes I don't know how I will ever keep up. There are so many ideas floating around on this internet. If only I had the means to collect them....

One response to “Unlocking social capital in Europe”

  1. kevin jones says :

    thanks love the mmentum that is building.

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