Press release: IKEA Social Entrepreneurship and Ashoka’s Dela programme connects 200+ experts from the social innovation sector
During the 2022 Changemaker Summit in Brussels, IKEA Social Entrepreneurship announced their expanded support to social entrepreneurs by renewing their partnership with Ashoka to continue the global “Dela” programme. In Swedish, “Dela” means to share. Both IKEA Social Entrepreneurship and Ashoka share a similar mission of exchanging knowledge, perspectives and networks.
Over the past three years, Dela has supported 35 social entrepreneurs who are working to make a positive impact in the areas of inclusive employment, circular economy and renewable materials. The global programme develops their impact-scaling strategies through systems change approach and offers them a space to test and scale their socially driven initiatives.
"In a world with big challenges, collaboration and mutual learning is key" - Åsa Skogström Feldt, Managing director of IKEA Social Entrepreneurship BV
Leading social entrepreneur from Sweden, Liisa Smits, realized that the tropics are the areas that have been and will continue to be most affected by climate change. However, there weren’t any reliable weather forecasting models accessible to small farmers until she founded Ignitia. Today, Ignitia has ensured the continued provision of accurate and reliable weather forecast systems in the tropics thanks to the accelerator programme she participated in during 2020, followed by IKEA Social Entrepreneurship first-ever equity investment of SEK 8 million.
"There is such a difference between sitting in a chair and struggling with executing ideas or meeting people with these amazing ideas and learning how they execute them. I was really impressed by the ambition of the social entrepreneurs." - Torbjorn Lööf, CEO of Inter IKEA Group when the first Dela programme launched.
Working with the social entrepreneurs, the programme is a unique opportunity for IKEA co-workers to gain a more holistic insight into social entrepreneurship as well as get exposed to innovative models and ways of leading that can feed into their everyday work and corporate sustainability goals. It has already counted 200 selected experts from the global social innovation and corporate sectors (including IKEA co-workers and colleagues from companies such as Microsoft and Accenture). All of them report feeling more motivated to create positive impact, both at a work and personal level.
"It has definitely been a life-changing process. Not only I have grown myself but I was able to support such a wonderful project. Currently, I am more aware of companies with strong and positive beliefs and also companies that contribute to society and the environment. What a beautiful and fulfilling experience!" - IKEA Implementation Partner
Upcoming Dela IV and V.
On average, 70% of the participating social entrepreneurs have shifted their strategies as a result of the programme, becoming more systemic (incl. collaborative and open), and 87% of all participants are likely to recommend it to their peers.
During the first three editions of the Dela Accelerator, 142 selected IKEA co-workers and 174 other thought partners worked with a cohort of social entrepreneurs to scale their social innovation plans in order for them to maximize impact on the communities they support. During the programme, each social entrepreneur uses an innovative approach to change the root causes of some of society’s most pressing issues whilst improving the systems that contribute to their existence in the first place.
"The Dela Accelerator programme was the best experience I have had. It was an intense, rapid and immersive growing process. This process let my social businesses reach the next stage of their growth, quickly and smartly. It provided mentors with advice, resources, and access to the Ashoka social entrepreneurs and the IKEA community. Now we know how to make social impact and create systemic change effectively." - Allison silva, Ashoka fellow & Dela Accelerator participant.
About IKEA Social Entrepreneurship
IKEA’s vision is to create a better everyday life for as many people as possible. IKEA Social Entrepreneurship was founded in 2012, assigned to look into how IKEA could include products and services from social entrepreneurs in our offer and how to support programmes that accelerate the movement of social entrepreneurship in general. Supporting social enterprises with a vision to create a more inclusive and equal society, our ambition is to have a positive impact on people’s livelihoods. Today, we back and boost social entrepreneurs all over the world, as well as expand the business we do together. That way, we get to be a part of creating new opportunities for vulnerable people and communities – while fighting the root causes of poverty and inequality. For more information visit www.ikeasocialentrepreneurship.org
Ashoka identifies and supports the world's leading social entrepreneurs, learns from the patterns in their innovations, and mobilizes a global community that embraces these new frameworks to build an "everyone a changemaker world" - a world where all citizens are powerful and contribute to change in positive ways. Since its founding in 1981, Ashoka has elected more than 3,800 Fellows in 90+ countries. We then draw on the insights and patterns of these 3,800+ Ashoka Fellows to understand what the future needs and how to create new solutions for building a better world. For more information visit www.ashoka.org and see this video.