Reflections from meeting with Swedish Minister for Enterprise and Innovation Mikael Damberg
According the 2018 Budget proposition, the Swedish government allocated to invest 50 million SEK a year during 2018-2020 to promote social entrepreneurship. With the ambition to gather relevant actors in order to accelerate a systems change in which social entrepreneurship and social innovation become a natural part of the development of a sustainable society, Swedish Minister for Enterprise and Innovation Mikael Damberg invited Ashoka and a dozen other organizations to respond to a number of issues about obstacles, opportunities and concrete efforts to create a better market for social entrepreneurs on 6th November 2017.
Ashoka specifically pointed out two such barriers during the meeting; social finance and impact assessment. First and foremost, there is a need to close the current gap between investors and social entrepreneurs and to unleash funding opportunities for the next level of impact. Another area Ashoka highlighted was the importance of enhancing changemaker’s orientation on impact through sharing best practice and provide guidance and practical support when it comes to impact assessment. At the same time, impact assessment should not become another administration burden for the entrepreneur, but an exciting journey and an anti-burn-out tool for the social entrepreneur to communicate better with its key stakeholder. During the meeting Ashoka also offered to identify and adopting best practice of supporting ecosystem from elsewhere in Europe but also hope to participate in working groups to develop new solutions tackling barriers which haven’t been addressed yet.
Although Ashoka itself can only provide direct support to a limited number of social entrepreneurs and changemakers we want to contribute to a flourishing and well-functioning ecosystem with resources, professional tools and access to peers and stakeholders. We therefore welcome these types of conversations and initiatives where we can jointly work on improving conditions for the whole sector; to unlock new resources, redefine rules, develop new relationships and achieve collective impact.