Partnerships - Mobilising Stakeholders

There are no two ways about it: in order to achieve their vision and drive tangible social impact, social entrepreneurs must partner with a wide variety of organisations. The benefits of teaming up with organisations with similar goals or who would benefit from the ambitions of the social enterprise, and who can contribute different expertise, far outweigh anything a single social enterprise could achieve by itself, even with the formidable work ethics of all social entrepreneurs. Mark Swift, founder of Wellbeing Enterprises and one of the Ashoka Fellows featured in our Systems Change Fortnight, says that his organisation believes “fundamentally that there is strength in solidarity” – and that the issues they are tackling are “bigger than any one individual organisation”. To that end, Wellbeing Enterprises teams up with the NHS, schools, colleges, voluntary organisations and care teams.

Meanwhile, Michael Sani and his organisation recognise the importance of taking politics to where young people already are, rather than waiting for them to come to them. Bite the Ballot therefore partners with a whole host of tech companies such as Tinder, Uber and Snapchat to ensure that politics enters lives and narratives on a daily basis.

Mark Swift also notes that a shared narrative, a shared purpose and shared values that transcend the individual organisations so that they can all focus on achieving their ambitions rather than politics and bureaucracy. This is a smart, collaborative way to work and a result of a mindset that recognises that we are greater than the sum of our parts.