Mon 14 Sep, 2020
EVPA and EBN sign partnership agreement
EVPA and EBN will design and promote joint activities aimed at bringing together EU|BICs with investors to connect European impact-oriented entrepreneurs with sources of funding and increase their capacity in tackling societal and environmental challenges with innovative solutions.
The close collaboration emerges as the social economy sector and the entrepreneurial communities for positive impact rapidly expand. More and more EU|BICs are recognising the value of sustainability and societal impact-oriented ventures and looking for investors whose mission is to make organisations with an additional impact layer added to their business model succeed by providing financial and non-financial support.
Laura Lecci, CEO EBN:
‘EBN recognises that impact-driven entrepreneurship, by promoting new and scaling of existing companies, provides opportunities for Business Support Organisations (BSOs) to expand their scope. Including the specific tools and methods needed to support impact-driven businesses in our members’ service-portfolios aligns closely with our community’s mission. We see that entrepreneurial innovation has the potential to drive both economic and social development within European regions, leading to greater wellbeing for its societies. With EVPA we seek to take the next step in this journey and bring innovation to finance and finance to impact-driven innovation.’
Steven Serneels, Chair of EVPA:
‘Investors for impact offer a unique opportunity to access financial and non-financial resources to those incubators and accelerators that strive to embed impact at the heart of a business. The partnership with EBN will help to connect our members with these actors, allowing organisations to grow into purpose-driven businesses. It is of the utmost importance that incubators and accelerators who are serious about this impact journey can find a friendly home within EVPA to feel supported in their endeavour to create successful social businesses.’
The new partnership agreement foresees three phases: Phase 1 – Building mutual understanding; Phase 2 – Engaging with each other’s networks around venture philanthropy, and Phase 3 – Co-creating the national market for venture philanthropy, making Europe a thriving space to connect impact investors with incubators and accelerators with an impact focus and their respective companies, primarily in Europe.
As a first action, both EVPA and EBN will contribute to the opening session of the upcoming Webinar Series “Impact Investing: dal dire al fare” (‘’Impact Investing: from saying to doing’’ – between 14 September and 26 October 2020) hosted by the Italian EBN member AR-TER. This series of six online sessions will present facts and figures, business models and investment strategies, and actors of the Italian impact investing ecosystem, in conversation with its protagonists and their business support actors (one session will be held in English).
EBN members and EU|BICs are well-positioned to boost solutions to the challenges of our times by embracing social and inclusive entrepreneurship. This partnership follows up on the expressions of interest by EBN members across Europe to provide the network with actionable insights on how to include more social and inclusive elements to existing support services. Members who wish to follow the social economy and impact entrepreneurship sector closely should consider joining the Special Interest Group (SIG) on Social Impact, which supports European social innovation by raising visibility and helps EU|BICs shape and run their programmes to maximise the social and environmental impact of start-ups and SMEs.