Top takeaways from SEWF13

The Social Enterprise World Forum is the premier global event focused exclusively on social enterprise. After co-hosting SEWF in Melbourne with Social Traders in 2009, SVA is a member of the SEWF Steering Committee and a long-term supporter of the event.

Following an extraordinarily successful event in Rio de Janeiro in 2012, Calgary hosted this year’s SEWF earlier this month. I was pleased to represent SVA at the Canadian event and would like to share my top takeaways from SEWF13:

1. Social Impact Bonds are going international with Social Development Bonds in the pipeline.

2. The spotlight shone on the potential of impacting investing in Indigenous businesses with Canada’s CAPE Fund alone providing $50m in private equity to Indigenous social enterprises.

3. Collaborations are the way forward.

4. Empathy is the name of the game in building unlikely alliances.

5. Timeframes towards sustainability may need to be relooked at – evidence shows this can take up to 10-12 years.

6. Indigenous people make up five per cent of the world’s population but make up 15 per cent of the world’s poor.

7. The three secret ingredients to establishing a successful social enterprise (courtesy of Adrian Appo) are:

a. Changing the game

b. Gathering the right people

c. Accessing funding and connecting with funders