COVID Response Alliance for Social Entrepreneurs

As an Alliance we share a responsibility and an opportunity to contribute at the scale that we collectively represent as a network. Our 2021 Roadmap involves an ambitious, member-led Action portfolio

To ensure a sustainable, inclusive recovery, it is critical that we scale up our individual and collective programs and activities. Our Alliance COVID Action Agenda recommends concrete actions that each sector actor can take in support of social entrepreneurs during this critical time. Our 2021 Roadmap - an ambitious portfolio of 21 Action projects and 10 areas in which change is vital to our field - builds on these actions, yet outlines the actions it will take as a collective.

Importantly, all clusters and projects are led and delivered by Alliance members. An overview of each action area, underlying projects, and dedicated leads is provided below.

Interested in joining in Action? Please submit our online Expression of Interest Form.

1 | REGIONAL MOBILIZATION

To respond effectively to the COVID crisis, connecting with those working on the ground is key. A risk with global Alliances like ours is that efforts fail to effectively connect to and support these frontline organizations or even recognize local realities. This Action Cluster will focus on building bridges between our global activities and the critical work of regional actors and entrepreneurs.

Cluster Leads:
Agora Partnerships, Aavishkaar Group, Impact Hub

Action Project(s):
I.1 | Together with SocEnts - Asia
Aavishkaar Group, Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN)
I.2 | Together with SocEnts - Africa Middle-East
Impact Hub, Synergos Institute
I.3 | Together with SocEnts - LATAM
Agora Partnerships, Latimpacto

2 | NON-FINANCIAL SUPPORT (NFS)

COVID-19 has been particularly challenging for social entrepreneurs, many of whom have found themselves fighting for their own survival while simultaneously stepping up to ensure the wellbeing of their communities. This Action Cluster investigates the unique needs of, and corresponding support required for social entrepreneurs on their path to scale and impact. Its goal: Ensure that the right support reaches the right social entrepreneur at the right time.

Cluster Leads: Agora Partnerships, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship

Action Project(s):
II.1 | Charting the Path Ahead for NFS, Agora Partnerships
II.2 | Transform: Survive & Thrive (Platform), Unilever, EY

3 | ACCESS TO CAPITAL

COVID-19 has exacerbated systemic challenges, including the $1tn p.a. financing gap among social enterprises and small and growing businesses (SGBs). This Action Cluster will provide a learning, convening, and action platform surrounding the capital needs of social entrepreneurs.

Cluster Leads:
Collaborative for Frontier Finance, Open Road Alliance, Roddenberry Foundation

Action Project(s):
III.1 | Relief Capital Mobilisation: +1 Global Fund, Roddenberry Foundation
III.2 | Social Enterprise Capital Support Collaborative, Collaborative for Frontier Finance
III.3 | EARF: Energy Access Relief Fund, Acumen, Shell Foundation

4 | CORPORATE ACCESS

The pandemic has shone a spotlight on the important role businesses and corporations play in contributing to society. How they operate can make a big positive difference. Businesses are often looking to establish new ways of working to ensure their sustainability, appeal, and ability to operate in existing and new markets. As suppliers and partners to larger corporations, social enterprises and social business have an opportunity to work with, educate and inspire the private sector and help facilitate a bigger social impact alongside business success. This Cluster will seek to find ‘corporate ready’ ventures from within our community, while providing the insights, tools and concrete mechanisms for corporations and social entrepreneurs to work together.

Cluster Leads:
Acumen, Euclid Network, IKEA Social Entrepreneurship, Yunus Social Business

Action Project(s):
IV.1 | Surfacing Corporate Ready Ventures, Acumen, IKEA Social Entrepreneurship
IV.2 | Buy Social: Procurement Initiative, Euclid Network, supported by the European Commission
IV.3 | Unusual Partners: Social Sourcing Accelerator, SAP, Yunus Social Business
IV.4 | 5x5 by 25: Social Procurement Initiative, SAP
IV.5 | Inclusive Capitalism Project, Acumen, EY

5 | LEADER & STEWARDSHIP

Social entrepreneurs across the world are leading the way in reinventing economies and building an inclusive, sustainable society for future generations. Yet, their agendas, solutions, and expertise often fail to come to the attention of local and global decision-makers. This Action Cluster was put in place to strengthen our collective stewardship and leadership muscle as an Alliance and, ultimately, as a sector. We believe that we have a unique opportunity to set the direction and pace of our global transition to a new societal normal by using our shared expertise and platforms.

Cluster Lead: World Economic Forum

[Action Projects to be announced: 2Q2021]

6 | STORYTELLING

How we tell the human stories and capture the concrete solutions and lessons learned by social entrepreneurs and innovators around the world matters. Rather than being used to simply ‘entertain’, these stories can be used to scale high-impact solutions, trigger behavioral change, and ultimately, inspire a change in values. This Action Cluster brings together the work of social enterprise champions with mainstream media, influencers, and event organisers to align messages, stories, and media interventions as a collective for greater impact.

Cluster Leads:
Catalyst 2030, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Action Project(s):
VI.1 | Raising our Profile: SocEnt Media & Stories, Thomson Reuters Foundation
VI.2 | Global Social Enterprise Story & Innovation Library, Leping Foundation

7. DATA & INFRASTRUCTURE

In responding to the COVID-19 crisis, one of our major challenges as a sector has been a lack of ‘real-time’ connection and communication with social entrepreneurs, which has hampered our ability to develop a shared, ‘live’ understanding of what’s needed on the ground and to channel much needed resources to these entrepreneurs quickly. This Alliance Action Cluster aspires to build a direct, shared, and lasting connection to the thousands of entrepreneurs that our members collectively reach. Our aspiration: Make shared outreach, learning, and ultimately progression towards a shared enabling data infrastructure worthwhile for entrepreneurs and intermediaries. One step at a time.

Cluster Leads: Euclid Network, Impact Hub, SAP

Action Project(s):
VII.1 | CONNECT: Creating a Direct Line to SocEnts on the Ground, All Cluster Leads
VII.2 | PULSE: Social Enterprise Monitor & Research Panels, Euclid Network supported by the European Commission
VII. 3 | INDEX: The Ease of Doing Social & Inclusive Business, Groupe SOS

8 | POLICY CHANGE FOR A SOCIAL ECONOMY

When COVID struck, it was clear that public sector leadership was critical in keeping our societies and economies on their feet. At the same time, with the path towards the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda being long, private sector action is key. This Action Cluster seeks to spur policy change by accelerating social and sustainable enterprises and their solutions as key contributors towards an inclusive recovery.

Cluster Leads: Catalyst 2030, Euclid Network

Action Project(s):
VIII.1 | Unlocking the Potential of the Social Economy through Policy,
Catalyst 2030, Euclid Network

9 | RACIAL EQUITY

Research shows that systemic racism is a pervasive global factor in the decision-making processes of philanthropic and investment industries. Across the globe, this results in Black leaders and other leaders of color facing a significant barrier to capital necessary to start organizations and scale their work. This Action Cluster seeks to raise awareness around these systemic issues and develop a roadmap that articulates concrete solutions and tactics towards addressing racial disparities in our sector, most notably in giving and investment.

Cluster Leads: Echoing Green, Schwab Foundation

Action Project(s):
IX.1 | Centering Racial Equity in the COVID-19 Response, Echoing Green, Schwab Foundation

10 | GREEN BUSINESSES

The COVID-19 crisis, combined with climate change, nature loss, and pressure on resources, has put communities across the globe under extreme pressure, affecting incomes and livelihoods. It has also slowed down progress on developing global targets for protecting the planet.. This Action Cluster seeks to instil critical environmental and conservation practices among enterprises everywhere, with the goal of building more resilient, diverse livelihoods that safeguard natural habitats.

Cluster Lead(s): WWF International

Action Project(s):
X.1 | Capacity Building for Conservation Community Enterprises (CCE), WWF International, Impact Hub