How to make the field of entrepreneurship more inclusive to migrants and refugees, people with disability, seniors, women, youth? Together with members of the European Business & Innovation Centre Network (EBN), The European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA) and Caritas organizations, Impact Hub gathered experts and entrepreneurs from all 5 groups in a series of virtual working sessions – Communities of Practice – to debate, exchange, investigate, plan, prototype and evaluate the activities in the field of inclusive entrepreneurship.

The first virtual session of the Better Incubation program we are part of took place at the end of May 2021 and we got inspired to hear about what different entrepreneurs and experts are doing to build more inclusive entrepreneurship ecosystems. One of the participants is Rut Turró, she is, in her own words, a social entrepreneur in the fashion industry. She is also a woman entrepreneur and the founder of Moving Mood, which started as a clothing line for people with reduced mobility and turned into a research and consulting partner for the fashion industry on the topic of inclusive fashion. 

We asked her why she became an entrepreneur, what impact she aims to make on the world – she also shared examples of impact in action.  

Inclusive entrepreneurship Rut Turro founder of Moving Mood

Rut Turró, Founder of Moving Mood

Q: In preparing for our interview, I loved reading about how you want to give more power and opportunities to women, who carry the burden of day-to-day work but are under-recognised. I’m curious about your story as a woman entrepreneur, but first, what did you want to be growing up? 

A: I wanted to be like my mum, to take care of the house, the kids, etc. When I was seven years old, my family started a bakery in Barcelona. This was a turning point. Everything changed completely, with my parents working all day, every day, including weekends. My sister and I spent Monday to Friday with a babysitter. Saturday with parents and Sunday with grandparents. Suddenly, I did not want to be like my mum anymore. I wanted to be happy. I remember every year on my birthday I had the same wish: may everyone be happy.

Q: Your parents became entrepreneurs and it sounds like this wasn’t the path you wanted to pursue when you were young. Yet, you call yourself a social entrepreneur today. Why did you become an entrepreneur? 

A: Because I couldn’t find any job linked to social impact and fashion design. The only option was working in design for fair trade products at an NGO. Options were very limited and, usually, NGOs have many volunteers, not paid jobs. In the long run, this wasn’t a sustainable path. Also, the products were ‘hippie’ and it was not my style. I would buy them because of the philosophy behind, not because I liked them. So, I decided to start a project by myself. Bringing together social impact, fashion and design. 

Q: It’s always interesting to hear how personal frustration leads to new businesses! Beyond your desire to design better fair trade products in the fashion industry, were there any insights that led to starting Moving Mood?

A: The initial idea was to develop a clothing line for people with reduced mobility. All adapted garments available around 2011-2014 were very poorly designed and not fashionable at all! I started under the name Fit and Sit, focused on clothing for people permanently seated. It did not work very well. I understood early on that people wanted to buy clothes from traditional brands, so, I changed my initial idea and began to sell a service and provide knowledge on inclusive fashion for designers and brands. We changed the brand name to Moving Mood, moving for a good mood. And we are focused on research, product development, consulting and education. 

Inclusive entrepreneurship_Moving Mood

Q: Inspiring to hear! Now, let’s talk about impact. What impact are you already making on the fashion industry – and perhaps as a woman entrepreneur too – and what’s your impact ambition? 

A: Our impact is to include accessibility in design collections without the need to create a specifically adapted line, so all garments can be used by the whole of society, independently of their needs. We are training companies, design studios and students. 

Our impact ambition is to build a more equal fashion industry, with more inclusive products and job opportunities. For example, we developed an adaptation for an industrial sewing machine, so it can be used by people with physical disabilities!

Q: An inclusive sewing machine, what a good example of impact in action! I’d love to learn a little more about your views on women’s entrepreneurship. Over the past years, you have collaborated with many entrepreneurial women – what have you learned from them? 

A: We are stronger together, we are better together. I constantly meet powerful women I admire. We connect easily, try to help each other and share contacts. I truly believe we empower each other. There’s often a shared feeling and understanding of the troubles we face or have faced in the past – and shared pride in having come to where we are today as entrepreneurs. 

Q: I have to ask then, what advice do you have for female entrepreneurs? 

A: My advice for any entrepreneur is: do something that makes you vibrate from every pore of your skin.


Follow Rut and her inspiring work on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter

Over the upcoming period, we’ll be sharing more stories of inclusive entrepreneurship in this blog. Stay tuned!

To follow our work as part of the Better Incubation program, you can read more here, subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on our Impact Hub social channels: LinkedInTwitterInstagram, and Facebook.

Jordan, 1  June, 2021 – The Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship (MoDEE) and its mandated Advisory Committee and Sub-Committees, supported by the United Nations Development Programme Jordan (UNDP Jordan) and Impact Hub gathered to advance policy development work in support of social entrepreneurs in Jordan.

The UNDP program, “Heart of Amman II”, aims at advancing the development of the social entrepreneurship ecosystem and the promotion of policy dialogue to implement solutions to commonly faced challenges amongst social enterprises. Through a series of policy dialogue workshops, led by the Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship (MoDEE), in collaboration with UNDP and Impact Hub, key policy makers, funders, academia, business development experts, impact measurement related stakeholders, social enterprises and civil society collaborate to develop social entrepreneurship policy and enable a social economy environment in Jordan.

During the 1-2 June workshop, an in-depth review of the Jordan social enterprise ecosystem was conducted; opportunities and gaps were discussed alongside topics such as return on investment, institutional frameworks, access to finance, impact measurement & management and international impact certification practices. The workshop insights will be embedded and concluded with a report summarizing draft policy recommendations to the Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship (MoDEE), its Advisory Committee, related Sub-Committees and involved stakeholders. Following this, co-created policy initiatives, as well as a roadmap for policy development, will be proposed and presented. 

His Excellency Ahmad Hanandeh opened the workshops on 1 June by stating that, “There is a need, and a national gain, to enhance social entrepreneurship support structures – to allow social enterprises to start up, but also to scale up and grow in order to maximize their contributions to solving pressing social issues, enhancing livelihoods and reaching out to the marginalized and vulnerable.” 

UNDP Resident Representative Sara Ferrer Olivella stated, “We are pleased to support national efforts and aspirations to develop a policy and regulatory framework in which social entrepreneurs can thrive, boost the economy and positively impact society and nature.”

Gabriela Gandel, Executive Director of Impact Hub commented, “As we get closer to concrete policy recommendations for the Jordanian context, with significant stakeholder support, we are pleased to also see increased committed interest of both local and international financial and non-financial organizations to engage with the growing social enterprise Jordanian ecosystem. This will ensure that the return on investment from this initiative becoming reality will have significant local impact and bring international credibility and opportunity.” 

Policy makers can stay connected with the initiative by reaching out to UNDP Jordan. Social enterprises and social enterprise support organisations locally and internationally can get involved by reaching out to Impact Hub Amman.  

To follow the work that UNDP Jordan and Impact Hub are doing as part of the Heart of Amman II project, and be the first to know of opportunities to get involved, follow along on our social media channels.  

In all Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram posts, please tag Impact Hub (@impacthub), the UNDP (@UNDPJordan) and the Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship (@MODEEJo) when they are mentioned, and use the hashtags #ImpactHub4Jordan #JordanSocEntPolicy #HeartOfAmman #ImpactInAction


About Impact Hub

Impact Hub is a global network focused on building entrepreneurial communities for impact at scale. With 100+ communities of 16,500 social entrepreneurs & innovators in more than 55 countries across five continents, Impact Hub is one of the world’s largest communities and accelerators for positive change. It contributes to the development of social enterprise ecosystems to drive collaboration and innovation around the Sustainable Development Goals through locally rooted Impact Hubs, as well as with partners and allied networks.

Impact Hub media contact

Wendy van Leeuwen, Global Communications Director, [email protected]

About UNDP Jordan

Established in 1976; the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is one of the United Nations Agencies working in Jordan and is the main convener of sustainable development.

As part of the global development system; UNDP Jordan upholds a vision focusing on the achievements of Sustainable Human Development in Jordan, ending poverty and reducing inequalities. UNDP is at the heart of the UN’s work on sustainable development and a leader for the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals.

UNDP media contact

Tala Al Shakhanbeh, Communication Coordinator, [email protected]

Where there’s a will, there’s a way. These African entrepreneurs are creating their’s, providing solutions to some of Ghana and Nigeria’s most pressing challenges in education and health, and driving innovation through technology to empower young people and women.

The ongoing pandemic has reminded us of the importance of building resilient, fair, and equitable societies that ensure no one is left behind and allow all individuals not only to meet their basic needs but to thrive. As such, the role of social enterprises, focused on creating lasting positive impact beyond generating profit, has become more necessary than ever.

In West Africa, bold entrepreneurs like Abisola Oladapo, founder and CEO of Mumspring, and Daniel Amedza, co-founder of Scribble Works, have been doing incredible work in this regard for years, developing innovative health and education solutions through their social enterprises.

Mumspring: fighting to reduce maternal and infant mortality rates in Nigeria

According to the WHO, 20% of all global maternal deaths occur in Nigeria. A country with one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world and where the risk of dying during childbirth is 1 in 22, compared to 1 in 4900 in most developed countries. Thankfully, Mumspring has been providing vital support to Nigerian pregnant women and mothers since 2018.

Abisola Oladapo launched her venture after she became a mother and began to learn about the tragic statistics for maternal and neonatal health in the country. It serves women from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, focusing on women from underserved communities and providing them with the resources they need to have safe pregnancies and deliveries.

Mumspring serves women from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, focusing on women from underserved communities and providing them with the resources they need to have safe pregnancies and deliveries.

Entrepreneurs tackling Nigeria maternal health issues

Their flagship product is Agnes, an app that does not require internet access and uses AI-powered voice calls to provide low-income expecting mothers with language-specific tools and resources for a safe pregnancy and delivery. The mothers have 24/7 access to midwives as well as relevant antenatal and prenatal education. Agnes became particularly relevant during the pandemic because it enables women to access the information they need without meeting physically.

They also offer other products such as mumspring mall, an online marketplace for maternal items, and mumspring App, aimed at middle to upper-class mothers, that provides vital pregnancy and newborn information.

With these offerings, Mumspring has given key support to over 2,000 expecting mothers across southwest Nigeria and plans to onboard over 20,000 women by the end of 2021.

Scribble Works: bridging the educational gap in Ghana through technology

Access to quality education in Africa has been a major problem for a long time. Data from UNESCO shows that in Sub-Saharan Africa, over one-fifth of children between the ages of about 6 and 11, one-third of young people between the ages of 12 and 14, and roughly 60% of youth between the ages of about 15 and 17 are not in school. Even for students that are, the quality of the education they receive often falls short compared to the one in other regions.

The challenges in education were intensified by the pandemic, as schools shut down and many were not equipped with the technology necessary for their students to continue learning.

Scribble Works became a very timely solution to enable educators and students in Ghana to work remotely. The social enterprise provides technology training for schools without access to computer labs and internet services. In doing so, they help to close the educational gap between students from low and high-income schools across the globe.

Scribble Works provides technology training for schools without access to computer labs and internet services. In doing so, they help to close the educational gap between students from low and high-income schools across the globe.

The company has successfully onboarded over 100 schools, building capacity for educators and providing them with the 21st-century skills they need to compete globally.

Entrepreneurs tackling Ghanas education issues

Boosting the impact of social entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs like Abisola and Daniel and social enterprises like theirs are crucial to meeting the needs of local communities as well as national economies. It is therefore imperative to provide them with all the tools they need to remain sustainable in the long term and to expand their reach.

The New Economy Booster Program, launched in August 2020, was created to support impact-oriented businesses like these. During the program, participating ventures received training, accessed resources to help them scale, increased their reach and visibility, and ultimately became more equipped to create a deeper impact.

Daniel explained that Scribble Works joined it because he saw it as “An opportunity to take our business to the next level”. He further expressed that it would have been very difficult for its business to recover from the impact of COVID-19 without its support. 

For Mumspring it was an opportunity to scale, as they were offered a grant by the Department of International Jobs in the UK to expand to the country while going through the program. 

To learn more about these social enterprises and others like them, take a look at the program’s Dealbook.


This article is part of a series featuring impact-driven entrepreneurs from Ghana and Nigeria sparking innovation in COVID-19 affected sectors. To keep up to date with the New Economy Booster program, subscribe to our newsletter, follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and listen to the testimonies of the participants and program managers on our YouTube channel.

Food insecurity has plagued the African continent for years, with Nigeria being one of the hardest hit countries. The good news is that local entrepreneurs are creating innovative solutions to address this challenge.

Annual food inflation in Nigeria reached 22.95% in March 2021 – the highest reading since October 2005 – according to a recent report by the Nigerian National Bureau of Statistics. The cost of food for the average Nigerian is the highest it has been in a long time, making it unaffordable for many, and the economic effects of the pandemic have only exacerbated the situation.

Alt Foods and Farmspeak Technology, two of the ventures that participated in our New Economy Booster program, are working to tackle this problem. They focus on creating impact-oriented solutions for the agricultural sector by supporting farmers and making food more accessible to Nigerians.

Alt Foods: providing locally sourced food options to young Nigerians

Alt Foods aims to bridge the gap between locally sourced food and non-consumption”, in the words of Pascaline Opeodu, one of its Co-Founders. She shares a passion for food, sustainable development, and women’s rights with Comfort Oladeji, her cofounder, who she met at university. This led them to create their venture, focused on improving access to local, affordable food while making a positive impact in local farming communities.

“Alt Foods aims to bridge the gap between locally sourced food and non-consumption.” — Pascaline Opeodu, Co-Founder of Alt Foods.

Their debut product ‘Egbo’ – or maize grits – is a local food slowly losing popularity because of the 7 hours of cooking time it requires. They sell a version that only takes 45 minutes to cook. The maize is purchased from local farmers in Oyo state, processed by a team of women who are mostly survivors of gender-based violence, packaged with eco-friendly materials, and marketed to millennials and Gen Zs who are largely unfamiliar with the dish. 

Their goal is to provide affordable and nutritious alternatives to highly processed fast food, expand their offerings, and eventually regain love for healthy, local cuisine. By sourcing and producing this food locally, Alt foods is contributing to the agricultural economy while enabling people to access affordable and quality food.

Farmspeak Technology: transforming poultry farming systems

In the words of Adaeze Akpagbula, one of the founding members of Farmspeak Technology, the company is “motivated by the need to solve societal challenges using tech.” It focuses on addressing extreme poverty within small and medium-scale poultry farmers through agricultural technology. Their software and hardware solutions aim to enhance data-driven agriculture and improve the economic outcomes of the farmers. 

“Farmspeak Technology is motivated by the need to solve societal challenges using tech.” — Adaeze Akpagbula, Farmspeak Technology Co-Founder.

Many small and medium-scale poultry farmers in Nigeria still do not have access to modern farming practices that could increase their productivity. To solve this, Farmspeak currently offers two tech solutions that allow farmers to work remotely more often and help automate the farming process: 

Adaeze states that the company is primarily driven by impact, not profit. Their main goals are to improve the livelihood of the farmers they work with and contribute to better food security in the nation. With their technology, farmers can reduce poultry mortality, increase yield per cycle, and so improve the availability of poultry at affordable prices to Nigerians while also improving the farmers’ economic gain. 

The need for this kind of technology in Africa is clear. Proof of it is that Farmspeak Technology was recently featured as an innovator on Baobab Insights’ selection of 40 Precision Agriculture Companies in Africa – a list of companies doing the necessary work of transforming Africa’s agriculture through technology. 

To learn more about these and other impact-driven businesses take a look at the New Economy Booster’s DealBook, which showcases the companies that joined the program to access support and resources to help ensure their sustainability during and after the pandemic.


This article is part of a series featuring impact-driven entrepreneurs from Ghana and Nigeria sparking innovation in COVID-19 affected sectors. To keep up to date with the New Economy Booster program, subscribe to our newsletter, follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and listen to the testimonies of the participants and program managers on our YouTube channel.

Turning challenges into opportunities. That is what entrepreneurs around the world have always done, and the pandemic is no exception. This article is the first in a series of eight where we will share the stories of African startups from Ghana and Nigeria who are doing just that. From healthcare to education, agriculture, and engineering, meet the resilient entrepreneurs who are creating a positive impact on their local communities as well as national economies and contributing to the country’s post-pandemic economic recovery during these incredibly tough times. 

Let’s start with some context

The pandemic had significant implications in both Ghana and Nigeria. 

In Ghana, an estimated 42,000 people lost their jobs in the first two months of the pandemic. Their three-week lockdown in April 2020 caused GDP to fall by an estimated 27.9% during that period and an additional 12.23% (3.8 million) Ghanaians temporarily became poor.

Despite a minimal increase in GDP by the 4th quarter, the Nigerian economy suffered a -4.20% decline in 2020 compared to 2019, according to the country’s National Bureau of Statistics. It is also estimated that household incomes fell by a quarter during their 8-week lockdown, resulting in a 9% increase in the national poverty rate, meaning an additional 17 million people fell below the poverty line.

It has been proven over and over that entrepreneurship plays a huge role in getting us through – and out of – challenging economic times. Yet, it is also the entrepreneurs and small businesses that are most affected by economic crises.

To help shape the post-COVID-19 economic recovery in Ghana and Nigeria and support their entrepreneurs, Impact Hub created a program called New Economy Booster in partnership with Lab of tomorrow and with support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). It was designed to boost innovative, impact-driven ventures by granting them access to resources, skills training, business coaching, potential investors and more. The goal? To help them not only survive the pandemic but to thrive. 

These are the stories of three of the participants, who are developing successful businesses despite the circumstances

Three west African businesses succeeding despite challenges

The Three Cord Collective: rethinking sustainable engineering in Nigeria

The three founders of The Three Cord Collective, Banke Makinde, Tunde Adekoya, and Rachel Lulu-Briggs, had always discussed the need for a local engineering solutions company. But it wasn’t until COVID-19 arrived that they finally realized their idea. 

“The Three Cord Collective is a social impact-driven engineering solutions company with a focus on sustainable development.” — Banke Makinde, Co-founder of The Three Cord Collective.

They provide innovative, local engineering and design solutions to some of Nigeria’s most pressing needs. 

Take for instance their flagship product, water sanitation basins. A low-cost, sustainable, and locally sourced option for public centers to comply with COVID-19 safety measures. 

Their end goal is to design and manufacture sustainable and affordable products for sanitation, agriculture, and other critical areas in Nigeria. 

During the New Economy Booster program, the team learned about effective business model design, financial structuring, and market research. They also gained invaluable mentorship from field experts that helped ensure they would be able to offer this much-needed service while remaining successful in the long term. 

african businesses

Attendees at a New Economy Booster event.

Suma Systems: providing easy logistics to small businesses in Ghana

According to a report on the state of small businesses, somewhere between 31-40% of small businesses in Ghana and Nigeria were forced to shut down between January and May of 2020. 

The businesses that were able to go digital – sell and market online – were the ones most likely to survive. This situation emphasized the need for ventures like Suma Systems, which focuses on providing easy, technology-based logistics services to Small Businesses in Ghana. 

A reliable delivery system is key in the e-commerce value chain but is something many businesses in Ghana still lack. The founders, Alhassan Yakubu, Raymond Taaku, Yakubu Salisu, and Jehu Appiah, launched their unique product in August 2020 to fill this gap. 

With the Suma delivery app customers connect to the closest rider using GPS, which makes the logistics process seamless for all users. 

Yakubu and Raymond claim that the New Economy Booster program was pivotal in granting them access to learning resources and networking opportunities. They connected with various businesses through the program events that eventually patronized them and spread the news of their products. 

Since their launch during the pandemic, they have estimated over 2,000 application downloads and have over 75 recurring customers weekly. But their plans don’t stop here. “In the next ten years, we expect 90% of smartphone users to have the Suma app”, says Yakubu Salisu. They also hope to be operating in 16 regions in Ghana.

african businesses

Attendees at a New Economy Booster event.

Frish/Nshonam: supporting Ghana’s local fisher community

Frish Ventures emerged in response to a problem the founders, Geoffrey Coombs and Samuel Danso, noticed in the Ghanaian fish market. 

Local fishermen struggled to compete with cheap, imported alternatives and illegal fish trawlers.  To solve this, these two entrepreneurs decided to partner with artisanal canoe fisherpeople to take their products to wider markets, cutting down the long process in the value chain. In doing so, they were supporting them to build sustainable businesses.

“Our plan is to make sure we are changing the lives of the artisanal fishermen.” — Samuel Danso, Director of Commercial Operations at Frish Ventures.

The onset of the pandemic emphasized the relevance of the technology aspect of their solution, a low-cost marketing and cold-chain logistics platform. They decided to join the New Economy Booster program to learn to scale this specific aspect of their business. “The New Economy Booster program really impacted our business and strategic thinking”, Samuel Danso says. 

The coaching and mentoring sessions helped them elevate their pitch deck and supported their strategy development. Their work eventually paid off and during the program, they received funding of USD 70k pre-committed from investors, which they will use to expand market access, improve their tech solution, invest in their cold chain network, and expand across Ghana. 

Long term, the company plans to pilot a micro-credit product for the fisherpeople and to extend its offering as a partner for artisanal fishers across the West African region.  

These are just a few of the many ventures and entrepreneurs who seized opportunities during this period, exhibited incredible resilience in the face of significant challenges, and used the resources the New Economy Booster program provided to grow their businesses and achieve success. 

Learn more about these and other amazing businesses in the program’s Dealbook


This article is part of a series featuring impact-driven entrepreneurs from Ghana and Nigeria sparking innovation in COVID-19 affected sectors. To keep up to date with the New Economy Booster program, subscribe to our newsletter, follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and listen to the testimonies of the participants and program managers on our YouTube channel.

At Impact Hub, we’re excited to work with IKEA of Sweden to find the innovators and disruptors of the food sector.

IKEA is a curious company with a constant drive to enable people to live a better everyday life within the limits of the planet. As one of the world’s largest food providers, IKEA aims to make healthy and sustainable food more affordable and desirable to the people. This is why they are looking for innovative food ventures in two areas:

  • Plant-based, alternative protein sources as ingredients or meat alternatives.
  • Solutions for re-use of food by-products and waste.

If you are innovating in any of the above areas, have a proven business model, are a legally registered business, speak fluent English, apply here by 19 May (Terms & Conditions).

Selected ventures will: 

  • Pitch to IKEA.
  • Have the chance to be selected to develop a pilot with IKEA.
Join the IKEA Food Innovation Program

Learn more about why IKEA is innovating in the food space and what they’re looking for in collaboration with ventures on IKEA Today.

For more information, please contact our scout, Susanne van Maanen, via [email protected]

Jordan, 23 April, 2021 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in its efforts to assist the social enterprise policy process in Jordan, led by the Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship (MoDEE), organized a workshop in collaboration with Impact Hub.

To support employment generation among youth and marginalized communities, promote social cohesion as well as to support the Government of Jordan in developing a vibrant social entrepreneurship ecosystem, UNDP launched “Heart of Amman (HoA)” in July 2019 funded by the People of Japan. The program successfully contributed to providing entrepreneurship opportunities to more than 200 vulnerable community members and entrepreneurs with social impact. To build on the achieved progress, UNDP designed an upscaled and expanded program, “Heart of Amman II”, in partnership with the Japanese government. This program aims at advancing the development of the social entrepreneurship ecosystem and the promotion of policy dialogue to implement solutions to commonly faced development challenges, through the establishment of social enterprises.

In its second phase, the program includes technical assistance for social enterprise policy development, including policy dialogue workshops across April-June 2021 with key stakeholders, social enterprises and civil society, in support to the Social Entrepreneurship Advisory Committee, as they develop the social entrepreneurship policy and enable a social economy environment in Jordan.

UNDP Jordan and Impact Hub Network will be helping to develop policies and regulations in support of social entrepreneurs, leveraging the work done to date in the Jordanian context and international relevant practices, including the use of the OECD Better Entrepreneurship Tool. The initial topics covered in the kick-off workshop in April 2021, included a review of approaches on legal forms and regulations as well as relevant practices to set up an effective policy context – including on social enterprise culture, access to market and finance, impact measurement and evaluation, and skills and business development support. Through a series of further workshops, stakeholder consultations and research taking place during May and June, the gaps, opportunities and key needs regarding policy are mapped out. In a follow-up workshop during June, a report summarising key policy recommendations will be discussed with the Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship (MoDEE) and involved stakeholders. Following this, co-created policy initiatives, as well as a road map for policy development, will be proposed and presented. 

UNDP Resident Representative Sara Ferrer Olivella stated, “We are pleased today to launch the first UNDP SE Policy Workshop in partnership with MODEE and the Social Entrepreneurship Advisory Committee, following our cooperation MOU with MODEE. Social entrepreneurship in Jordan offers not only a path for young Jordanians to transform their own lives but also a way to empower others. We believe that young social entrepreneurs have a key role to play in contributing to the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

Gabriela Gandel, Executive Director of Impact Hub Global commented, “We applaud MoDEE’s initiative to acknowledge social entrepreneurship as a key approach to building a strong economy and society, generating inclusive jobs, spurring innovation and contributing to the SDGs. We are inspired to contribute relevant international practice from the 60 countries we are present in, in support of this process and our partners at UNDP Jordan.” 

To keep track of the work that UNDP Jordan and Impact Hub are doing as part of the Heart of Amman project, and be the first to know of opportunities to get involved, follow along on our social media channels. 

In all Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram posts, please tag Impact Hub (@impacthub), the UNDP (@UNDPJordan) and the Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship (@MODEEJo) when they are mentioned, and use the hashtags #ImpactHub4Jordan #JordanSocEntPolicy #HeartOfAmman.


About Impact Hub

Impact Hub is a global network focused on building entrepreneurial communities for impact at scale. With 100+ communities of 16,500 social entrepreneurs & innovators in more than 55 countries across five continents, Impact Hub is one of the world’s largest communities and accelerators for positive change. It contributes to the development of social enterprise ecosystems to drive collaboration and innovation around the Sustainable Development Goals through locally rooted Impact Hubs, as well as with partners and allied networks.

Impact Hub media contact

Wendy van Leeuwen, Global Communications Director, [email protected]

About UNDP Jordan

Established in 1976; the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is one of the United Nations Agencies working in Jordan and is the main convener of sustainable development.

As part of the global development system; UNDP Jordan upholds a vision focusing on the achievements of Sustainable Human Development in Jordan, ending poverty and reducing inequalities. UNDP is at the heart of the UN’s work on sustainable development and a leader for the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals.

UNDP media contact

Tala Al Shakhanbeh, Communication Coordinator, [email protected]

To open an Impact Hub, like starting any business, takes courage – even more so in 2020, the year our world changed. From England to Bangladesh via Switzerland, we spoke to some of our fearless founders who opened an Impact Hub in 2020. They tell us about their journey, learnings and aspirations for a better future.

Meet Kamran, Shazeeb, and Carlotta, the founders of Impact Hub Bradford, Dhaka and Ticino respectively;

Q. Let’s start with why. Why – despite the unusual year that was 2020 and continues in 2021 – did you open an Impact Hub?

A. Shazeeb M Khairul Islam, Director of Impact Hub Dhaka, Bangladesh: The journey of Impact Hub in Dhaka started with a vision to build a community of socially and environmentally conscious individuals within a shared space to meet, learn and connect.

By opening an Impact Hub, we knew that we had the ability to revolutionize Dhaka’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and enable entrepreneurs and organizations to be more impact-driven and sustainable.

“The ongoing pandemic has made it even clearer that our support to social enterprises is crucial to restructure the new normal and solve the most pressing issues of our time.” — Shazeeb M Khairul Islam, Director of Impact Hub Dhaka.

But shortly after opening our doors and beginning to realize our vision, the country went into lockdown. We were left with an empty space and saw many of our friends struggle and pivot their businesses to be able to continue their journey.

The good news is that it didn’t stop us. Not only that, but the ongoing pandemic has made it even clearer that our support to social enterprises – via capacity building, providing access to global resources, opportunities and mentors – is crucial to restructure the new normal and solve the most pressing issues of our time.

Impact Hub Dhaka, one of the Impact Hubs that opened in 2020

Impact Hub Dhaka, one of the Impact Hubs that opened in 2020.

“The pandemic also had a positive side; it forced us to rethink our strategy and priorities, and reinforce our purpose.” — Carlotta Zarattini, Co-founder of Impact Hub Ticino.

A. Carlotta Zarattini, Co-founder of Impact Hub Ticino, Switzerland: The COVID-19 crisis has been quite shocking for our team… However, the pandemic also had a positive side; it forced us to rethink our strategy and priorities, and reinforce our purpose.

We soon realized that the – pandemic and post-pandemic – world needed an inclusive and sustainable economy more than ever, and the support of the Impact Hub network to the changemakers driving this change is crucial for achieving it. 

Q. That’s inspiring to read. Are there any examples of entrepreneurial action in response to the pandemic you witnessed in your community?

A. Shazeeb: We were able to provide food, medicine and face masks to front-line workers and our community members. We produced 3D-printed face shields with our member Wizkit and donated them to frontline fighters. Our friends from Amarlab supported us by organizing free medical health camps for our community and the Grameen family and staff. We even hosted the 2021 Social Business Youth Summit in a hybrid format, bringing together hundreds of participants and over 75 speakers from all over the world including Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus and Alberto Masetti Zannini, Global Development Director of the Impact Hub Network.

Now, we are committed to continue nurturing our community and creating a Bangladesh where we all thrive, together!

Q. Wow, beautiful! Next, let’s talk about courage. It’s one of our values as Impact Hub, alongside collaboration and trust. Opening an Impact Hub is a courageous thing to do, even more so during times of pandemic. How do you define courage?

A. Kamran Rashid, CEO of Impact Hub Bradford, England: Courage is when your inner voice tells you can’t do it – and yet you do it. The fear is palpable and the uncertainty ahead raises doubts, but you rise above your challenges, work through your limits and make yourself vulnerable knowing it’s the right thing to do.

Impact Hub Bradford team

Imran Ali, Mohammed Kamran, and Mandip Sahota from Impact Hub Bradford.

“The fear is palpable and the uncertainty ahead raises doubts, but you rise above your challenges, work through your limits and make yourself vulnerable knowing it’s the right thing to do.” — Kamran Rashid, CEO of Impact Hub Bradford.

A. Shazeeb: at Impact Hub we look at courage as the ability to take action despite our fear. In the face of the pandemic, we let our inner courage and resilience determine how far we, as a community, will reach in achieving our goals and continue thriving as we transition into the post-Covid world.

A. Carlotta: Courage is the strength to be ourselves, to believe in our vision no matter what, to the extent of not being scared of being (left) alone. Courage means to accept risk as part of the journey and to see positivity in every challenge. Courage is also the fearless awareness of the unknown.

Q. Incredible. What do you see as the main benefits of being part of the Impact Hub network? 

A. Carlotta: The network is alive and always ready to support and encourage us. We never feel alone! 

The shared expertise is invaluable and we always try to remember ourselves that, in most cases, a solution is literally “a call away”. We are also lucky to have a strong and highly structured network in Switzerland and wouldn’t be at this stage of development without them. 

Being part of a global network and movement also has a spiritual sense: it’s the feeling of belonging that connects us all, gives us the strength to believe in our vision and go on despite the difficulties.

A. Kamran: Being part of the network makes me feel I am not alone. I am one person, part of a community of 17,000+ changemakers who help inspire, enable, connect around the same vision.

Impact Hub Ticino team in 2020

Impact Hub Ticino team in 2020.

Q. What advice would you give to others who want to open an Impact Hub? 

A. Kamran: Be prepared to be challenged, unlearn what you think works and remember this is a marathon, not a sprint. In years to come, you will look back and think you made the right decision when you joined the world’s largest tribe of changemakers. You will not regret it!

A. Shazeeb: Do it with joy!

A. Carlotta: Take all the time you need (or even a bit more) to put together a solid and committed team, and don’t forget the human side of it. Invest in getting to know each other and talk in an empathic and constructive way. That’s the main takeaway many other co-founders shared with me and I cannot deny it was difficult for me to understand how urgent this could be until I became a founder myself. 

Challenges often go hand in hand with opportunities and those arising from the COVID-19 pandemic are not an exception.

The stories of Shazeeb, Kamran, Carlotta and their teams, are three examples of brave, bold and impact-oriented entrepreneurs who have stood up to adversity and joined our movement, one of the world’s largest networks focused on building entrepreneurial communities for impact at scale. 

Inspired to make a change and open an Impact Hub in your city? Find out about the options available and get in touch!

As the pandemic continues to shape our lives and the future, it’s time to take a moment to reflect on the past year, its challenges, as well as the merits that came with a renewed vigor to craft a new path. Among these was the emergence of a collective desire to create better conditions and targeted support for social entrepreneurs across the globe. 

At Impact Hub, one of our key values is collaboration. When we were asked to join and collaborate with 39 global (impact) organizations to launch the World Economic Forum COVID-19 Response Alliance for Social Entrepreneurs, we immediately saw this as an opportunity to shape the new economy with exciting partners.

What is this Alliance all about? It is about changing the way we work in supporting impact entrepreneurs! It brings together knowledge, experience, and support initiatives from Acumen, Yunus Social Business, ANDE, and many others. Today the Alliance includes 85 organizations and represents 90,000 social entrepreneurs and reaches 1.9 billion people.

The story of the Alliance is one that needs more allies and advocates to truly achieve its goals. The work of the Alliance is divided into 10 initiatives including Corporate Access, Non-financial Support, Story Telling, and Regional Mobilization among others. Impact Hub, in its role as Regional Mobilization Co-Lead, partnered with the Aavishkar Group to bring the work of the Alliance to Sankalp Africa Summit on March 3rd. Using the Sankalp platform, which included more than 700 conference participants (intermediaries, investors, entrepreneurs), Impact Hub and the Aavishkar Group were able to recruit more partners to join the Alliance.

COVID-19 WEF Alliance: Insight into best practices in the pandemic response for Social Entrepreneurs in Africa

On March 3rd, we hosted a panel with WEF Alliance members Aavishkar Group to which we invited social entrepreneurs Ify Ummuna from Nourishing Africa and Abisola Oladapo.  The 90-minute dialogue brought together a range of voices from the social entrepreneurship ecosystem in Africa to highlight what has worked over the past year, how we can amplify and replicate the successes, and how to increase collaboration as the state of the crisis remains with us. 

WEF Alliance members sharing their experiences included Dr. Frank Aswani, CEO of Africa Venture Philanthropy Alliance, Drew von Glahn, Executive Director of Collaborative for Frontier Finance, and Carolien de Bruin, Head of the WEF COVID-19 Response Alliance for Social Entrepreneurs. 

The session showcased concrete examples of action taken by the Alliance members in Africa towards the relief effort for social entrepreneurs, with a special focus on how capital providers and non-financial support providers can engage with the World Economic Forum COVID Response Alliance for Social Entrepreneurs. Some of the calls to action to focus on were:   

  1. Building relationships
  2. Balancing the dynamic between capital providers and those receiving capital
  3. Better equipping entrepreneurship support organizations to be ready to act as connectors between ventures and investors
  4. Supporting entrepreneurs in articulating their needs

What is the Support Entrepreneurs need?

Most importantly the session focused on bringing the voices of social entrepreneurs to the fore. Entrepreneurs like Ify Ummuna from Nourishing Africa and Abisola Oladapo, Founder of Mumspring were present to give their input on what support will be needed to keep the support relevant to their needs.

Ify Ummuna, Program Lead at Nourishing Africa has created a home for more than 1 million actors across agriculture value-chains in the region. These actors face a variety of challenges that hinder their ability to scale, including lower propensity to partner, lack of access to finance, and inefficient business models. Such challenges were exacerbated by the pandemic to the point that over the past year more than 50% of the agribusiness value-chain actors temporarily or permanently closed their doors. Nourishing Africa sought to reverse some of these effects by delivering training to support more than 2000 entrepreneurs in developing more resilient business models and leveraging technology. This work was delivered in collaboration with the Mastercard Foundation.

Abisola Oladapo, Founder of Mumspring shared the powerful story of how her own journey as a mother drove her to realize that children and mothers needed more access to information in the pre and post-natal experience. Abisola shared a compelling rationale for the existence of Mumspring explaining that 57% of global maternal deaths occur in Africa, 80% of which are preventable. These shocking numbers are underscored by the fact that 67% of African women are having their babies without any support from trained medical professionals due to a lack of access to information about safe birth practices. Mumspring has developed a solution to ensure access to this knowledge is distributed in all local Nigerian languages. Mumspring will also soon expand to South Africa and Kenya before the end of the year. With this information, women can make informed decisions about their health and the health of their children.

The discussion provided new insights from the COVID-19 relief effort, with a particular focus on how it has affected social entrepreneurs in Africa. Using these perspectives, the discussion captured the opportunities for collaboration among willing partners and actors in the ecosystem in order to achieve impact at scale.  

 

If you or your partners would be interested in discussing more the Alliance’s work in Africa, contact [email protected]

The Global Impact Hub network condemns the recent actions of the Myanmar military undermining the democratic process and institutions of Myanmar, as well as the human rights of its citizens.

Throughout its network, Impact Hub supports peaceful, participatory and democratic structures and upholding of the rule of law. The actions of the military – neglecting the results of the November 2020 election, arrests of elected government officials and arbitrary legislation violating human rights are deeply concerning.

The Myanmar military has revoked the Myanmar constitutional articles pertaining to the basic human rights protection of the people. As a clear violation of human rights, this action grants the Myanmar military (armed forces) the right to arrest without warrants, as well as track, investigate the communication of and detain individuals without cause. The proposed cyber security law, which allows the military and its allies to intercept data, restrict internet access and detain people for up to three years, threatens freedom of information. As a Global Impact Hub Network, we are deeply concerned about these developments that highlight the need for urgent action.

The Impact Hub network calls on the international community to explore all options to take urgent action against the Myanmar military and expresses its support for the open letter from Myanmar civil society organizations to the UN Security Council. We, therefore, call on the Council to take action on restoring the democratic rules of law and protecting the rights of the Myanmar citizens.

The Impact Hub Network follows the request for the Council to urge the Myanmar military to:

 

We are awed to witness the determination and will of Myanmar people throughout their peaceful protests and civil disobedience movement. We call for the international community to uplift the visibility and spread awareness about this Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM), which represents the voices of the majority of Myanmar people.

The Impact Hub network believes that the current crisis in Myanmar is a critical test for the international community to demonstrate its capability to ensure the welfare and human rights of all people. Because of the recent escalation of violence and erosion of human rights, we believe that urgent action is needed. The Global Impact Hub network is available to support any efforts towards a beneficial resolution of this crisis for all individuals in Myanmar.

 

About Impact Hub

Impact Hub is a global network focused on building communities for impact at scale. With over 100 communities of 17,000 change-driven entrepreneurs in 60 countries across five continents, Impact Hub is one of the world’s largest communities and accelerators for positive change. Impact Hub builds ecosystems to drive collaboration and entrepreneurial innovation around the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through locally rooted Impact Hubs, as well as with partners and allied networks.