BETTER INCUBATION

Innovation Ecosystems for Social Change

Better Incubation aims to kickstart an eco-systemic change by bringing incubation and business support services closer to the whole society. It promotes entrepreneurship and self-employment as means to create jobs, develop skills and give unemployed and vulnerable people an opportunity to fully participate in society and the economy.

Better Incubation is the result of collaborative efforts between Impact Hub, EVPA, and the European Business and Innovation Centre to foster a more inclusive and impact-driven approach to innovation entrepreneurship. In our joint pursuit to develop a more inclusive and socially engaged entrepreneurship support system, we focus on supporting underrepresented or vulnerable groups.

Reaching the beneficiaries

We aim to reach social and underrepresented entrepreneurs, policymakers, social actors, funders, incubators, and business support organisations (BSOs) through various mediums.

Explore how we do it by clicking on the mediums below

CAPACITY BUILDING BSOs

CAPACITY BUILDING BSOs

BSOs are provided with the knowledge and tools to run incubation programmes for social and inclusive entrepreneurs through experiential learning approaches.

CULTURAL PARADIGM SHIFT

CULTURAL PARADIGM SHIFT

To enhance the inclusiveness of BSOs, they are stimulated to participate in a wider cultural change in the incubation ecosystem which involves regional and EU stakeholders (investors, policymakers, social actors, BSOs) that can contribute to this paradigm shift.

MONITORING, ASSESSMENT, LEARNING

MONITORING, ASSESSMENT, LEARNING

By developing and testing a shared assessment framework, Better Incubation is able to measure and assess the impact and inclusiveness of incubation programmes.

NEW ALLIANCES

NEW ALLIANCES

The establishment of long-term collaborations among the main actors involved in the different aspects of social and inclusive entrepreneurship support ensures continuous improvements of the practices and offers support provided by mainstream incubators and other BSOs.

CAPACITY BUILDING BSOs

BSOs are provided with the knowledge and tools to run incubation programmes for social and inclusive entrepreneurs through experiential learning approaches.

CULTURAL PARADIGM SHIFT

To enhance the inclusiveness of BSOs, they are stimulated to participate in a wider cultural change in the incubation ecosystem which involves regional and EU stakeholders (investors, policymakers, social actors, BSOs) that can contribute to this paradigm shift.

MONITORING, ASSESSMENT, LEARNING

By developing and testing a shared assessment framework, Better Incubation is able to measure and assess the impact and inclusiveness of incubation programmes.

NEW ALLIANCES

The establishment of long-term collaborations among the main actors involved in the different aspects of social and inclusive entrepreneurship support ensures continuous improvements of the practices and offers support provided by mainstream incubators and other BSOs.

Key insights from the programme in 2021

19 Countries involved in the communities of practice

133 Entrepreneurs from under-represented groups engaged

198 Participants in the capacity-building sessions

Communities of Practice by Impact Hub

As part of the programme, Impact Hub is leading in building Communities of Practice (CoPs) where participants share their knowledge and experience on how to best approach and support entrepreneurs from under-represented groups. We developed five thematic CoPs targeting five vulnerable groups.

Migrants and Refugees

People with disabilities

Seniors

Women

Youth

Publication: Collection of Best Practices in Inclusive Entrepreneurs Support Programmes

We collected best practices, tools and resources for each of the target groups and selected 10 case studies including practical insights that showcase different programmatic approaches towards supporting vulnerable entrepreneurs in our publication.

Toolkit: I want to make my incubator more inclusive, what now?

This toolkit is a comprehensive collection of hands-on tools and methodologies for business support organisations aiming to make their incubation and other business support programmes more inclusive and accessible. The Toolkit is based on the experience and exchange among members of the Communities of Practice of the Better Incubation initiative.

WE ARE WORKING TOWARDS A MORE INCLUSIVE AND IMPACT-DRIVEN APPROACH TO INNOVATIVE ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN EUROPE, TOGETHER.

Get Inspired

Watch to find out how we are making a difference through Better Incubation activities, around the world. 

Training Opportunities

Better Incubation offers training opportunities to peers in Europe on how to adapt and modify their services to help social and under-represented entrepreneurs transform ideas into viable businesses and grow them by accessing new funding and market opportunities. These opportunities are part of the framework to promote entrepreneurship as an impactful contributor to solve social, ecological and economic issues in Europe.

The online training component is developed in conjunction with the two thematic pillars: the Social Entrepreneurship Pillar and the Inclusive Entrepreneurship Pillar. For the Social Entrepreneurship Pillar, the foundational course is freely available.

Foundational Training Course on Social Enterprise 2021

MODULE 1 – INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP

AIM
Equip participants with an understanding of the common characteristics of social enterprises and the different forms these can take within a European context.

ABOUT
An introduction to social enterprise framing the theoretical and legal parameters of the sector across Europe and charting various models across the social venture spectrum. BSOs will also learn from a series of case studies on business models and on balancing social, environmental and financial impact.

AVAILABLE LEARNING MATERIALS
Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship – PDF

Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship – Video

 

MODULE 2 -PROGRAM DESIGN AND DELIVERY

AIM
Equip participants with a shared vocabulary and understanding of the entrepreneurial journey and inspiration for how they can offer programmatic support to entrepreneurs at different stages of this journey.

ABOUT
A dive into the challenges entrepreneurs face at the four key stages of their journey and how support programmes can be designed and delivered in response to these challenges. BSOs will learn from the work Impact Hubs have done to identify, shape and co-create the provision of effective support to entrepreneurs and use this learning to develop or enhance their own support programmes.

AVAILABLE LEARNING MATERIALS
Program Design and Delivery – PDF

Program Design and Delivery – Video

 

MODULE 3 – IMPACT MEASUREMENT AND MANAGEMENT

AIM
To offer a first introduction to impact measurement and management and provide some guidance for BSOs on how to better support social entrepreneurs in defining their impact objectives and in managing their impact with the final objective of maximising it.

ABOUT
A first orientation to the main frameworks and definitions related to the social impact measurement and management practice. The module has the double objective of
1) supporting incubators and accelerators in improving their capacity to support social entrepreneurs in setting their impact objectives and defining their impact management systems
2) providing guidance to understand their own impact as business support organisations.

AVAILABLE LEARNING MATERIALS
Impact Measurement and Management Workshop – PDF

Impact Measurement and Management – Video

 

MODULE 4 – COMMUNICATING IMPACT

AIM
Equip participants with knowledge to identify their communication needs relating to social entrepreneur support and confidence to develop strategies that address these needs.

ABOUT
An overview of communication needs and strategies relating to social entrepreneur support. BSOs will explore essential considerations in this area, including how to find, engage and select the right social entrepreneurs for their support offer and how to communicate externally about their work and its impact.

AVAILABLE LEARNING MATERIALS
Communicating Impact – PPT

Communicating Impact – Video

 

MODULE 5 – FUNDING INSTRUMENTS

AIM
Offer participants an introduction to the funding opportunities available for social entrepreneurs.

ABOUT
The module offers a general overview of the spectrum of capital and the existing funding opportunities for social entrepreneurs as well as a description of the financial instruments available including, for example, equity crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending, outcome based social banking products, etc. The module also includes some basic notions in terms of organisational structures and investment opportunities.
In order to support BSOs to get social entrepreneurs investment ready, the module focuses on how investors for impact take investment decisions considering social impact as their first driver and offering non-financial support as a key asset alongside tailored financing.

AVAILABLE LEARNING MATERIALS
Funding Instruments Workshop – PDF

Funding Instruments – Video

Partners