17 November 2020
The New economy starts with Impact-Driven Entrepreneurs

As we all know, these past months have been daunting. Our world has been on a halt like never before. Most of us were forced to take a step back and change our habits to respect physical distancing measures. 

Our fundamental belief at Impact Hub has always been that impact can only take place through collective action. This isolation from each other has shown the world how interconnected we are and that substantial change can only occur when considering each other.

This unsolicited pause has also highlighted deeper issues around inequality and the damage to the environment. However, fortunately, it has pushed many to question our way of life’s sustainability and viability. Learning to slow down and observe has been challenging and eye-opening; it is more apparent than ever that a new economy needs to prevail. At Impact Hub, we have been working relentlessly towards this goal for the past 15 years, supporting impact entrepreneurs who put people and the planet at the forefront. We strive to give them tools to succeed with our support programs and a strong network of 16,500 people throughout 59 countries.

As research shows: “Small and medium businesses (SMEs) are leading the way towards this new world order. SMEs represent 50% of global jobs, and one in three startups are dedicated to positive social or environmental change. We call these startups with a mission ‘impact enterprises’. In addition to their positive impact and innovation, they are also a hotbed for inclusion efforts: 38% are led by women compared to just 3% of FTSE 100 companies.”

However, even though simultaneous crises are evident today, governments still have reservations about supporting SMEs and are not granting enough resources. We at Impact Hub advocate for better policies and funding, we make education and financial and non-financial resources accessible to impact ventures around the world. Our vibrant communities and support programs are paving the way for a better post-pandemic economy. In 2019, we ran over 270 successful entrepreneur support programs, generating 1,358 new projects that contributed to the creation of 4,695 jobs. Double-digit sales growth was reached by 67 percent of our members and 78% of members expanded the amount of goods and services provided. We have now also shifted online and have run some of the biggest online hackathons in history. We offer a free Global Connect membership and provide online programs like the New Economy Booster and Close the Gap.

Today we would like to shine some light on our thriving network and showcase five game-changers who foster and maintain a positive impact by creating innovative ventures amidst a global pandemic. These entrepreneurs are rigorously working towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

Emploi et Moi 

The company in Mali was created in 2017 by Mr. Mahamadou Sanogo, who is an alumnus of the Next Economy program at Impact Hub Bamako. His involvement gave him access to funding and valuable business education. Emploi et Moi has, run events that connect local stakeholders to job seekers in the entrepreneurial ecosystem and provide an online platform and job listing app, helping 347 seekers find work effectively.

Ilmuwan Muda Indonesia 

In 2015, Tika Oktorinad collaborated with Firly Savitri to create Ilmuwan Muda Indonesia. The joint venture rents and sells mobile planetariums in the form of inflatable igloos and laboratories, and allows young students to explore science without being bound to a traditional classroom. To date, more than 97,000 students have participated in their workshops in Indonesia and other regions. Thanks to their participation in the “Investment Ready Program” implemented by Impact Hub Jakarta, Impact Hub Munich and Allianz Global, IMI won 50,000$  for the establishment of science and education programs for public schools in 2019 and 2020. Due to home-schooling during the pandemic, they now engage with the rapidly growing crowd of followers, wherever they are, via IG Live and webinars.

The Kitchen at 44 

A community kitchen, cooking school, and rooftop farm that started thanks to the incubation program from Impact Hub King’s Cross Feeding the City Start-Up. Initially, Sara MacMillan planned to do workshops and food-related events. Nonetheless, due to COVID-19, the space became a local food distribution center. Collecting over 28 tonnes of food, The Kitchen at 44 provided meals to over 100 people almost every day during the lockdown in London, UK.

Costa Rica Insect Company

Founded by Alejandro Ortega and Daniela Arias, Costa Rica Insect Company creates insect-based foods — the only proven, scalable, sustainable solution tackling food scarcity. They are now preparing ten families to become partner farmers and are looking to rural areas to create economic growth in the communities that are worst impacted by COVID-19. They have been chosen as finalists for the Accelerate 2030 program that was co-created by Impact Hub Geneva and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and run by Impact Hub San José in Costa Rica.

NDN Collective

An organization that focuses on building the collective power of indigenous peoples, societies, and nations to exercise their inherent rights. NDN Collective‘s mission is to restore social equality, fight for climate change, and restore indigenous people to equity in education. During this COVID-19 time, they have awarded more than US $2,500,000 to more than 90 partners in 23 states, delivering direct relief to the most underserved communities representing Native Peoples and frontline Indigenous organizations.

As the world is facing unprecedented times, it is now more important than ever to support these entrepreneurs’ critical work. At Impact Hub, we drive strategies by promoting deep cross-sector collaboration, investment, and collective action so that the world can perceive and genuinely recognize the impact it needs.

Know more about how you can make a change by using and following #bepartofthechange#theneweconomystartshere#turnitaround on social media.

Visit www.theneweconomystartshere.impacthub.net for more information and to download the full report.


Mouina-Kenza Mosso is a freelance writer with a proven work history delivering vibrant and engaging copy for the meaningful and creative industries. Her expertise lies in blogging, journalism and social media marketing. Social justice, sustainable development, cultural trends, diversity, data privacy and music are the key topics she is passionate about writing. Find out more here.