An overview of supporters of social entrepreneurs

The increasing number of social entrepreneurs and supporters of social entrepreneurs can make it difficult to keep track of them all. A number of Norwegian organisations at the forefront of developments have therefore set up a collaboration called the “Ecosystem for social entrepreneurs” in order to strengthen dialogue with them.

This collaboration’s members are Ashoka Norway, SoCentral, Tøyen Unlimited, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess’ Foundation, Wilstar, Vollebekk Fabrikker and Ferd Social Entrepreneurs.

As part of this collaboration, the organisations involved have mapped the types of entity that they support, the type of support they provide, and how mature a company needs to be to qualify for support.

The collaboration’s ‘map’ is intended to streamline the contact between social entrepreneurs and their supporters.

The ‘map’ also provides useful information on the organisations’ various priority areas as well as on those areas for which they do not currently provide support but that may become important going forward. Reach for Change stopped providing this information for Norway in 2019, but hopes to reinstate this.

A work in progress

The list at present contains information on the organisations that set up the collaboration, but the aim is to create an interactive list that allows other organisations involved in the ecosystem to provide information about themselves. The list is available on the websites of all the collaboration’s members, together with a link which other organisations can use to add their information.

We would be grateful if other organisations became involved in developing the project and inputted their information.

Types of support

The table below provides details of the emphasis that the support organisations attach to three different types of support. Financial support means a gift, equity investment, grant etc. Network support means the support organisation gives the social entrepreneur access to its broader network of connections in, for example, the public, private and voluntary sectors. Knowledge and skills development means the support organisation contributes expertise and skills development in the form of courses, workshops, coaching, mentoring or guidance.

Support by phase of development

The collaboration’s members provide support for the different phases in the development of social entrepreneurs, with support available from the idea phase through to the scaling up phase.

Other types of support

The support organisations in the collaboration also variously provide office space (free or for a fee), ongoing guidance and support through the various phases of a social entrepreneur’s development, and support for specific phases of development (time-limited support).

Types of organisation that are supported

In the table below, limited companies means ordinary limited companies with normal share capital. Non-profit limited companies reinvest their share capital into their social objectives. Associations and foundations are self-owning institutions that have a non-profit or charitable basis.