What is social entrepreneurship?

A social entrepreneur is one or more individuals who want to contribute to the creation of a new solution to a social problem. They may invent a new technological solution or develop a service that helps solve the problem – often more effectively than before. Companies of this type deliver results that have both a social and a financial impact, so they are often said to have a double bottom line.

About social entrepreneurship

Social entrepreneurship is a term that has attracted significant interest in recent years, and more and more people and companies see themselves as social entrepreneurs. Networks that bring them together have emerged, and we are seeing an ever larger number of investors wishing to invest in such companies. But what actually is social entrepreneurship?

Foto: Oda Hveem

The public sector and social entrepreneurs

Intro

Social entrepreneurs often provide services aimed at marginalised groups or excluded people. Collaborating with the public sector and selling services to the public sector are therefore often a natural part of social entrepreneurs’ business models.

The public sector, for its part, is under increasing pressure to develop new and more efficient welfare services so that it can keep up with the changes taking place in society. This has led more and more municipalities to want to collaborate with social entrepreneurs.

Public sector procurement

How can I buy services or products from social entrepreneurs?

Social entrepreneurs often find public sector procurement rules a hindrance and barrier to their ability to collaborate with the public sector. At the same time, many public sector procurers are uncertain about how to go about collaborating with social entrepreneurs or buying their products and services, both from a purely practical perspective and in terms of the necessary legal requirements.

We have therefore taken the initiative of producing a legal guide (only available in Norwegian) that sets out for public sector contracting authorities the opportunity space that is available to them within the requirements of the Norwegian Public Procurement Act.

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Social impact bonds

Social impact bonds – a new financing model for social innovation

Social impact bonds are a new way of developing and delivering welfare services. The model is used to finance measures in areas such as care for the elderly, child protection, drug abuse, homelessness, health challenges, social integration, employment, truancy, sick leave, correctional services and the environment.

The measures that are financed act as a supplement to public sector services and are, as a rule, delivered by a social entrepreneur or voluntary/non-profit organisation.

Read more

Social entrepreneurs often provide services aimed at marginalised groups or excluded people. Collaborating with the public sector and selling services to the public sector are therefore often a natural part of social entrepreneurs’ business models.

The public sector, for its part, is under increasing pressure to develop new and more efficient welfare services so that it can keep up with the changes taking place in society. This has led more and more municipalities to want to collaborate with social entrepreneurs.

How can I buy services or products from social entrepreneurs?

Social entrepreneurs often find public sector procurement rules a hindrance and barrier to their ability to collaborate with the public sector. At the same time, many public sector procurers are uncertain about how to go about collaborating with social entrepreneurs or buying their products and services, both from a purely practical perspective and in terms of the necessary legal requirements.

We have therefore taken the initiative of producing a legal guide (only available in Norwegian) that sets out for public sector contracting authorities the opportunity space that is available to them within the requirements of the Norwegian Public Procurement Act.

Read more

Social impact bonds – a new financing model for social innovation

Social impact bonds are a new way of developing and delivering welfare services. The model is used to finance measures in areas such as care for the elderly, child protection, drug abuse, homelessness, health challenges, social integration, employment, truancy, sick leave, correctional services and the environment.

The measures that are financed act as a supplement to public sector services and are, as a rule, delivered by a social entrepreneur or voluntary/non-profit organisation.

Read more

How can we invest in social results?

Intro

Investing in social results

More and more organisations want to invest in generating a social impact, both internationally and in Norway. Some organisations are just getting started and are simply finding out about the possibilities, while other organisations have been involved for some time and have established a clear investor profile for themselves. This is a very positive trend, as we need as many interested parties as possible to develop and boost good solutions for the future.

Read more
Impact Management

Keeping 'accounts' of social impact

As a social investor, social impact is the most important return for us. We therefore work with our portfolio companies on measuring and strengthening the positive social impact of their activities.

 

Read more
Social impact bond

Social impact bonds – a new financing model for social innovation

Social impact bonds are a new way of developing and delivering welfare services. The model is used to finance measures in areas such as care for the elderly, child protection, drug abuse, homelessness, health challenges, social integration, employment, truancy, sick leave, correctional services and the environment.

The measures that are financed act as a supplement to public sector services and are, as a rule, delivered by a social entrepreneur or voluntary/non-profit organisation.

Read more
InvestorLab

A network for impact investors

The Impact StartUp accelerator has set up a network for investors, philanthropists and other social impact funders that is called InvestorLab. The initiative is intended to help ensure early-phase companies have access to capital so that they can scale their solutions and therefore their social impact as well more easily. InvestorLab is also intended to help investors and funders to grow their knowledge, and it provides a range of tools as well as access to new, relevant companies.

Read more

Investing in social results

More and more organisations want to invest in generating a social impact, both internationally and in Norway. Some organisations are just getting started and are simply finding out about the possibilities, while other organisations have been involved for some time and have established a clear investor profile for themselves. This is a very positive trend, as we need as many interested parties as possible to develop and boost good solutions for the future.

Read more

Keeping 'accounts' of social impact

As a social investor, social impact is the most important return for us. We therefore work with our portfolio companies on measuring and strengthening the positive social impact of their activities.

 

Read more

Social impact bonds – a new financing model for social innovation

Social impact bonds are a new way of developing and delivering welfare services. The model is used to finance measures in areas such as care for the elderly, child protection, drug abuse, homelessness, health challenges, social integration, employment, truancy, sick leave, correctional services and the environment.

The measures that are financed act as a supplement to public sector services and are, as a rule, delivered by a social entrepreneur or voluntary/non-profit organisation.

Read more

A network for impact investors

The Impact StartUp accelerator has set up a network for investors, philanthropists and other social impact funders that is called InvestorLab. The initiative is intended to help ensure early-phase companies have access to capital so that they can scale their solutions and therefore their social impact as well more easily. InvestorLab is also intended to help investors and funders to grow their knowledge, and it provides a range of tools as well as access to new, relevant companies.

Read more

Impactpodden

More and more people are setting up businesses to solve social challenges. Businesses of this type are often referred to as social entrepreneurs, impact start-ups or social enterprises. The common denominator to them all is their strong commitment to creating a kinder and more inclusive society.

Impactpodden is a podcast about entrepreneurs of this type and the value they create.

Networks and supporters

Ecosystem overview

An overview of supporters of social entrepreneurs

The continuing increase in the number of social entrepreneurs and supporters of social entrepreneurs can make it difficult to keep track of them all. A number of 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 is made up of Ashoka Norway, SoCentral, Tøyen Unlimited, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess’ Foundation, Wilstar, Vollebekk Fabrikker and Ferd Social Entrepreneurs.

Read more
Impact StartUp

Impact StartUp

We in Ferd Social Entrepreneurs have set up an accelerator program, Impact StartUp, to provide an offering to start-up companies that are too early-stage to be portfolio companies. The initiative is also part of our work to strengthen the ecosystem for social entrepreneurs in Norway and the Nordic region.

Read more
Guide for social entrepreneurs

Guide for social entrepreneurs

Innovation Norway can count numerous innovative social entrepreneurs among its customers. It has for this reason created a guide in which it seeks to answer some of the questions that apply specifically to social entrepreneurs.

Go to guide (only in norwegian)

An overview of supporters of social entrepreneurs

The continuing increase in the number of social entrepreneurs and supporters of social entrepreneurs can make it difficult to keep track of them all. A number of 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 is made up of Ashoka Norway, SoCentral, Tøyen Unlimited, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess’ Foundation, Wilstar, Vollebekk Fabrikker and Ferd Social Entrepreneurs.

Read more

Impact StartUp

We in Ferd Social Entrepreneurs have set up an accelerator program, Impact StartUp, to provide an offering to start-up companies that are too early-stage to be portfolio companies. The initiative is also part of our work to strengthen the ecosystem for social entrepreneurs in Norway and the Nordic region.

Read more

Guide for social entrepreneurs

Innovation Norway can count numerous innovative social entrepreneurs among its customers. It has for this reason created a guide in which it seeks to answer some of the questions that apply specifically to social entrepreneurs.

Go to guide (only in norwegian)