I have met many social entrepreneurs in Europe and relevant stakeholders, agencies, investors, ideas. Participated in talks and discussions on huge, international conference about social impact and changemakers. And about activities and plans to connect in and with emerging countries.
Now I got a chance to participate at the Sankalp Forum in Delhi, India. One of the most known and biggest events around social impact and entrepreneurship. I thought that Europe and its social entrepreneurship stakeholders and influencers would be present, too. In the so-called future markets. But they were not: only a very few speakers from UK, and a handful of European participants. A lot of people from other Asian countries and US did not miss this opportunity to connect and share ideas. Why?
For sure, there was not a lack of highly interesting people, politicians, ministries, the Indian US ambassador, the world bank, leading global social entrepreneurship agencies … and delegates with amazing background. The of the had a lot to offer:
- Innovation as a trigger for Inclusion, bringing Government as an actor in equitable development and interplay of this trigger with Social Business, Capital and Coporate.
- Discussions on the role of social entrepreneurship in primary healthcare access
- Examples of private public partnerships, good insight in challenges and chances
- Spotlight on Policy and Reforms for Impact – From India to across Asia and Africa, with debates and insights on the role of governments and policymakers in scaling innovations and creating an enabling environment.
- Private Sector Approaches to Impact by giving examples on how corporate giants can collaborate and structure CSR contributions to build an impetus for (social) entrepreneurship.
Some personal observations and remarks
Besides interesting debates, information and learnings on the main players in India as well as understanding bottlenecks when it comes to social enterprises and scale up “across the local, regional and national borders” this conference was a really fantastic location to network. People were very open and collaborative and keen to connect to each other. Whenever possible. At the end most of the participants ran out of business cards … Award sessions, interactive workshops and a cultural part offered by the Sulfi Gospel project contributed to make the conference a success. More than 100 booths on innovative ideas, social engagement connected to business and some future-oriented NGOs ( hopefully some more will join next year) completed the overview on what is going on in this huge country when it comes to social entrepreneurship. In a few words: The interest to learn and understand, also international-wise, was enormous.
So, Europe where are you? Shouldn’t we connect at this level, too?