Impact entrepreneurship, which combines the principles of traditional entrepreneurship with a focus on creating positive social and environmental impact, is becoming an increasingly important aspect of economic development in the European Union (EU). To promote impact entrepreneurship, EU countries have implemented a variety of initiatives and programs aimed at supporting and encouraging the growth of impact-driven businesses.
One key way in which EU countries promote impact entrepreneurship is through funding. Many EU countries provide grants, loans, and other financial incentives to impact entrepreneurs, helping them to secure the capital they need to start and grow their businesses. For example, the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 program provides funding for research and innovation in areas such as sustainable energy, smart cities, and circular economy. Additionally, many EU countries have set up venture capital funds specifically focused on impact investing, which provide equity funding to impact-driven startups.
Another way in which EU countries promote impact entrepreneurship is through incubators and accelerators. These programs provide mentoring, networking, and other resources to help entrepreneurs develop the skills and connections they need to grow their businesses. Many EU countries have established incubators and accelerators specifically focused on impact entrepreneurship, such as the Impact Hub in Berlin and the Social Innovation Exchange in Amsterdam.
Tax incentives are also a common way in which EU countries promote impact entrepreneurship. For example, many EU countries offer tax breaks for socially responsible investments or reduced taxes for companies that meet certain environmental or social criteria. These incentives help to encourage investment in impact-driven businesses and make it more financially attractive for entrepreneurs to start and grow impactful companies.
Education and training programs also play an important role in promoting impact entrepreneurship in the EU. Many EU countries offer educational programs, such as entrepreneurship courses and training programs, that specifically target impact entrepreneurs. These programs help entrepreneurs to develop the skills and knowledge they need to start and grow impactful businesses.
In addition, some EU countries have set aside a portion of public procurement for social enterprises and other impact businesses, which helps them to secure contracts and grow their businesses. This is a good way to promote impact entrepreneurship, as it gives a fair chance to businesses that may not be able to compete with larger companies.
Networking is also an important aspect of promoting impact entrepreneurship in the EU. Many EU countries have established networks and organizations that bring together impact entrepreneurs, investors, government officials, and other stakeholders to share knowledge and build connections. These networks help entrepreneurs to access the resources and support they need to grow their businesses and make a positive impact.
Finally, EU countries are also promoting impact entrepreneurship by encouraging impact measurement and reporting. This helps impact businesses to demonstrate their positive impact and attract investment, which in turn helps to drive economic growth and social progress.
What do we offer entrepreneurs as part of the ActImpAct project?
Every entrepreneur who joins our mission will:
- Start with an initial interview with our volunteer mentors: to assess the initial state, look at where there are options for progress and …
- Create an individual plan to achieve these goals.
- Benefit from a training program that is a combination of group, in-depth, interactive workshops; individual mentor/expert advisors, and other forms of “custom made” support … well, if necessary, we will put the stars in the right place for you!
In addition to helping entrepreneurial support organizations such as Kovačnica, Google has reserved some money in Brussels to support impact entrepreneurs through non-repayable funds. There are 2 funds:
- Aspire fund: for all potential entrepreneurs who will already step on their entrepreneurial path with thoughts about employees, the environment and the world;
- Grow fund: for existing entrepreneurs who, by participating in the program, will slightly adjust the direction of their sailing to a better world.