What SOCAP: Designing the Future gave social entrepreneursPublished 29 May 2012 by Redaktionen
Tillväxtverket & SOCAP invited 80 nordic and 20 international social entrepreneurs to SOCAP: Designing the Future held in Malmö recently. We asked them a few questions in order to find out what the event really meant to some of them. Here are their own voices on what these days meant to them.
Since I did not know the SOCAP before I went to Malmo, I decided I would go there without preconceptions. I went there hoping to learn more about social entrepreneurship and have the opportunity to meet with appropriate funding. When I got home, I had learned more about social entrepreneurship but have not…
Read the full blogpost by Beate Möller
I am certain that most entrepreneurs, myself included, are grateful for all the support systems, interest and action taken by intermediaries, governments, philanthropic organizations and others. This support is crucial for any start up and operating social enterprise. A strong focus on the financial capacity is without doubt of great importance to both individual entrepreneurs as well as the field as a whole. SOCAP and similar attempts to create platforms between entrepreneurs and investors are therefore important pieces in a large puzzle where we use entrepreneurial methods to solve complex environmental and social challenges…
Read the full blogpost by Josefin Uhnbom
SOCAP fulfilled my expectations – I met many inspiring people, learned more about impact investing and met some social investors. I also met potential cooperation partners and made new friends.
To me SOCAP was very professional, top quality conference, well run and managed. Truly amazing speakers and a fun program – loved the HUB sessions and opportunity to have discussions on other topics. My highlight must be the plenary sessions on Day 1 and the HUB session I initiated. I also really enjoyed the session on how to talk to investors.
I felt that there was less a focus on diversity and inclusion and missed the impact investors interested in this area… BUT this has led to an new initiative to have a conference on “Impact investing on Diversity and Inclusion in the Nordics”. A conference that SOCAP has stated they will help with – hoping for a partnership and to have the conference in the Fall of 2012 or Winter 2013.
For the future I hope first that everyone succeeds in their journey and ventures, also that we can maintain contact and build our networks and that the Nordic participants will attend the confernce we are trying to get rolling! Thanks for the opportunity.
Lisa Ann Cooper
I made the trip to meet with potential impact investors and see how they differ from other investors. The trip confirmed that Netcycler fits to the impact investor criteria well.
It was a well organised event, I met nice people and I liked the overall athmosphere. The investor discussion on the first day was the best session and I got my best contacts there.
The event was advertised as a en event to meet impact investors. It would have been good if the actual agenda would have some elements that would actually support this. In some other events there are pitching events or 1-to-1 one meetings which I personally think can work quite well. Here it was up to ones one activity to go and pitch in the corridors which is never so powerful way to convey ones message.
I believe the people who attended are well aware of the environmental and social problems of this world. I think time was spent too much in repeating the obvious and what everybody knows. Also I do not believe ”innovating together” brings too much results. Actual entrepreneurs need either investors, funding, skills, experienced staff, advisors, partners, customers or something else that is very tangible. The event was not very practical on these aspects for an entrepreneur.
We will work on to see if the contacts we made will turn to tangible results. Time will show if the contacts I made turn to something tangible. There is a good chance that some of them will! Great thanks for the organisers and Tillväxtverket for invitation to the event!
It was great to have the chance to see what SOCAP was through the scholarship. And it is inspiring to meet so many other social entrepreneurs. I managed to hear about some of the other projects, but I would love to have heard many more.
For next SOCAP I hope at least all with scholarships will be presented, for example, with a little 1 min. video pitch projected in the mingling area, so it is easy for people (and investors) to see it, and then to link up. For most of us I think that would be very useful to get practice in how to communicate what we care about, and also to be more visible.
As we are working in Africa, as many of other projects are, I see a great need for us to share our diverse experiences. There were many great ideas around that could have an even bigger impact if they are mixed with real hands-on experiences from the field. I hope SOCAP can be an arena for that as well; facilitating young entrepreneurs to get mentors with hands on experience where possible.
There were many great speakers giving good speeches, but I hope that for next SOCAP in October there will be a greater variety of ways in which the presentations are delivered. Africa StartUp would love to be able to present our work with pictures, film and music to show joy, hope and practical things that we already have implemented in the field and would love others to copy and, of course, investors to invest in. We want people to see our real experience, drive and that we are really doing it and also that we are now ready to scale up.
I was lucky to spontaneously reach out and pitch our work to several of the impact investors which was very useful practice and also inspiring as they gave great valuable feedback!
I hope the investors will follow up when they receive our business plan shortly, and that it can result in real investments and scaling up of our projects. Together we can change the world!
For those we met and talked to, or those we did not manage to meet up with, please keep in touch with us.
I expected to meet action oriented people eager to change the world and investors ready to put money in good projects.
The first half came true as there were many entrepreneurs with great ambitions. However – over the three days I failed to find a single investor to speak to. I participated in all three evening events and mingled fairly well I’d say – but everybody I spoke to was either looking for money or arranging/financing the event. Hanna Sigsjo tried to introduce me to a Dutch investor but he was monopolized the entire evening by somebody, so… I didn’t speak to any investors outside the audition jury for the pitch. As I’ve raised 41M SEK so far through other networks I felt this one was probably the least likely to pay off as the ratio of investors to entrepreneurs was radically worse than at any normal social event. Here everybody was looking for money. Few had it. Disappointing.
Read the full blogpost by Björn Almér