Insights on financing social innovation in Europe

We are facing immense societal challenges globally, which cannot be solved through technological innovations alone. We need sustainable and socially oriented solutions, that is innovations with and for society. Such social innovations need adequate financial support.  

Over the last decade, there have been various approaches to financing and supporting social innovations, from accelerator grants to social impact bonds, community budgets and blended non-market/market finances. Generally, an enabling policy environment for social innovations is necessary to shape financial architecture. 

Last week, we hosted a webinar, Financing Social Innovation, a collaboration between the European Social Innovation Alliance (ESIA), SIX, SENDCSI – University of Heidelberg and BMW Foundation

During the event, Gorgi Krlev from CSI – University of Heidelberg shared the results from a recently published study “Financing social innovation – international evidence”. The report highlights 4 strategies for effective financial support and 8 policy instruments that can be used to shape financial architecture necessary to achieve these strategies. 

Then, a great panel discussion followed between Allyson Hewit, (MaRS Discovery District), Filipe Almeida (Portugal Social Innovation), Geoff Mulgan (UCL),  Suzanne Wisse-Huiskes (Euclid Network) and Sven Giegold (German Ministry of Economics and Climate) who shared their unique perspectives in different countries as practitioners, policymakers and researchers in the social innovation field. A common thread emphasised throughout the discussion was the importance of ecosystem building and the power of meaningful partnerships across sectors (private, public and social) in propagating change.

Other useful resources mentioned during the event: