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France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Finland and Denmark are among the best countries globally to be a social entrepreneur, according to a poll by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Berlin and London were both named as leading hotspots for social entrepreneurs.
The global perception poll, conducted in partnership with Deutsche Bank’s Made for Good programme, shows Canada, Australia and France to be the top three countries for social entrepreneurs, with Britain and the US seeing a significant drop in ranking.
Sweden and Belgium were in the top five countries where women are succeeding as social entrepreneurs, with Canada in first place, Australia, and Malaysia. The US came last.
Almost 900 experts from the world’s 45 biggest economies were polled to establish trends, opportunities and challenges related to the sector. The poll surveyed six key areas; government support, attracting skilled staff, public understanding, ability for social entrepreneurs to make a living, whether the sector was gaining momentum and access to investment.
In the UK, Brexit dominating the political agenda was blamed for slowing the pace of the sector’s development. In Scotland, however, experts say social enterprise is thriving. Other countries in Europe to have fallen in ranking since 2016 were Switzerland, Italy, Germany, and Poland.
Antonio Zappulla, CEO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, said:
“From building schools from plastic waste, to training women in rural villages in solar engineering, social enterprise is a rapidly growing sector. By using innovation to address critical social and environmental issues, social enterprise is increasingly relied upon to reduce inequality and help the world’s most disadvantaged people.”
“However, this survey has revealed some surprising changes in how the sector is viewed in different nations. Perception of social enterprise is crucial. It affects everything from access to finance, to the quality of employees. We hope that greater understanding of social enterprise will provide the sector with vital information to generate future growth.”
Lareena Hilton, Global Head of Brand Communications and CSR for Deutsche Bank, added:
“Through our global CSR Made for Good programme we know how vulnerable social entrepreneurs can be not only at early stage but also throughout their growth, and the importance of accelerator and incubators for success. Repeating this poll has shone a light on the countries that have nurtured and strengthened the sector since 2016, as well as revealing those where work is needed to improve the understanding of social entrepreneurs and the obstacles to become investment ready.”