A Nordic-Baltic regional project “Social impact investment regional cooperation plan for Estonia, Latvia and Finland” has published a comprehensive map of the current situation in social impact investment within Nordic-Baltic region. The aim of the published material and cooperation of the project partners (the Estonian Social Enterprise Network, the Social Entrepreneurship Association of Latvia and the Finnish Association for Social Enterprises) has been quicker development of the social impact investment ecosystem.
INSPIRATION ON HOW TO DEVELOP SOCIAL IMPACT INVESTMENT
Social impact investment is the provision of finance to organisations addressing societal needs with the expectation of a measurable societal as well as financial return. Put more simply, it means investing into enterprises that create good stuff and eliminate bad stuff or transform it into good stuff. Social impact investment enables stakeholders to start up and scale up enterprises that tackle societal challenges with the help of sustainable business models.
The discussion paper on “Social impact investment in the Nordic-Baltic region” presents ideas and opportunities as well as needs and challenges of developing social impact investment field in the Nordic-Baltic region. It provides an overview of the current situation and insight to near future developments to anyone interested in how to finance social impact investment.
CHALLENGES AND HOW TO TACKLE THEM
Challenges to developent of social impact investments occur at both national and regional levels. The objectives related to increasing the demand and supply of investments are mostly national, mainly because the immediate impact of social enterprises usually occurs on a local or national level. However, the activities to achieve the objectives like raising awareness while building up stakeholders´ motivation, skills and capacity can and should be regional. Any individual country currently lacks a critical mass of stakeholders and resources to speed up the development of the social impact investment ecosystem to meet societal challenges quickly.
The main challenges include:
- Low awareness about the topics and possibilities related to social impact investment
- The potential developers of the social impact investment ecosystem lack skills and the capacity to take ownership and initiative
- The demand side for social impact investment is weak
- The supply side of social impact investment is weak
The regional activities to tackle such challenges are described as follows:
For more info on the country-level situations in Estonia, Latvia and Finland as well as insightful case studies and an annex of “greatest hits” of international reports and analysis on social impact investment, see the full material here.
Regional cooperation was supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers´ Office in Estonia.