Reach for Change, an independent global nonprofit organization that originated in Sweden, is furthering its work to unite the business and social sectors by joining Vilnius Tech Park, the biggest startup hub in the region.
Reach for Change was originally founded as a partnership between the Swedish social entrepreneur Sara Damber and entrepreneurial investment group Kinnevik. Its founders understood that many people have innovative ideas on how to improve the lives of children and youth, and want to start a social enterprise to achieve their vision. However, these people often lack the funds, skills, advisors, and networks to make their vision a reality.
One of the core aims of Reach for Change is to bring together the best of the business sector with the best of the social sector. According to Jurgita Ribinskaite-Glatzer, the Country Manager for Lithuania, cross- pollination between these two fields creates excellent results. “We believe that the business and social sectors have a lot to learn from each other,” she explains, “and our programs have proved that when they come together, they can create the perfect chemistry for social innovation.”
Today, Reach for Change, through its network of incubator programs across 18 countries, is supporting 205 innovative, early-stage social entrepreneurs who are addressing a wide range of pressing issues for children. Through a mixture of seed funding, business development and network development support, Reach for Change is helping them to develop and scale their solutions, creating impactful, sustainable organizations.
Reach for Change was launched in Lithuania in 2014, where it currently supports 9 social entrepreneurs. And joining the Sapiegos tech park in Vilnius will be the first time globally Reach for Change has chosen to locate its operations in a startup hub. Ms Ribinskaite-Glatzer is confident the decision will bear fruit. “We know that networks of smart, brave and passionate people can really create magic, so moving to Vilnius Tech Park helps us surround ourselves with other people like us,” she comments. IT solutions boosting social entrepreneurship Reach for Change has a number of IT startup initiatives in its portfolio. For example, one of its Change Leaders – the term given to the entrepreneurs who direct Reach for Change projects – has designed an application that helps autistic children to manage their daily routine. Since children with autism are very particular about their schedule, this app makes sure that their day can flow smoothly.
More information is available here.
This publication has been prepared within INDIGISE project. The content of this publication is the sole responsibility of the project coordinator and may not always reflect the views of the European Commission or the National Agency.