Over 800 impact leaders have gathered in Brussels from 30 November to 2 December for the EVPA’s Impact Week & Annual Conference to share insights, lessons, and stories and to connect with each other to work to invest the capital for good.
The inspiring sessions held over three days, with over 80 tracks and 200 speakers tackled topics on impact investing and mobilising the capital to create positive social impact. As EVPA’s CEO Roberta Bosurgi mentioned in her opening speech, the last couple of years have been ‘doom and gloom’ and it was time to celebrate the community of impact champions. In the thought-provoking discussions, the impact community agreed that the power of capital should be used to work towards an inclusive and climate-positive economy.
And the positive impact that is being created goes well across Europe – this was also shown through showcasing of the EU-funded Collaborate for Impact project that has aim to develop the social investment ecosystem and build social entrepreneurship capacity in the Eastern Partnership countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, ultimately leading to a more sustainable and inclusive society.
With their country torn with war, it was especially important welcoming the SILab Ukraine team, an organisation that has shifted its activities immediately after the start of the full-scale invasion towards coordinating humanitarian effort and helping internally displaced people. The Ukrainian team participated both in the Impact Busters session where, together with project partners from Armenia and Georgia they shared their experiences about setting up first-time impact funds, challenges they were facing, and insights gathered on their impact journey as well as in the ‘Impact in Conflict zones’ session where the important questions of creating positive social impact in the conflict territories were being addressed. According to Anna Gulevska-Chernysh, co-founder and chair of SILab Ukraine, her team was still learning how to do their job during the war time, stating that ‘for social entrepreneurs war is also an opportunity to step up.’ And SILab Ukraine really stepped up quickly, immediately creating opportunities for social enterprises and helping internally displaced people – for example, within the EU-funded Collaborate for Impact project, Social Enterprises for Emergency call was launched, aimed at supporting the activities of social enterprises during the war – from over 150 applications, 13 social enterprises were chosen as beneficiaries.
Towards the end of the Impact week, during the Impact Breakfast, Ewa Konczal, EVPA’s Market Building Lead highlighted again the importance of the impact investment and collaboration welcoming also Mr. leaving food for thought – so once again, Brussels was the center of the thought leadership, generating ideas, starting and deploying initiatives that will have a far-reaching positive impact on the society.
You can watch here some of the sessions of the Impact Week.
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