COVID-19 Action Agenda Leaders on the Front Line: Why Social Entrepreneurs Are Needed Now More than Ever

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Social entrepreneurs found non-profit, hybrid or for-profit organizations who address a social or environmental problem, with a focus on vulnerable populations. As of August 2020, more than one third of all COVID cses are poor people in Africa, Brazil and India.  The COVID Response Alliance for Social Entrepreneurs was launched in April 2020 by 60 social-sector organizations aiming to mobilize support for these entrepreneurs play addressing this crisis.  In various capacities, the members of the Alliance support over 50,000 social entrepreneurs,  having a direct or indirect impact on the lives of nearly 1 billion people. All Alliance members are listed.

Alliance members:

1. Act as first responders bringing products and services

2. Sustain jobs and social security

3. Address the intractable social and environmental challenges

4. Champion the sustainable development agenda

5. Empower and create agency among communities to foster and facilitate the advancement of their own trajectories and solutions.

Five core objectives of the project:

  1. Amplify the voices of social entrepreneurs
  2. Respond, recover and reset to shape a new tomorrow
  3. Collaborate across sectors
  4. Look beyond healthcare to the full range of COVID-19’s impact
  5. Support specific, actionable solutions that grassroots organizations are already providing

Representative examples of action taken across the Alliance value chain of (a) supporting intermediaries, (b)investors, (c) corporations, (d) philanthropists, and (e) government institutions.:

  • Agora Partnerships and over 50 Latin American incubators, accelerators, funds and support agents created a regional COVID-19 alliance with the goal of helping impact entrepreneurs in the region
  • NESsT Fund created a short-term working capital instrument that acts like revolving credit so companies, particularly in the food and agriculture sectors, can supply products more quickly. This ensures suppliers earn a sustainable income and companies streamline operations, delivering on contracts.
  • Danone allocated €300 million in financial support to 15,000 small businesses in its global ecosystem (farmers, suppliers, service providers) and entrepreneurs
  • Skoll Foundation Founder Jeff Skoll quadrupled its annual grant-making to $200 million. As of 12 August 2020, the Foundation has disbursed $70 million in grants to address the direct and second-order public health, economic and social effects of the pandemic.
  • Global Steering Group For Impact Investing (GSG), a collective of over 40 national advisory boards, has launched a new impact-led market narrative, outcomes-based financing and impact accounting methods.