A perfect opportunity for all the project partners and stakeholders of the Collaborate for Impact project to meet together in person and engage in conversation on how to increase resources together for social investment and impact businesses in the project countries was around the Impact Days Vienna in June where the Collaborate for Impact partners and stakeholders participated.
In the four days from 31st of May until 3rd of June, over 40 partners and stakeholders from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine were hosted, representing social organisations, capacity building organisations and our new impact funds. Representatives of banks, private foundations and governmental organisations were also welcomed during the four days of meetings and exchanges.
The project partner’s meeting was already held on 31st of May at the ERSTE foundation where project partners had the opportunity to share experiences as well as learn about Austrian Ecosystem. The meeting continued the following day at Impact Hub Vienna where the project partners were joined by different stakeholders and discussed about the social investment in respective countries.
In parallel, our own Martijn Blom, EVPA Impact Funds Initiative Leader and Representative for Benelux countries at EVPA, also organised the online CEE Dealsharing session where Kristine Kandelaki from CSRDG took part next to impact funds from CEE. The discussions continued also late in at the informal networking evening at the Depot Restaurant with a guest speaker, EVPA Founder, Doug Miller, strong supporter of impact investment in CEE, where different CEE players joined to meet and get to know the project partners and their work.
At the Impact Breakfast on June 2, at Impact HUB Vienna, pioneers of impact investing funds in Central and Eastern Europe were present, sharing their thoughts and views. Speakers Elemer Eszter from Impact Ventures, Hungary, Silke Horakova of Tilia Impact Ventures, Czech Republic and Petar-Pierre Matek from FeelsGood Capital in Croatia shared their experiences and the journey of establishing first impact funds in the region.
Participation at the Impact Days conference that started on the 2nd June was a great opportunity to connect with the broader European ecosystem of impact investors, EU institutions and governmental agencies active in the impact space. Our EVPA CEE Manager & Project Lead Ewa Konczal, participated in the panel on peace, justice and strong institutions while Martijn Blom moderated the panel on impact finance and mobilising additional capital for impact.
A very interesting and important panel was held on 3rd June about the impact investment in conflict areas. Moderated by Nazareth Seferian from Impact Hub Yerevan, with our Project Lead Ewa Konczal and project partners Alena Kalibaba from SILab Ukraine and Ani Baboomian from Impact Hub Yerevan as speakers a discussion was held, among other things on the role of impact investors beyond providing financial resources to affected geographies and communities.