First Social Impact Day and Social Impact Award ceremony in Ukraine

On September 30, a large-scale event dedicated to impact entrepreneurship took place in Kyiv.

About a hundred guests at and more than a thousand online views – this was the first international conference Social Impact Day 2021, which was held with the support of the European Union and the International Renaissance Foundation in a joint initiative “EU4USociety” and organized by School of ME, as part of the Collaborate for Impact project.

“Interest in the topic of impact entrepreneurship is growing and we will do everything possible to turn ideas into projects that have a social impact. In particular, within the framework of the EU4USociety project, the Crowdfunding for Social Entrepreneurship initiative is underway, which doubles the amount of contributions from philanthropists, said Stanislav Lyachynsky, director of the Social Capital Program of the International Renaissance Foundation.

Social Impact Day 2021 was opened by special guest Martijn Blom, head of the Impact Funds Initiative from EVPA a, who spoke about the main trends in the world of impact investments. “Among the impact companies are Silicon Valley and small businesses around the world. It is important that impact investment programmes are increasingly being implemented at the state and community level. It’s a win-win solution! ”, said Martijn.

During two panel discussions on financial and non-financial resources for impact entrepreneurs, representatives of foundations, NGOs and social business from Ukraine and the EU answered questions about how to start an impact business in Ukraine. “We often find hybrid solutions to provide additional tools: in addition to our own investment, it is also mentoring and training,” said VPLYV Fund Chairman Victoria Mykolayuk. According to Anna Yanosev, program and community manager of Europe’s largest socio-business incubator Social Impact Award, the key to the success of start-up impact entrepreneurs is education: “Many people who start doing impact business do not always understand business and business processes. And without this it is impossible to achieve sustainability. “

Then, the ten finalists of the Social Impact Award Ukraine 2021 presented their pitches to the jury and all participants. The result was not long in coming: in addition to the three main winners and the online voting favourite, two more teams received additional prizes from representatives of foundations and organisations that were in the hall. The jury named the most convincing pitches IONKID (automation of rehabilitation documentation), CupToU (rental of reusable coffee cups) and Check It (fact-check game for schoolchildren) and handed them checks for € 1,500.

NGO SiLab Ukraine and  Ukrainian Social Venture Fund in the framework of the Collaborate for Impact project presented cash prizes of 1,500 Euros for 3 teams – winners of SIA.   

“We are already thinking about next year, because combining a youth incubator and an international conference turned out to be a surprisingly successful decision: the youthful enthusiasm and experience of professionals in one hall is an unstoppable mix. And the best thing about the impact theme is that despite different backgrounds, people here find a common language in seconds. So we are waiting for even more partners, everything is just beginning”, said Artem Kornetsky, co-founder and head of the School of ME, a non-governmental organisation that hosted the conference.

You can watch the conference in full here: