In the Middle

By Tom Dinneweth

in the middle

There’s something a bit intimidating about ‘the middle’. You can find yourself in the middle of nowhere, or you could be walking home in the middle of the night when everything is at its darkest. The middle, really, is that one place where the past is just as far away as the future. The starting point is just as far away as the finish line.        

Please forgive us for getting a bit philosophical, it’s just that we are currently halfway through our allotted time with Collaborate For Impact. It begs the question – how far have we come? And what still lies ahead, as we move forward? 

Some key achievements ...

One thing is certain - a lot of work has been done over the past two and a half years. In case you missed it, or in case you want to relive the moment(s), we selected a few highlights of the journey so far:

> We created social impacts funds

With EVPA support, our national partners in Ukraine, Georgia and Armenia successfully set up their own social impact funds. The Ukrainian Social Venture Fund (USVF), Actio and VIA Fund are up and running, making the difference for social entrepreneurs by providing financial support and experience.  

via fund
We are closing in on one year of the VIA Fund in action now.
Read more about their mission here!

> We supported social entrepreneurs in the field

Using the social impact funds, but also through other means of capacity building and support, Collaborate For Impact made a meaningful difference for social enterprises in the field. We could cite quite a few examples here, ranging from bakeries to knitting enterprises. Want to see an example? Just have a look at this beautiful article featuring some of the ventures linked to the USVF in Ukraine. 

Our impact journey in the region introduced us to a wide range of beautiful projects. 
Check out our video series and see for yourself, starting at beautiful Lake Sevan.
Armenian Camp Lake Sevan

> We brought impact people together

We believe in the power of exchanging information and, well … collaboration. One prime example occurred quite recently during our Impact in the Neighbourhood event in Tbilisi, which gathered pioneers and leaders in the impact space from not only Central and Eastern Europe, but also the MENA regions. Conversation is key!

If you want to know more about the people that make impact happen, you can listen to their stories through the Impact People podcast.

Some lessons learned

We are not just here to bang our own drum. Any project is a learning experience, which is why we commissioned a midterm evaluation report. The resulting document offers a list of recommendations on how to proceed in the remaining half of the journey.

Curious to know more? We made a little summary for your viewing pleasure.

Something to look forward to

Finally, being in the middle also means looking ahead, towards the future. What can you expect from Collaborate For Impact in the next years?

More impact stories from social enterprises

More capacity building activities and awareness campaigns

More investments through the social impact funds

In the not-so-distant future, we are also looking forward to hosting the Collaborate For Impact partners during Impact Week in Torino. Don’t hesitate to get your ticket if you want to participate!