This week saw the Social Enterprise World Forum take the virtual mainstage, bringing together social enterprises from across the world for a jam packed programme of workshops, panels and networking. 

Social enterprises spanning various causes, models, sectors and industries were in attendance and it truly was a celebration of resilience, innovation and entrepreneurship. 

In this blog post, we’re sharing our memorable moments and big learnings from across the Good Finance and Big Society Capital teams. We’ve also made a note of the session names as recordings can be accessed via the SEWF platform. 

“This is an ecosystem rather than an ego system”  

Session: Connecting entrepreneurs, supporting leaders, and driving a global movement

We’ll start with this one to set the tone - this quote resonated deeply and especially hit home how important it has been this year to think beyond ourselves

Much of the social enterprise and wider social impact sector thrives on connection and collaboration. As the future remains uncertain, and the road to recovery remains bumpy, we have no doubt that community, working together and keeping the bigger picture in mind will remain vital. 

“You don't have to measure everything, all of the time - just what really matters"

Session: impact measurement masterclass 

Measuring and managing your social impact can be a process that is empowering and educational - it’s about collecting what matters to you and your stakeholders, in a way that is relevant and reasonable, and analysing that information to drive the delivery and improvement. 

All too often, impact measurement is something organisations feel they have to do because funders want them to, but there’s power in knowing that you call the shots! Make sure you check out our resources and animation on impact management for social investment. 

“The greatest way you can show respect for someone is to give them a space where you will listen to them” 

Session: Social Enterprise Education 

This session explored the label of social enterprise, and how it can be polarising for some people (for many young people especially). As with many things in life, there is no one fixed journey and often, perspectives will be shaped by backgrounds and individual experiences, and the most important thing we can do is listen! What most seem to agree on is that the label is inconsequential - it’s about the process, the purpose and how you get there. 

Teaching skills such as confidence and self understanding remain an important part of social enterprise education if we want to enable and equip young people to look at a problem and design a process that works for them to solve it.

“Stories can bridge us to the future we want to see.” 

Session: Telling your social enterprise story 

We know instinctively that stories can be a powerful tool - we tell them, we remember them, we share them. Stories are key to shifting hearts and minds, and this is a particularly important skill for social enterprises. 

Collectively, if we’re actually going to change systems, policies and economics, we need to take the social enterprise story much wider. 

The trick is to keep testing your key message - say enough to get your story across, but say too much and you’ll say nothing!

Use this story canvas to tell your story and check out this webinar on storytelling for social investment for more inspiration. 

We are family

There are a million more learnings we could have shared with you, and we definitely recommend following @_SEWF and checking out the recordings. It’s been an inspiring, educational and empowering week.

As the Social Enterprise World Forum played out to Nile Rodgers ‘We are Family!’ A song that symbolises the social enterprise community, anda message we hope stays in our hearts and minds! 

As we looking to 2021 the Social Enterprise World Forum is set to come live from Halifax, Nova Scotia. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that circumstances allow us to take Good Finance to the world stage to see how we can support communities beyond the UK.

Hope to see you there!