The EIB Institute organised a panel on ‘’Social Innovation for Societal Impact” – from innovative ideas to business (capacity-building knowledge transfer to SEE) in the framework of a conference on ‘’Scaling up social economy enterprises in South East Europe” organised by the Government of Slovenia (the Slovenian Prime Minister’s office and the Ministry of Economy and Development), which took place on April 24 – 25 in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Introduced by Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar, the two-day event was designed to promote the social economy as a way not only to create more jobs and economic development, but also to foster social inclusion and regional cohesion. The conference provided a platform for the exchange of public and private experiences by actors from across Europe, with a view to creating links and helping to develop a strategy for the region.

The most striking conclusion of the EIB Institute’s panel was that for social entrepreneurs to thrive they need funding, they need skills but first and foremost they need to invest in people and in teams.

Moderated by Jordan Junge of the Social Innovation Exchange, the panel included two social innovators – Teia Ciulacu of Recicleta and Pezana Rexha of Design by Pana, previous winners of the Institute’s Social Innovation Tournament – and three organisations that provide different types of support in the field: an impact investment platform (ClearlySo), an ICT platform that helps to refine the business models of social entrepreneurs (Compellio) and a networking hub/accelerator (Impact Zurich).