Promoting Social Entrepreneurship in selected countries
This regional program with national implementation components supports Social Entrepreneurs (SEs) contributing to solving societal and environmental problems with a market-based approach. The contribution identifies and supports selected SEs and helps them to reach out to the poor. It serves the creation of employment and income for low-income households improving their livelihoods. SEs use innovative ideas and business models that are well-aligned with SDC’s objectives of poverty reduction.
Southern and Eastern Africa
Employment & economic development
Business support & economic inclusion
- Swiss Private Sector
The Southern Africa, East and North Africa, Occupied Palestinian Territory (SENAP) Division is actively pursuing Private Public Development Partnerships (PPDPs). Together with the active support of the SDC internal network “employment & income” (e+i), earlier experiences with SEs in Latin America can be leveraged and built into this project strategy. Social Entrepreneurs (SEs present an interesting alternative to pursue SDCs’ objective to engage with the private sector, to accelerate this dynamic movement, to support gender sensitive youth employment opportunities in partner countries of the SENAP Division.
SENAP considers the implication of national and regional Cooperation Offices (Coofs) in the design of program as critical for them to take over an active role in the implementation of national components of the program. These roles will be agreed individually with each of the interested Coofs. The program will reflect a 2-level institutional set-up with regional and national implementation components that are being implemented either through headquarters (Berne) and/or Coofs with adapted, flexible, appropriate and inclusive decision making. This intervention and implementation strategy represents a progressive innovation for SDC whereby HQ and Coofs work together on a same program implementing different components.
A SE is a person contributing to the solution of specific societal and/or environmental problems with a market-based approach. The resulting social enterprise is the organizational form to do so. The main target group of SEs are low-income households. One of the main objectives is the creation of employment and income for low-income households via SEs serving these households. Although the social enterprise sector is only a niche in the general economy, it is a growing one and yields a lot of potential for solving developmental problems in particular. However, identifying SEs, diagnosing bottlenecks for their growth and impact maximisation, and providing the necessary, tailor-made support to them is not a core competence of the SDC, but of specialized organizations like the Ashoka network and specialized consulting companies like Hystra. SDC will therefore contribute to their existing efforts financially and with thematic inputs allowing supporting additional SEs in topics like food security and agriculture, youth and employment/employability, and rural development in general. A lot of potential of SEs lies in their innovative potential that improve livelihoods, notably in rural areas (e.g. access to water and energy, and other essential services). Therefore, improving livelihood is another key objective.
As a welcomed side effect, SDC will increase its operational knowledge by following a multitude of entrepreneurs in different sectors, contexts and topics. This contributes to SDCs learning on increasingly engaging with the private sector. Concretely, this proposal was developed on the basis of the learnings and partnerships established by the E+I division through a similar program focusing on Latin America and the Caribbean (LATAM), project no. 7F-08735.01.
|Directorate/federal office responsible||
|Budget||Current phase Swiss budget CHF 6'200'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF 0|