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Business and Social Impact Exploration Forum – connecting and collaborating for social impact

Business and Social Impact Exploration Forum – connecting and collaborating for social impact
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The Irish Social Business Campus (ISBC) in conjunction with the Kemmy Business School hosted the inaugural ‘Business and Social Impact Exploration Forum’ on 15thOctober 2019.

This forum brought together public, private sector organisations, government support agencies and social enterprises to explore opportunities for mutually beneficial collaborations to generate social impact and promote and inspire social change.
Social enterprises in Ireland account for at least 25,000 jobs and contribute €1.4 billion in economic activity generating much needed economic, social and environmental impacts across urban and rural communities.  The greatest challenge for these social enterprises is to identify opportunities for scaling in a sustainable manner.
Correspondingly, large public and private sector organizations understand that the success of their enterprises is not measured by profits alone and are seeking to generate social and environmental impact. Despite organizational differences, both commercial and social enterprises subscribe to a common ‘social’ focus which is society and environmentally determined but yet lack meaniful forms of business collaboration to deliver on the social focus. 
This Workshop identified the perceptual, physical and performance barriers to such joint collaborations and explored targeted relevant opportunities for meaningful collaboration.
The forum contained a range of talks and engaged workshops, which identified partnership opportunities and a range of actions to further enhance social and commercial enterprise collaborations.  Speakers included Karel Vanderpoorten of Social Economy, Cluster Policy and Entrepreneurship Unit, European Commission, Lucy Finlay, founder of The Social Enterprise Mark in the UK,  Briga Hynes of Kemmy Business School, Paul Ellingstad of PTI Advisors,  and Eamon Ryan of ISBC.
Commenting on the event, Dr Briga Hynes of the Kemmy Business School highlighted a common message emerging was that a single business, government or social enterprise is not equipped to tackle social and economic challenges alone, and sustainable solutions require different collaborations with diversity of viewpoint, approach and expertise – thus demonstrating the importance of this type of initiative.