Monday, July 13, 2015

The 2015 International Social Entrepreneurship Conference - CANCELLED

We are saddened to announce that, after reviewing the planning and preparation of this year’s INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship Conference in Amsterdam, we have taken the difficult decision of cancelling the event for 2015. Following discussions with our colleagues, INSEAD alumni and those organising the related events, we came to the conclusion that we would not be able to deliver the high-level programme we would expect with the human resources and time available. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this change might have caused and we do hope to come back to Amsterdam in the future.

Plans are already underway for our 2016 Conference and Reunion in India and we hope to come to a decision on the location, date and theme soon.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The 2015 International Social Entrepreneurship Conference and Reunion in Amsterdam/Nyenrode postponed to the fall

The INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship Conference in Amsterdam/Nyenrode and Reunion have been postponed to a date in the fall of 2015 (probably October). We have made this change to better develop synergies with other INSEAD and Social Entrepreneurship events and to respond to the strong interest in the Hackathon process around which the conference is being developed. We are currently in discussions with our colleagues, INSEAD alumni and those organising the related events and hope to be able to determine a new date for this event by the first week of April. Please visit our website or this blog for updates and further information or send us a note at expressing your interest and we will be sure to keep you posted on the new dates and further plans.

Friday, January 30, 2015

“The Impact Hack-a-thon” The 2015 International Social Entrepreneurship Conference arrives in The Netherlands Block the date: 21-23 May in Amsterdam

Yes! A completely new approach to conferencing will take place on 21 May…Yes! The Netherlands, the home of some of the world’s most sustainable and innovative companies! Yes! Home to one of the ISEP Network’s largest group of members engaged in everything from rural electrification in Africa and health care in Europe to leading edge corporate social responsibility and impact investing. With this level of expertise, this year’s ISEP conference will be like none other you have experienced to date.

Start with10-15 companies, impact investors and the insight, imagination and expertise of a global pool of leading social entrepreneurs….a room full of bright minds and visionary thinkers. Take on a compelling social impact challenge to be addressed. Add a day-long session built on a process jointly developed by the knowledge housed within INSEAD and Nyenrode Business Universiteit to solve that challenge, pepper it with a few speakers and panels and you have one of the most exhilarating entrepreneurial days you have ever experienced.

And there is more: Friday, 22 May a day in Amsterdam for discussions with social entrepreneurs, special workshops, and other “explorations” for ISEP Alumni.

And still more: Saturday, Our annual ISEP alumni reunion will take place on 23 May in Amsterdam and is likely attract the largest number of ISEP Network members ever. Plan to join in on a day of master classes, networking discussions, exchanges, and new ideas with your colleagues from around the world. (for ISEP alumni only)

Watch this space for further details in the coming weeks!
Contact us for further information at!

Friday, July 25, 2014

2014 Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards Finalists Announced

The Cartier Women’s Initiative announced 18 finalists from 15 countries for its 2014 Awards.  They feature impressive new businesses that have created ethical, sustainable and scalable solutions to pressing social challenges and cover sectors spanning from high technology to healthcare, education, fashion, international development and the environment. INSEAD works closely with the Cartier Women’s Initiative on these awards by mentoring contestants at several stages of the competition and the selection process itself. Six Laureates, each representing a geographical region, will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on 16 October 2014, at the Annual Global Meeting of the Women’s Forum in Deauville, France. To learn more about this year’s finalists, visit the Cartier Women's Initiative webpage

MyMind Expanding Access to Mental Health Services

Krystian Fikert (ISEP 2010-Singapore) established MyMind in 2006 in response to a troublesome gap in providing mental health services in Ireland. People suffering from anxiety, stress, depression, addiction, relationship issues, workplace problems and other issues affecting their mental health found themselves facing long public sector waiting lists or high costs for private services. MyMind was created as a community-based mental health service that draws on the power of information technology to provide efficient, low-cost help when people need it.

Based in Dublin, MyMind provides accessible and affordable counselling and psychotherapy, in different languages, through a team of over 100 mental health professionals. We are dedicated to providing early intervention into mental health problems, to help to build people’s resilience and avoid more serious problems developing in the long term, so first appointments are usually offered within 72 hours. The “MyMind Online” system is able to empower clients to book their appointments online or by phone, bypassing the hindering and expensive referral process. In addition to its face-to-face services, it also provides online support via the MyMind Online platform, and the new “MyMind at Work” programme that provides information and skills workshops to workplaces in order to enhance staff resilience and wellbeing.

It has now teamed up with an international organisation whose mission it is to harness the power of advanced communications technologies to enable social and non-profit organisations to help engage their audience, expand their reach and focus on making a real change in the world. This has already enabled MyMind to become a global leader in creating fast, efficient, and secure mental health services for those in need and continue to create opportunities for growth to meet the demand in Ireland and beyond.

Victoria Kisyombe Receives
 Global Leadership 
"Economic Empowerment Award"

Victoria Kisyombe (ISEP 2011-Fontainebleau) was awarded the Vital Voices Global Leadership Economic Empowerment Award by Hillary Rodham Clinton at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC for her trailblazing work to empower women through micro leasing in Tanzania as founder and CEO of SELFINA.

Founded in 2002, Selfina's mission has set out to increase the incomes and employment of women who own micro enterprises in Tanzania, by helping them and their businesses grow. Its innovative use of assets to access credit has made it a pioneer of micro-credit and micro-leasing that have enabled women who would not otherwise be able access financing. SELFINA has maintained a particular focus on widows and young girls and helping them overcome customs and traditions that often make it difficult for women to own land and assets. In its 11 year history, SELFINA has empowered more than 25,000 women with a total credit worth 25 billion Tanzanian Shillings [approximately $16 million US dollars]. Over 200,000 lives have been impacted through the benefits accrued. Women are now owners of their own businesses and more than 125,000 jobs have been created. Victoria was herself widowed but made good use of Sero, a cow left behind by her late husband as a productive asset to generate income. (see video)

Vital Voices Global Partnership was co-founded by Hillary Rodham Clinton to honour and celebrate women leaders around the world who work to strengthen democracy, increase economic opportunity and protect human rights. In addition to Secretary Clinton, this year’s awards were presented by television news anchor Norah O'Donnell and fashion designer and activist Diane von Furstenberg to the five outstanding women from Syria, Iraq, Tanzania, India and Guatemala. Past honorees and presenters have included Oscar winner Sally Field, Angelina Jolie, Aung San Suu Kyi, Ben Affleck, Reese Witherspoon and Malala Yousafzai. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Impact Investing reaches the Vatican - Conference: Investing for the Poor

The growth of the Impact Investing sector has attracted the attention of the Catholic Church which is discussing the ways in which the logic, frameworks, and opportunities in impact investing can help the Church in achieving its mission of alleviating poverty worldwide.

Our own Prof. Filipe Santos was the opening speaker at the conference, which took place in Rome June 16-17. The conference web-site provides a complete overview of the conference, knowledge resources about impact investing, and summary of the discussions and conclusions from the gathering. Check:

All the 120 attendees, the majority of which were representatives from Catholic Church organizations, as well as international impact investors and thought leaders  from the sector, were blessed with an audience with Pope Francis. It was an exciting conference for both the mind and soul and a testimony to the growth and potential of impact investing and social entrepreneurship.