In recent years there has been a significant increase in entrepreneurs making social impact the core of their business. These entrepreneurs are often called impact entrepreneurs and they are spearheading the next wave of economic growth, with the aim to change the planet and people’s lives. We met with two leading impact entrepreneurs to find out how they define impact entrepreneurship and understand why investors suddenly look in their direction for new opportunities.
Today a growing number of entrepreneurs start companies that generate impact in society. “Starting with the why” and building brands with a purpose have become the new black in business. These companies have previously been out of the limelight in the eyes of investors. Impact entrepreneurship is part of the next wave of inclusive growth with the aim to change people’s lives for the better.
“To become a successful impact entrepreneur, your idea needs to benefit people regardless of social background, and of course also be profitable.”
Kristina Lagerstedt, CEO and founder of 1928 Diagnostics
Kristina Lagerstedt says that it has been important to present the company as a global player from the very start and involve customers in the product design to meet their long- and short-term needs. From 1928’s perspective, collaboration has been key to their growth. In their success story, networking and building relationships have been important to attract users, future team members and investors based on trust and long-term commitment.
Nordea actively supports impact entrepreneurs and has therefore partnered with Norrsken Foundation, an organisation with the purpose of finding and investing in ‘impact companies’ and over time creating an impact unicorn. Impact unicorns are operations that have a positive impact on one billion people or more. Niklas Adalberth, the founder of Norrsken Foundation, defines an impact entrepreneur as a company that has a business idea that solves a societal issue.
Here are Niklas Adalberth’s top three tips of how you become an impact entrepreneur:
- Find a business idea where the purpose is not only to generate money but also to create impact.
- Start building your dream team.
- Find a solid ambition level that all team members agree on and put in the hours needed to achieve your goals.
Interested in knowing more about the companies?
1928 Diagnostics’ software service decodes DNA from bacteria to keep you safe at the hospital. The 1928 service guides hospitals to identify and stop deadly outbreaks of superbugs and outsmarts antibiotic resistant bacteria to save lives and costs as well as preserve the power of antibiotics.
Norrsken Foundation is a non-religious, non-partisan, non-profit foundation with a strong belief in effective altruism. Norrsken Foundation supports and invests in both for-profit businesses and non-profit organisations, whichever we believe are most likely to have a positive impact on society. Although Norrsken Foundation is based in Stockholm, Sweden, they see themselves as world citizens.
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