When: March 30th, from 2pm to 3pm British Summer Time, GMT+1 (UK time).

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Would you like to have a better understanding of how organisations deliver social impact? Do you want to know what is it that you need to manage and how to face the challenges and opportunities to deliver impact? Anton Simanowitz, author of the book “The Business of Doing Good” and director of Social Performance Solutions, will lead a webinar that will look into the heart of the impact system and give a twist to its management. Aimed at anybody working in an organisation  with a social purpose, from board members to managers, frontline staff or impact people in general, the goal of this webinar is to have a better understanding of the social impact process.  

Join us for this new webinar organised by the Portugal Impact Group and Stone Soup Consulting, a free and open training that will bridge the gap between good intentions and practice.

“Many times I’ve asked myself why is it that organisations so committed to deliver good in the world, often fail to take opportunities to do better, and sometimes actually hurt the people that they are trying to reach. This webinar is about the details of how to build good organisations and not just the products. It will focus on how not to make assumptions about our clients and understand what they need. On how to build the right product and services to make small tweaks that really improve things”, Anton Simanowitz. 

Anton Simanowitz has been influential since the late 1990s as a practitioner and thought leader in the field of microfinance and social enterprise. He works globally with practitioners, investors, technical assistance providers and policy makersto improve the effectiveness of microfinance and social enterprises in delivering positive social outcomes.

Anton was founder and Director of the Imp-Act Consortium, a group of 12 leading microfinance organisations instrumental in the development of  the Universal Standards in Social Performance management – industry standards in microfinance that are now widely used in due diligence, social audit, social rating, technical assistance and reporting.Most recently he led the design and roll-out to ten countries of a social performance diagnostic and capacity building approach for Dutch social investor Oikocredit.

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Interview to Uli Grabenwarter, Strategic Adviser of Stone Soup Consulting and Deputy Director - Equity Investments at the European Investment Fund.

By Pilar Balet. Posted on February 23rd 2016

1. How do you see the social enterprises sector evolving not just in Europe, but the world?

The social enterprises sector has come a long way over the last decade. It is now at a very decisive injunction point that will decide how it will move forward. On one hand, for the first time social enterprises are becoming aware of being targets of investment communities as investors move beyond the philanthropic space and use impact investing to scale the scope of their activities for doing good for society.

On the other hand, we see that the societal issues that social enterprises typically deal with have evolved a lot in these ten years. Social enterprises today need to change gears, not only do something that is basically good, but reflect on how they can make the social value that they create tangible and scalable. Those are the two biggest challenges that these enterprises are facing today, and that is what is at the base of the debate linked not only to measuring, evidencing and monitoring impact, but also to how impact is priced in the market.


2. What would you say are the main opportunities and challenges in the sector at the moment?

The opportunity is very clear and definite. Our socioeconomic system operates with assumptions that will not uphold in the future. One big element is linked to the State’s finances and how the public sector is going to fulfil its role as a welfare State.  Businesses across all sectors are facing more and more the issue of assessing sustainability as one of the factors of competitiveness. Competitiveness today is not only about the smartness of the product, but how you deal with resources that are vital for your business’ processes. It is also looking at how you deal with externalities and stakeholders. All those issues are today at the very core of successful businesses and impact investing.

“Traditional companies can learn a great deal from social enterprises”

Traditional companies can learn a great deal from social enterprises. Actually, social enterprises have a very odd business proposition, even strange from an investment point of view. They usually work towards solving a societal issue, which means that they seek to make disappear the reason why they exist. Thus, a succesful social enterprise will eliminate its business model reason of being. This might sound weird to investors at the beginning, but it is actually nothing else than what any business in today’s enterprise market environment needs to do. We are in a time where the most important feature for competitiveness is innovation. Social enterprises are bound to work at the edge of this because when they solve a societal issue they need to persist, continue and find the next issue and the solution that goes with it. Innovation is at the base of social enterprises and that is the big opportunity that we have. Not just for social enterprises, but also for society. 

EDP, a major Portuguese global electric operator, ​​is a customer of Stone Soup Consulting in Portugal and it is gradually expanding its business in Spain. This growth goes hand in hand with an expansion of its CSR and social action through its Foundation. An important part of this social action is its "EDP Solidarity" Programme; an annual call for social projects with a total budget of 500,000 euros.

Stone Soup Consulting started supporting EDP by preparing the start of this programme in Spain, based on the Portuguese practice. However, in Spain, the programme had a really special hallmark as the jury responsible for assessing the projects submitted is part of the company’s staff.

My work as a consultant for EDP began with the preparation and delivery of a short practical training for employees who were part of the jury. It was an interesting but complex mission as we had to convey sufficient knowledge to properly evaluate a wide variety of projects to people with varied professional backgrounds and sometimes far from the social sphere. On the other hand they were very interested in taking part of the process and incorporating the programme as part of the company’s work with the community.  

Stone Soup Consulting souhaite élargir son réseau international d’experts en France.

Nous recherchons des consultants avec de l’expérience de conseil dans les domaines de la stratégie et des opérations, et spécialisés en évaluation des résultats et de l’impact social, business model social, levée de fonds et stratégies d’essaimage, en particulier.

Stone Soup recherche des professionnels expérimentés, ayant une connaissance et expérience mixtes, dans le monde de l’entreprise et dans le secteur associatif, une capacité à gérer des projets et à animer des ateliers et groupes de travail, une bonne maîtrise de l’anglais, 5 ans d’expérience professionnelle minimum, une disponibilité réelle pour s’engager afin de participer à la mise en place de nouveaux projets et au développement de l’organisation.

Stone Soup offre la possibilité de faire partie d’un réseau multiculturel et multidisciplinaire, qui travaille en équipe, dans une ambiance créative, ouverte et flexible (basée sur les nouvelles technologies de l’information).

Fondé en 2008, Stone Soup Consulting est un cabinet de conseil à dimension sociale. Organisée en réseau de consultants, notre entreprise travaille avec différents types d’organisations (fondations, associations, entrepreneurs sociaux, entreprises, investisseurs sociaux) qui veulent accroître leur valeur sociale.

Intervenant de préférence en tant que partenaire plus qu’en tant que simple conseiller, Stone Soup Consulting accompagne les organisations dans leur effort de maximisation de leur valeur sociale. Pour cela nous utilisons des processus de réflexion collectifs, afin de développer et mettre en place des stratégies de consolidation et croissance des organisations.

Stone Soup procura colaborador/a administrativo-financeiro

A Stone Soup Consulting é uma empresa de vocação social cuja missão é a maximização do impacto social das organizações e iniciativas sociais. Procuramos um/a colaborador/a para apoio, em regime de teletrabalho e part-time, em tarefas administrativas e financeiras, preferencialmente residente na Grande Lisboa. As tarefas incluem, entre outras, digitalização de documentação e arquivo documental, expedição de correspondência, controlo orçamental e de faturação, gestão de tesouraria, conciliação bancária  e preparação de documentos financeiros para contabilista. Embora com sede em Portugal, é uma empresa internacional, pelo que se exige também conhecimentos de língua inglesa.