Innovations with added social value

Social startups are helping us to overcome societal challenges – also, and especially, during the coronavirus crisis.

Many social startups are active in the field of education.
Many social startups are active in the field of education. picture alliance / Zoonar

In eight Social Impact Labs all over Germany, founders work on their ideas for a better society. Normally. During the coronavirus pandemic, the exchange is digital but no less lively, says Norbert Kunz, executive director of Social Impact.

Mr Kunz, what is Social Impact?
An agency for social innovation. We help social startups to implement business models that provide added societal value. In addition, we develop our own solutions to better meet challenges in areas such as education, integration and the environment.

How are social startups faring during the coronavirus pandemic?
They are suffering from it like all entrepreneurs, although we have to distinguish between non-profit and private-sector startups. The former are usually financed by foundations or companies. This support has remained relatively stable. Private-sector startups, on the other hand, are under the same pressure as other traders. The problem is that social startups are not profit-oriented and therefore cannot take advantage of many sources of help. Fortunately, there are now new support services that are measured by turnover. We also see other positive trends.

For example?
In surveys, most social entrepreneurs say that their work can have an even bigger impact in times of crisis. Needs are greater now and there is increased demand in the areas where many social startups operate. Moreover, because they usually consist of small teams and work with digital technologies, start-ups are particularly well placed to adapt to the new conditions.

Norbert Kunz, founder and managing director of SociaI Impact
Norbert Kunz, founder and managing director of SociaI Impact Christian Klant/Social Impact

Interview: Helen Sibum

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