Almost two months has passed since I stepped into our office at Riddargatan. It’s been a whirlwind of meeting inspiring people, seeing the impact of our social entrepreneurs and understanding the landscape of where they operate. It’s also been an absolute pleasure coming into a welcoming team where warm effectiveness might be the best phrase to describe them.

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Team photo with the SE Entrepreneurs in Sigtuna.

For those of you who haven’t yet read about our entrepreneurs I strongly recommended that you have a
look at our info page about them. This is the favorite part of my job, reading about how innovative ideas and people can change the world where they operate. Take Francis for example. He identified a problem in Nigeria where blood banks aren’t connected to hospitals. This means that if you injure yourself and are in need of blood, you or your family needs to search for blood. Imagine yourself, your daughter has a car accident and instead of being with her you need to call, locate and collect blood. Something that takes time, is difficult and expensive! Francis’ answer to this is a mobile technology solution where hospitals or family members can send an SMS to a database that tells you where the nearest blood bank that stores the specific blood type needed is located. All at the cost of a single SMS.

It was a pleasure to have Francis and his fellow social entrepreneurs with us here in April. They spent three weeks with us going through an intense business development program and are set to return again in September. In the time between the blocks they are busy working on their businesses, some have won competitions, some have had great media exposure and others have launched new products. It’s been a pleasure following them on their journey and we can’t wait to have them back with us here in September.

A summer filled with events

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I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting a number of players within the social entrepreneurship field here in Sweden. There are a lot of interesting things going on and it will be exciting to dig in to some of our plans for the future (stay tuned via our newsletter). For example, in June we’re a partner for the event The Bridge in Lund, where science and business meet to grow relationships to solve some of humanity’s biggest challenges. Not a small task. We’re there to see how we can connect cutting-edge research in the western world to pressing human needs in the developing world. If you’re a social entrepreneur in the south of Sweden and want to go, let us know and we’ll try to get you a free ticket!

If you’re in Gotland, Sweden, this summer we might see you at Almedalen where we’ll follow and discuss what the Swedish politicians have to say about social entrepreneurship as well as meeting with stakeholders, partners and fellow friends in the sector. Please let me know if you’re there and want to meet up!

This will make you jealous!

Do you like travelling and learning about different cultures? Then you’re most likely going to be jealous when you hear about the trip my colleague Annabel is taking in June. She’s going to Vietnam, India and Uganda to follow up on our past participants and their progress. Not a bad trip is it? If you want to follow the trip from the sidelines I suggest you check out our social media channels and in particular our instagram account which Annabel will use during the trip.

Well, there you have it. My first two months as Executive Director in a nutshell. I’ve understood how SMS technology can help find you blood, that what we do is sought after at events and seen how people and social entrepreneurship can change the world for the better. Going into the summer months I couldn’t be more excited for the future and what that entails.

Nicklas Wallberg
Executive Director