January in Sweden is a dark month, and this year was no exception. Therefore, it was suiting that our colleagues Tove and Svitlana went to sunny Nigeria to follow up on our alumni at just that time. The power of Vitamin D is not to be underestimated. Us who stayed in Sweden, sun-less, focused on planning for the year ahead and reviewing cross-sector development.

Putting the Nigeria trip aside (you can read more about it here), January was a month of focused work in the background. We’ve been putting the finishing touches on our review – Social EnteSocial enterprises municipalitiesrprises and Municipalities: Cooperation, Partnerships & Synergies – that we’ve written together with partners in Latvia and Belarus. It will be launched soon so please keep your eyes open for it. In the review, we’re examining existing and possible collaboration and partnerships between social enterprises and municipalities in our respective countries. Combined with country overviews and case studies, we’re aiming to raise the bar for how these sectors can cooperate in the future to increase positive social impact in our communities.

On another increasingly exciting note we’re preparing for the GATHER Fellowship incubator we’re arranging together with Seeds of Peace in March. The programme features 16 social innovators working in areas of conflict and we’re proud to soon be able to announce them. During the programme they will visit Parliament House, receive training from world-class trainers and meet with leaders from the business, public and investment sectors. We’re proud to bring this programme to Sweden for the first time, where the mix of peace and conflict with innovation and entrepreneurship sits well with the country’s identity.

Now it’s time to enjoy the last bit of winter to the fullest with a ski trip or two, but also to gear up for a spring which has the potential to be truly special!

Until next time,

Nick