It has been an incredible eight weeks. Tempers have flared, laughter has echoed, there have been long sleepless nights, there have been moments of doubts and reassurance and now it’s all drawing to an end.
As the program wraps up, we held a graduation event to not only celebrate the entrepreneurs but also provide them with a chance for a final pitch to potential investors and partners. The event, dubbed ‘The Next Chapter of Social Impact’ was held at the event space Summit. The event brought together over 100 individuals consisting of entrepreneurs, investors and the general public.
SE Forums’ newly appointed Chairperson, Ylva Strander, in her opening reaffirmed the organizations commitment, goals and aspiration in developing and supporting social entrepreneurs and further contributing towards the development of the industry.
Sida Director-General, Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, who was the guest of honour, applauded the program and the work the social entrepreneurs set out to do.
“SE Outreach is not the biggest program we support, but it is one of the most important” says Charlotte. “Where we see problems, you see solutions, we need more energy focused on solutions”, she added.
The social entrepreneurs then set out one by one presenting their innovations. Each presentation was limited to a total of 15 minutes, which included eight minutes of the actual pitch and a Q&A limited to two questions from the audience.
What set this event apart from the initial presentation that was made at the beginning of the program was that this time the entrepreneurs needed to further demonstrate: their social value proposition, the problem they solve, target market and customers, financial projections and timeline, anticipated risks and competition and the funds required.
The event came to an end with Chairperson handing out certificates of completion to each entrepreneur and this was followed by a mingling session. This was a bittersweet moment for both the employees of SE Forum and the entrepreneurs and we could not help but get a bit misty eyed. There was an air of excitement, a feeling of accomplishment and regained energy to face whatever challenges that may come their way and overall optimism.
We at SE Forum wish all our graduates all the best and look forward to following the progress of the enterprises and the entrepreneurs once they are back home and seeing them apply the knowledge from the Accelerator Program to their businesses.