New publication on collaborations creating positive change

September 11, 2020 - News


Following conversations, research and interviews with social entrepreneurs, businesspeople, advisors and others on the topic of cross-sector collaborations, SE Forum has published a publication showcasing the findings. The publication highlights the need and interest in collaborating with others to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, but also stresses the challenges in finding the right partner and getting the collaboration right, to create biggest possible social or environmental impact.


The publication focuses on collaborations between social entrepreneurs and the more traditional business sector. Collaborations where the social entrepreneurs can get support from a bigger player with more muscles, resources and a different set of skills, whilst the bigger player in turn will learn to be more innovative, entrepreneurial, and impact-focused. Social entrepreneurs and smaller companies are often looking for the credibility and the professionalism a good partnership can contribute towards, with the bigger corporates looking for something that strengthens the brand and engages employees and attracts new talent.


What are the challenges?

From research and conversations we can see various challenges though and some of the key things shown in the publication are the lack of good examples, knowledge and time. There are also difficulties in measuring and showcasing the social impact and value, and many raises the issue of a lack of courage meaning there aren’t enough companies thinking outside the box.

The publication has been published as part of a project funded by the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth. It is written by SE Forum’s Executive Director Tove Nordström who stresses that there is more work to do to increase and strengthen collaborations:


There’s great interest in collaborating with others that may have a different set of tools, more resources, innovative ideas or processes, or specific expertise you’re looking for – from all sectors. Many want to do good, increase their sustainability efforts, and work towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. But many struggle to see what this could look like, who they could collaborate with, how to find them, and how to create the biggest possible social and/or environmental impact. More needs to be done to inspire companies, to help them find each other, and to guide them through the process.


You can read the full publication in Swedish here, and in English here, and we’d love to discuss this further so please get in touch with our Executive Director if you’re interested in the topic of collaborations. You can email her at