63% of the international entrepreneurial ecosystem prioritizes social and environmental impact in their business model, and of these, 84% highlight the value that being part of a transformative community provides them. This is stated in the “Global Impact Report 2020”, prepared by the Center for Social Entrepreneurship of the Vienna University of Economics and Business from the annual survey that Impact Hub Network carries out among its network of 16,500 entrepreneurs in more than 55 countries.
The new edition of the study highlights the important leadership role that small and medium enterprises are playing in driving a new economy that is more sustainable, fair and people-centered.
In fact, 50% of global jobs are created by SMEs, according to the World Bank, and one in three startups are born with the aim of providing a positive social or environmental impact, as stated in the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. It should also be noted that 38% of these projects are driven by women.
“COVID-19 has hit hard at the business fabric, which is mainly made up of small and medium enterprises. In order to contribute to their reactivation, at Impact Hub Madrid we have developed support services and tools to accompany their transformation processes. Today we have a unique opportunity to rebuild the economy and transition to real sustainability, in benefit of people and the environment,” said Antonio González, CEO of Impact Hub Madrid, in a statement.
The “Global Impact Report 2020” shows that entrepreneurship is profitable: 67% of the entrepreneurs in the Impact Hub network say that in the last year their company has grown by more than 10%. In addition, in 2019 these companies created 4,695 new jobs, which added to all those generated since 2012 reach a total of 34,000 jobs; and 1,358 projects were promoted, reaching 11,000 since 2012.
The professionals who are part of the Impact Hub network positively value the fact that they feel part of an ecosystem that inspires, connects and empowers people, companies and organizations to generate a positive impact through their activity, in order to move towards a more sustainable economy.
This feeling of belonging is the most outstanding aspect (84%), followed by the support they receive to associate and collaborate with other companies and organizations, increase their motivation and improve their work space (77%). They also give relevance to the fact of knowing new trends and connecting with experts from different sectors (67%), to the possibility of shaping new ideas (64%), as well as developing new skills and competences and increasing their visibility and credibility (63%).
The study reflects the importance of promoting collaborative communities as one of the main benefits of working in an entrepreneurial network. Thus, 50% of Impact Hub members have worked together on some project, and by 2019, 36% have initiated new collaborative projects worth $250 million.
During the past year, Impact Hub’s global network promoted 460 collaborative innovation programs focused on business development and entrepreneurship, of which 190 focused on advancing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDAs). 46% of the participants in one of these programs attribute their success to their membership in Impact Hub.
The “2020 Global Impact Report” states that 85% of the professionals who make up the Impact Hub network worldwide link their activity to the fulfilment of Agenda 2030. The ODSs that entrepreneurs work on most are ODS 4: Quality Education, ODS 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, ODS 3: Health and Wellness, and ODS 10: Reducing Inequalities.