Georgia, within the EU-funded “Collaborate for Impact” project for the first time, held a large-scale international conference called "Impact in the Neighborhood Catalyzing Change through Investments and Policy “. The event was hosted by the Center for Strategic Research and Development of Georgia (CSRDG), together with the impact fund Actio and the Civil Society Institute (CSI), in partnership with the European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA) at the Sheraton Grand Tbilisi Metekhi Palace.
The CEO of EVPA, Roberta Bosurgi, Hoa-Binh Adjemian - Deputy Head of the Thematic Unit DG NEAR; Ketevan Tatoshvili - Advisor to the President of Georgia and Eka Urushadze – CEO of CSRDG, delivered the welcome speech and opened the event.
The representatives of local and International corporate and impact funds, impact accelerators, businesses, the public sector, impact investors, corporate philanthropy, and social investment funds attended the event.
The EU-supported “Impact in the Neighbourhood” conference focused on impact investing on social entrepreneurship, aimed to present and popularise modern, international approaches to impact investing and to share experiences for supporting the sustainable development of social entrepreneurship.
The 2-day international conference guests had the opportunity to attend speaker sessions, participate in panel discussions, and take part in the internationally recognised Impact for Breakfast format private meeting. Speakers - pioneers and leaders of impact entrepreneurship in central and eastern Europe, Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions presented successes and failures in building ecosystems, including how this happens in complex socio-political environments. The participants discussed different experiences of creating long-term approaches with multi-sector partnerships, both with corporations and the financial sector, municipalities and public agencies; They analysed opportunities for increasing access to finance for businesses with social goals, empowering vulnerable groups and ways of future cooperation.
“I hope that the ideas, connections and inspirations from this conference will become catalytic for the further development of the impact ecosystem in the region,” - said Borsugi, CEO of EVPA and noted, „Since 2020, with the support of the European Union we have been leveraging the know-how of EVPA and its network of over 300 members to strengthen the social economy in the Eastern Partnership countries, particularly through increasing access to finance for social enterprises.”
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“Aiming to develop the ecosystem of social entrepreneurship, we are actively working on the promotion and introduction of impact-oriented investment practices in Georgia, for which we created the first impact fund Actio, and We are happy that for the first time in the region, we are hosts of the international conference Impact in the Neighborhood,” – noted Eka Urushadze, Executive Director of CSRDG.
Among the guests of honour attending the final conference were representatives of the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia and DG NEAR. The Conference hosted 200 International and local guests from more than 40 countries representing the business sector and various investment funds.
The EU-supported conference was concluded with the official reception co-hosted by the City Hall of the Tbilisi Municipality.
About the Project
The conference was implemented within the EU-funded international project “Collaborate for Impact - development of social entrepreneurship and social investments towards Economic and social cohesion in the Eastern Partnership Countries”. Collaborate for Impact builds the social investment ecosystem and social entrepreneurship capacity in the Eastern Partnership countries towards a more sustainable and inclusive society.
Collaborate for Impact is led by EVPA, Europe's investing for impact network. The project brings together an impact network of five regional partners - from Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Armenia. The project partners are CSRDG, SILab Ukraine, EduHub, Ecovisio, and Impact Hub Yerevan.
The event was held in cooperation with the EU-funded project “Advancing Social Entrepreneurship for Sustainable and Inclusive Society”. The project is a unique opportunity to address socio-economic challenges in society and protect fundamental human rights by creating a favourable environment for social entrepreneurship.
Media partners of the conference:
BMG (Business Media Georgia); Business Partner; Formula TV; TV Palitra News; Radio Holding Fortuna; Radio Imedi; Radio Commersant; BPN (Business Press News); Pioneers Post - The Social Enterprise Magazine