In our latest Your Voice piece, Jennifer Popescu-Urbain of the Luxembourg Microfinance and Development Fund discusses the importance of social enterprises.

There are over 1,000 social enterprises across Luxembourg, employing over 27,000 people. These businesses work to address many of the world’s most pressing concerns from plastic waste to climate change. All these enterprises are working to build a future we can be proud of, but you might not have had so many chances to meet them. On October 1st, the Luxembourg Microfinance and Development Fund will be hosting the 3rd edition of the Impact Ecosystem, an event showcasing social enterprises.

To find out more about it and how to apply, please follow the link.

How do we create a future we can be proud of?

This noble ambition was put forward by Luxembourg for Finance at the 2nd edition of the Sustainable Finance Forum. With issues such as mountains of food waste, apocalyptic smog and ageing populations, to name a few, increasingly weighing us down, the question of how to build a future that we can all appreciate is a growing concern. We do not want our children to be left in a world our generation broke.

It is unsurprising that this is increasingly a focus area for businesses in Luxembourg. Over the past years, social enterprises have been thriving in Luxembourg, trying to address these very problems. In the most recent STATEC survey, social enterprises represented 7% of total employment of Luxembourg. Over a decade, the number of Social Enterprises has increased by 3.4%. These businesses aim for financial sustainability, while addressing a social or environmental issue.

These social enterprises have by no means been closed minded in their visions. Here are some examples:

-        OUNI: The aim of the store is to provide all the food and non-food products necessary for everyday life. The products are sold in bulk or in reusable packaging such as glass jars on deposit, and are organic and locally produced, or certified fair trade if not available locally.

-        IBISA: is utilising a peer-to-peer architecture supported by blockchain and Earth Observation technology to enable affordable crop protection products and reduce costs typically incurred by traditional insurer-centric paradigms.

-        CELL: raises awareness, practises resilience and designs appropriate systems for changemakers and grassroots groups (e.g. action groups) interested in bioregional resilience, in order to empower, nurture and catalyse connections between living beings and the places they inhabit.

All these enterprises have developed innovative projects and have all thrived in the supportive atmosphere of Luxembourg.

These businesses, and several others, had the chance to tell their story at last year’s Impact Ecosystem event. This year, LMDF is hosting the event on the 1st October at the Tramsschapp and is looking forward to welcoming a broad range of social enterprises once again. Any financially viable social enterprise, committed to having a concrete social or environmental impact, is welcome to apply – the process is detailed on www.lmdf.lu.

All other enterprises or people are welcome to register and attend the conference.

Call for applications - Impact Ecosystem

On October 1st, the Luxembourg Microfinance and Development Fund with the support of the Ville de Luxembourg, will be hosting the 3rd edition of the Impact Ecosystem, an event showcasing social enterprises.

LMDF is looking for projects that demonstrate that finance and business models can drive social/environmental impact and that they are not mutually exclusive.

Those interested can apply here.