IKEA Teams Up With Social Entrepreneurs

IKEA and Ashoka

writer icon Carsten Kristensen     IKEA   |   Business     🕐 03. Nov. 2020

Together with Ashoka, Inter IKEA Group supports social entrepreneurs looking to solve deep-rooted social issues.

In this second year of a tailor-made and co-created global programme, the Dela Accelerator, twelve social entrepreneurs will partner up with IKEA co-workers to strengthen and scale solutions to achieve a bigger positive impact on society.

During the year-long Dela Accelerator Programme, specially selected IKEA co-workers will support the social entrepreneurs with their business scale-up plans in order for them to have the biggest impact on the people they support.

Each social entrepreneur uses a business approach to change the root causes of some of society’s most pressing issues whilst improving the systems that contribute to them existing in the first place. In parallel, working with the social entrepreneurs, IKEA gets to learn about new business approaches and ideas on how to become a more entrepreneurial, inclusive and sustainable business.

“Social entrepreneurs are leaders and pathfinders who look to address big social challenges. They work to create better opportunities for people who are vulnerable. Often they combine an entrepreneurial approach with intentional strategies to tackle root causes of poverty and inequality. This is in line with our ambition to have a positive impact on people, planet and society,” said Åsa Skogström Feldt, Manager, IKEA Social Entrepreneurship at Inter IKEA Group.

The first phase of this year’s Dela Accelerator is about developing and enhancing the ‘system change’ strategies of the social entrepreneurs and identifying what is required to attain them.

With the support of the IKEA co-workers, the social entrepreneurs will go through a process to refine their ideas and strategies before sharing these with hand-picked managers at a summit in April. At the summit, they will reflect on what they have developed and be challenged on their plans, with the opportunity to validate and fine-tune their strategies.

The social entrepreneurs will then have the option to join a Scoping and Experimentation phase. This will see them paired with different IKEA and other Experimenting Partners & Experts to further test the feasibility, viability and desirability of their ideas. The outcome will be the first steps towards implementation and realisation.

Emma Lindgren, Co-Director Ashoka Nordics added: "Complex societal issues cannot be solved by one player, project or institution alone. This is why Ashoka collaborates with committed partners that are open to co-create solutions to pressing challenges with us and our social entrepreneurs. We have seen very encouraging results from the Dela programme with IKEA Social Entrepreneurship, which shows that working together we can impact the livelihoods of millions of people and start changing the systems perpetuating marginalisation."

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