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In this article Davida Ginter from Be The Change gives an overview of Social Entrepreneurship in Israel anno 2016.
Small in territory and population yet crowded with social entrepreneurships and businesses, Israel of 2016 is a live example of the rise of the forth sector. Here is a taste of some of the leading social business initiatives, labs and platforms in the country.
Minga is a platform which aims to develop, support and accelerate the social entrepreneurship arena in Israel. They focus on facilitation and delivering of training, incubation and exploration programs across Israel, as well as abroad. Minga also leads a development center as a platform for partnering with private entrepreneurs and organizations to establish social ventures.
Their methodology draws on Lean Stratup and Lean Canvas, and two of their main operating projects are Impact Hub Tel Aviv and “Tech for Good” Rally Accelerator.
For more information visit: www.minga.co.il
ESCO (Environmental & Social Company)
ESCO is a center for developing social businesses, founded in 2010. Their purpose is to create change in the social and business reality in Israel and in the world, and their mission state contains: foundation of social businesses; development of social impact oriented product with companies; assisting NGOs to sustain themselves through financial independence while maintaining their social impact; and promoting the forth sector (social businesses) in Israel.
The center supports entrepreneurs in identifying the social and environmental issues they are concerned with, creating solutions to tackle those problems and establishing self-sustained businesses to implement those solutions.
For more information visit: www.esco-center.co.il
Opening an office of Ashoka in Israel wasn’t an obvious move, says Nir Tsuk, who had been running the International Fellows program at the global office in Washington DC and returned to Israel. The decision to put resources in it lies in the special characteristics of Israel which, through its unique cultural and social circumstances, combines many of the core elements that are the most essential for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial thinking.
The principle of Tikkun Olam – actively making the world a better place, or, literally, repairing it, which is deeply integrated into Israeli cultural life, together with the resourcefulness and resilience that has characterized modern Israel’s way of dealing with its many challenges, are among the most important cornerstones of the entrepreneurial attitude. Israel’s innovations are now finding their way beyond the country’s borders towards many parts of the world.
Ashoka organization in Israel contains three channels of activity: The Fellowship program, Ashoka Start (Youth Venture), and “Kikar Ashoka”, globally known as Changemakers. While supporting and facilitating communication between social entrepreneurs and wider community, Ashoka’s staff is also been giving lectures, classes and workshops about social entrepreneurship, and are involved in a number of bodies and think tanks concerned with the civil sector.
For more information visit: http://israel.ashoka.org/en/about-ashoka-israel
ANU (in Hebrew means “WE”) is a nonprofit organization which aims to empower Israeli civil society to take action by leveraging the collaborative power of activists. Their declared purposes is to amplify the diverse voices and perspectives from within Israeli society; to increase the capacity of civil society to impact decision-makers and legislators; and to deepen the sense of civic responsibility among Israelis, mobilizing them to become part of the solution.
ANU’s growing community is made-up of over 70,000 individuals (of all ages and backgrounds). The organization partners with activists, NGOs, coalitions, grassroots movements and change-makers from all walks of life to run strategic campaigns, helping them to raise public awareness around a particular issue and advocate for change. They are using digital activism tools in order to help bring peoples’ interests to the decision-making table. They run large-scale and long-term campaigns with national impact, as well as many smaller-scale campaigns with a more immediate or local impact.
For more information visit: www.anu.org.il/who_we_are_eng
Assinu Esek (in free translation: “It’s a Deal”) is a model of supporting teenagers at risk by development of social and educational entrepreneurships. Hundreds of teenage from all across Israel who could not fit into formal or normative educational systems are taking part in business initiatives which developed specifically for them, providing them both a chance to fit in society and to learn and practice how to operate a financial small-scale business. Teenage workers get paid, gaining experience and are equipped with different tools and skills for life. Currently there are over 40 businesses within this frame operating in Israel.
For more information visit: www.zionut2000.org.il
THE 8200 SOCIAL PROGRAM
The 8200 Social Program is a non-profit acceleration project for social technology (social impact) ventures, founded by The 8200 Alumni Association. The intended purpose is to harnesses the human capital and resources of the 8200* alumni for the benefit of the whole society. The Program accelerates ventures that aim to solve social problems by technological means, in several fields: disabilities, promoting gender equality, the elderly, education, parenthood, environmental protection and more.
The entrepreneurs enrolled in the program are exposed to various workshops and lectures from the business world and the social impact world. In addition, they are provided with top-tier mentors from both worlds, and are connected with the leading investors for technology ventures in Israel.
*8200 is also known as Israeli National Sigint Unit (ISNU), which operates as part of the Directorate of Military Intelligence of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).
For more information visit: www.thesocialprogram.co.il/en/100
About Davida Ginter
Davida Ginter is behind the organisation Be The Change. She is a social strategist with a background in journalism and the present Processes Facilitator.
Davida received her masters degree in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability (MSLS) in Sweden, and conducts workshops in Israel and Europe.
Driven by her passion for engaging with other people, she finds inspiration in exploring how we can unleash our power to create a positive impact.
Davida is currently based in Israel, living in a Kibbutz community with her husband Tomer, and three young curious human beings.
Photos credit: All photos were taken from the businesses websites