Approach

Through epNetwork's holistic approach and explicit demand-oriented activities, Siemens Stiftung promotes impact-driven enterprises to help them leverage their potential.

Social enterprises and impact-driven, hybrid organizations play a central role when it comes to improved essential supply, better living conditions, and economic perspectives through jobs and income opportunities for people in developing regions. By solving environmental issues, addressing especially vulnerable target groups, and contributing to social innovation, these enterprises influence positive change and development for regions, communities, and families.

The fact is that these social enterprises are often young, small organizations that struggle in getting financially stable, developing their organizations, and growing their business. However, without a solid business foundation, they would not be able to enhance their social impact with those they have reached with their products, services, and new jobs they have created. Furthermore, far too many lack access to appropriate funding, expert consultancy, and specific knowledge to take the necessary next steps towards financial sustainability and increased impact.

It is a distinct goal of Siemens Stiftung to promote these impact-driven enterprises and help them leveraging their potential. The Foundation’s empowering people. Network (epNetwork) supports them in an explicit demand-oriented way that focuses on the development of enterprises as a basis for the most impactful collaboration. Our empowering people. Award is the entry point to epNetwork, with the award money offering modest, early-stage seed funding. From there, we accompany them on their journey with a comprehensive set of interventions from international promotion and networking opportunities to tailored knowledge transfer, professional consultancy, and targeted advancement.

Enterprises that have reached the investment-readiness stage over time receive funding for their next stage of growth that is combined with individual technical support. We also connect these advanced social enterprises with funding partners in the ecosystem.

We believe in the power of social enterprises as agents for social change and job creators. Therefore, we support them through our own operative programs and aim to raise awareness for this type of enterprise while, simultaneously, setting new focuses within the ecosystem.

We organize round tables, panels, and working sessions where we convene relevant international actors from various fields. Our objectives are to further exchange, drive collaboration, and assist in the development of new ideas and approaches. Recently, we published a comprehensive study on ‘Social Enterprises as Job Creators in Africa’ which highlights the potential that impact oriented enterprises have in contributing to urgently needed employment on the continent and comes with a set of recommendations to help realize this potential.

empowering people. Network is an initiative of Siemens Stiftung, a non-profit foundation that promotes sustainable social development. If you want to know more about Siemens Stiftung, please click here.
If you want to find out, what Siemens Stiftung is working on in the area of Development Cooperation, please click here.