The Network

epNetwork is an ecosystem for social entrepreneurs. The Network supports enterprises by encouraging the application of technology for sustainable development, engaging in Capacity Development and mentoring, and supporting growth through finance instruments.

Technology and Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Development
Innovative technologies and organizations help solve basic supply problems worldwide – this notion led to the creation of empowering people. Network in 2013. In developing and emerging countries in particular, appropriate technological solutions adapted to existing conditions have the potential for positive social, environmental, and economic change. We also know that good ideas alone are not enough. Only a well-established organization can turn an idea into long-term change. With empowering people. Network, we support entrepreneurs in using their social enterprises and technology to provide people in developing regions with products and services that last.

As a member of empowering people. Network, you and your social enterprise can benefit from a variety of measures that are aimed at contributing to your development as an entrepreneur and to accompany your organization on its path to financial sustainability and growth.

Capacity Development
With our Capacity Development activities, we offer workshops and training sessions on topics such as Market Research & Customer Relations, Organizational Development, Social Finance, Impact Measurement, and more. Usually, we host these workshops and training sessions onsite in Africa, Latin America, and Asia, but due to the ongoing pandemic, these workshops are currently on hold. But, we will be back with a new program later in 2022.

The most recent activity for our network members is our epMentoring program, which we hosted in collaboration with our partner, enpact. The program aimed to support entrepreneurs by creating a step-by-step road map to help grow their business. Throughout the course of 12 months, 11 entrepreneurs from empowering people. Network received dedicated, ongoing mentorship with in depth one-on-one sessions. Two virtual boot camps, at the beginning and the end, complemented the program with innovative workshops to explore new perspectives and engage in peer learning and networking.

epMentoring Program
epMentoring Program: This Bootcamp took place virtually at the beginning of 2021, as international travel was still not possible. The virtual world has its constraints, but we've been so happy to see the whole cohort at least on a screen as we kicked off the program!
© Siemens Stiftung / enpact
TakaTaka Solution
Access to Finance: TakaTaka Solutions is a Kenya-based Social Enterprise, a member of the epNetwork, and applied for the 'Call for Growth'. With this grant, TakaTaka could scale up their process for recycling plastic waste.
© Siemens Stiftung
epOnsite
Capacity Development: It's been some time that we had our epOnsite training in real life, but we did not forget that this was always fun! This is an impression from an epOnsite training in India. It's unclear, when we will all meet again in person - but for sure, we are looking forward to it!
© Siemens Stiftung

epExperteer Program
From time to time especially small organizations face challenges in their development stages due to unavailability of the required skills or simply because they cannot afford the workforce. The epExperteer Program is looking for specialists volunteering their time and skill set and thereby addressing these issues. For the epExperteer Program we collaborate with Moving Worlds. You can find the current experteering opportunities here .

Access to Finance

We know that appropriate financing options are essential for social enterprises to reach their full potential. However, in the global south very few options exist for businesses, especially in the so called „missing middle “. To unlock this growth barrier, we offer patient capital for selected social enterprises, combined with advisory services and technical assistance tailored to the needs of your venture.

Application windows for our funding calls are published here. The rigorous selection process includes several steps, during which we assess the strength of the founding team, social impact potential, economic viability of your business model and fit with the foundation.

The next upcoming Call epScale, which we host in collaboration with our partner Knorr Bremse Global Care e.V., will focus on “Green Jobs and Gender Equality”, and will be launched in March 2022. More details can be found here. Previous enterprises we supported include Kenyan waste recycling company TakaTaka Solutions, among others.