Hosted by the Impact Hub Athens, the December 11th meeting was EVPA’s first opportunity to introduce Venture Philanthropy and Social Investment (VP/SI) to a Greek audience. SES Net participated with ANKA and the Cooperative Bank of Karditsa in the meeting.
The event had an interactive format and, in line with EVPA’s community and collaboration driven nature, saw two international experts Ashoka’s Mark Cheng and De Verre Bergen Foundation’s Roelof Prins talk about their experiences in the sector, their motivation for practising Venture Philanthropy, and how they strategically apply the VP/SI approach to support social entrepreneurship in their countries.
This event would not have been possible without the support of the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, for whom building the social investment sector in Greece is high on the agenda.
The event brought together stakeholders from a broad range of institutions and developed a set of priority actions to further develop the sector in Greece. The event was moderated by Ivan Juric, Head Programme Officer at John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation and Federica Saccia, EVPA’s Southern Europe Manager. It provided participants the opportunity to engage with each other, to express their interests and expectations, and to share information on relevant activities and issues during the whole meeting.
A significant part of the Greek social investment sector was in attendance with representatives of foundations, sector professionals, NGOs, service providers, academia, cooperative banks, and emerging sector associations present. Only the private investment community was slightly under represented.
Furthermore, the event provided an opportunity to talk about the application of VP/SI by the De Verre Bergen Foundation who has been an EVPA full member since 2011. Director Roelof Prins explained his motivation on why this is an effective method and talked about the importance of a collaborative approach (such as partnerships with universities and co-investment opportunities with governments) to maximise society impact.
Mark Cheng explored the array of hybrid investment tools available to funders, and provided the audience some practical examples of investments made in successful social enterprises, such as Fair Finance.
EVPA was very happy to be able to be present in this way in the Greek market and catalyse its development by providing an international platform for exchanging best practices and by highlighting successful investments and different models of venture philanthropy. It was also a great opportunity to understand what role EVPA can play in going forward in Greece and the type of commitment of local organisations to develop the sector.
For more information on our next event in Greece in 2015 and to get involved don’t hesitate to get in touch with Federica Saccia.
We also suggest that you keep an eye on the growing social enterprise scene in Greece.