The role of social entrepreneurs and how we can help them

Published on: 09/06/2020




The role of social entrepreneurs and how we can help them

In recent months, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact globally. Who better to help the world respond to and recover from the crisis than social innovators and entrepreneurs, who have been working on overcoming challenges in low-income communities for years?

According to the UN University, the economic fallout of the pandemic could push around half a billion people into poverty [1]. The International Labour Organization also shared its predictions earlier in the month, announcing that the livelihoods of 1.6 billion workers in the informal economy are being threatened due to the steep decline in the ability to work and operate [2].

Therefore, the efforts of social innovators are vital during this pandemic. From encouraging handwashing and providing hygiene products, to using digital technology to respond to the health needs of low-income households, reaching the base of the pyramid is more critical than ever.


Supporting social entrepreneurs

But just as the pandemic has affected millions across sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, it has also affected the social enterprises themselves. For this reason, supporting these entrepreneurs is key to enable them to continue their indispensable work.

Recently, 40 global organisations joined forces to support more than 15,000 social entrepreneurs. The aim of the COVID Response Alliance for Social Entrepreneurs is to share knowledge, experience and resources to coordinate and amplify social entrepreneurs’ response to the pandemic.

Since its inception, TRANSFORM itself has been founded on the power of collaboration. We are currently supporting our  market-based enterprise portfolio with resources to ensure they continue their efforts on the ground and meet the needs of underserved communities as they face growing challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For this reason, we will shortly be launching a new platform called Survive & Thrive, which will provide business continuity support for impact enterprises at risk of failure. Read more about the projects supported by TRANSFORM in our Portfolio.


[1] UNU-WIDER, Press Release: COVID-19 fallout could push half a billion people into poverty in developing countries:

[2] ILO, ILO: As job losses escalate, nearly half of global workforce at risk of losing livelihoods: