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IKEA Social Entrepreneurship & NESsT - Poland and Romania Accelerator Program
NESsT is an international non-profit organization with offices in Europe and Latin America, and a global leadership team based in the U.S. NESsT’s major goal is to transform lives by investing in social enterprises that provide dignified employment for communities facing isolation, discrimination, lack of job skills and poor education. We believe that locally-based social enterprises are uniquely qualified to transform these communities. These enterprises are on the ground, have the trust of the communities and have created businesses aligned with their best interests.
IKEA Social Entrepreneurship B.V is a registered entity within Inter IKEA Group*, based out of Delft, the Netherlands. It provides financial support to intermediaries, who support social entrepreneurs, and directly to social entrepreneurs themselves. IKEA Social Entrepreneurship aims to create greater opportunities for people who are vulnerable and marginalized to live a better everyday life. It also contributes to transforming IKEA into a more circular, entrepreneurial and sustainable business. Through its co-created accelerator programmes IKEA Social Entrepreneurship shares IKEA knowledge to support social entrepreneurs with their business scale up plans and encourage growth within and outside the IKEA value chain.
There is a large gap that currently exists in the ecosystems where both IKEA and NESsT are present. Social entrepreneurs are often given support to launch their initial business ideas; but then they are often left on their own to validate and grow their businesses. There is a blatant lack of support for this “missing middle” stage, when entrepreneurs continue to need business services as well as philanthropic and soft capital support to build out their businesses.
NESsT along with IKEA Social Entrepreneurship have joined forces in a three-year partnership through the IKEA Social Entrepreneurship & NESsT - Poland and Romania Accelerator to address this gap and support 10 social enterprises working across Poland and Romania. This partnership will equip the 10 social entrepreneurs to grow their enterprises and provide dignified employment and income to 1,200 vulnerable people in these countries. This in turn will impact their families, other community members and customers, an estimated 15,000 people.
This co-created and tailor-made accelerator program has been designed alongside IKEA regional representatives. It will see that the social enterprises receive hands-on guidance from the NESsT team and advisors, and IKEA co-workers to support the social entrepreneurs with their business scale up plans.
Specifically, the program will provide these 10 growth social entrepreneurs with the business services and appropriate financial capital needed to manage and grow their business and impact. They will be better positioned to improve their storytelling to reach business and social impact objectives. And they will be better able to manage their social enterprise impact. The program also aims to help IKEA and other corporate partners to become more inclusive and sustainable. This will come about by helping the social enterprises in the program to improve their access to IKEA coworkers as volunteer mentors and the IKEA value chain as well as the coworkers and value chain of other corporations. Overall the program will increase the awareness of IKEA customers in relation to social enterprise products and services, and will disseminate best practices to the wider social enterprise sector.
The programme in Poland and Romania will give particular emphasis to areas that are critical in the region as the world transitions into a greener world economy. It will demonstrate the potential of social entrepreneurship to move people out of poverty, transitioning them to new sustainable sectors and upskilling them in new competencies, while at the same time running business that are environmentally neutral and can be role models for others.
Through this collaboration, IKEA and NESsT will demonstrate and share the practices that are best suited to help social entrepreneurs scale their impact.
The Portfolio Manager will support the investment strategy for a portfolio of high impact social enterprises in Romania.
The Portfolio Manager will oversee NESsT’s “due diligence” review of enterprises, analyzing their financial sustainability and impact potential and proposing investment recommendations for review and approval by the NESsT investment committee.
This position will support enterprises once they enter the NESsT portfolio, including assisting the enterprise team to validate their business models and to develop their management and governance, commercial and financial systems as well as networks and strategies needed to grow their businesses for greater impact and scale.
The Portfolio Manager is also responsible for communications related activities to increase the visibility and positioning of NESsT and the portfolio among key stakeholders as defined by the program communication plan.
The position will report to the NESsT-IKEA Program Director and will also work closely with local and international team members to continue to develop and improve NESsT business services and impact methodology overall, and to contribute to the growth of the social enterprise sector.
This is a full-time position based in Romania.
Key Duties & Responsibilities:
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