Women Leaders: Social entrepreneurship for a just transition

Women Leaders: Social entrepreneurship for a just transition
Global Utmaning

3 år sedan

In societies where women face obstacles in receiving funding to start up innovative companies due to their gender, the society as a whole will loose. During the 59th UN Commission on Social Development, 2021, Global Utmaning hosted a panel discussion on the importance of social entrepreneurship for a just transition, in partnership with Reach for Change and with support from the Swedish Institute. The virtual side event can be streamed here.

Structural discrimination and unequal opportunities for girls and young women represent old, archaic systems in need of change. Social entrepreneurship is a powerful method for social change and a necessary complement to other approaches in order to close the gender gap. Not only can social entrepreneurs act quickly and decisively to tap market failures and provide critical and innovative social services, they can also uncover unjust systems and power structures, shedding light on unequal and flawed systems. Social enterprise combines the best of entrepreneurial thinking and applies this to social issues in need of transformation.

Today, in light of the corona pandemic, social enterprise can play a unique role in building up a new “normal”, a more equitable, green and purposeful economy and society. Social support and women’s involvement in public life are strong factors for gender equality. It is essential that we continue working – even during the health crisis – to foster stronger, more empowered and more active girls and women, in order to make sure that decreased gender equality will not define our societies when the crisis is over.

To ensure a sustainable and just transition, solutions need to involve all levels of society. The importance of investments and the investor community are often overlooked when searching for drivers of change for greater gender equality and diversity. A big obstacle for female social entrepreneurs globally is the unjust distribution of investment capital. Involving the perspective of investors and decision makers in conversations about how to tackle gender inequality is therefore of utmost importance.

Together the independent think tank Global Utmaning and Reach for Change have initiated the Women Leaders project – a capacity building initiative for women social entrepreneurs with a main focus on policy development and global knowledge exchange. We believe that the structural obstacles that individual entrepreneurs face in their contexts are reflected globally. The initiative aims to strengthen the economic position of female social entrepreneurs, towards financial independence and system changing solutions for structural inclusion.

The side event during the 59th session for the Commission of Social Development is part of the Women Leaders strategy to further address the issue of structural injustice for female social entrepreneurs. The event took place via Zoom in the shape of a panel discussion, exploring structural obstacles for female social entrepreneurs and the innovative power of social entrepreneurship. The panel of investors, entrepreneurs and civil society shed light on how social entrepreneurship is a valuable tool for implementing the 2030 Agenda locally and achieve the SDGs globally.

Catharina Nystedt Ringborg, Entrepreneur, Investor and Senior Advisor Global Utmaning (SWEDEN)
Nancy Sumari, Social Entrepreneur (TANZANIA)
Nora Bavey, General Partner Unconventional Venture (SWEDEN)
Sofia Breitholtz, CEO Reach for Change (SWEDEN)
Leila El-Sherif Wollheim, Project Manager at the secretariat of the Swedish National Coordinator for the 2030 Agenda (SWEDEN)

The dialogue was moderated by Catarina Rolfsdotter-Jansson, Chairwoman of the Board Global Utmaning

Play: UNSDN broadcast 

The side event is part of Global Utmanings and Reach for Changes joint initiative Women Leaders, supported by the Swedish Institute.

Learn more about how to support Global Utmanings work here.




  • Hej, om man inte har möjlighet att delta på paneldiskussionen finns det någon möjlighet att se det i efterhand? Ser att det visas via zoom.

    • Hej Malin,

      Samtalet spelas in och kommer sändas på UN Webcast i efterhand. Vi kommer att dela länken på hemsidan och i våra sociala medier.

      Allt gott,
      Tove Julin

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