Starting out as an SSE entrepreneur: initiatives you need to know in Luxembourg

So you’ve decided to take that idea that’s been running around in your head lately and pursue it as a social entrepreneurship project? The SSE sector has been booming in recent years. A range of different structures and initiatives are out there to guide you in your reflections and the whole entrepreneurial process. We’ve selected a few Luxembourg initiatives to help you out. Ready?

Getting support  

6zero1: the first incubator for social businesses in Luxembourg. Housed in the MESIS (Maison de l’Economie Sociale et de l’Innovation Sociale), 6zero1 supports social entrepreneurs throughout the launch and development process of their societal impact companies (SIC).

Impuls (FR): a program that will allow you to structure your idea and get things moving. The 4-month Impuls program includes training, individual coaching, meetings with other entrepreneurs and total immersion into the world of social entrepreneurship. It allows participants to transform a business idea into reality, define the targeted social issue and assess the social impact of their project.

Networking

Reconomy (FR): much more than a place for networking, REconomy supports, gathers and leads initiatives such as Facilitec – the collaborative alternatives factory, a community of eco-entrepreneurs – its co-creators, and an incubator for business creation projects with social and environmental impact (currently under development).

The Social and Solidarity Economy Cluster of the Greater Region: did you know that, in 2018, Luxembourg created a cluster for its Greater Region devoted to the social and solidarity economy? Led by Ecotranfaire, a cross-border player in the social and circular economy, the cluster’s aim is to promote exchanges between the various players in the ecosystem: private companies, social and solidarity businesses, and public authorities. Its latest event “The 1st Cross-Border Business Convention,” gathered local players and businesses to present and exchange on best practices for responsible purchasing.

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Staying informed

Infogreen (FR): the leading news site for sustainable development. Keep up to date on the latest trends and initiatives in Luxembourg thanks to their platform, and deepen your understanding with their 4X3 magazine, providing and analysis of current news via interviews and other encounters.

The Union Luxembourgeoise de l’Economie Sociale et Solidaire (ULESS): defend, promote, federate and represent SSE businesses. These are the key missions of the ULESS. Follow news and current developments in SSE (legal framework, legislature, etc.) through ULESS publications – a preferred interlocutor of public actors in Luxembourg.

Financing your project

The Oeuvre Nationale de Secours Grande-Duchesse Charlotte (FR): this public establishment plays a lead role in organizing and financing philanthropy in Luxembourg. Non-profit organizations, foundations and societal impact companies (SIC) working at a national level can request financing from the Oeuvre for a concrete project of limited duration, with a social impact in the following areas: social, culture, environment, sports and health or memory.

The Fondation de Luxembourg: the Fondation Tremplin, under the aegis of the Fondation de Luxembourg, is an initiative created by a Luxembourg family with the desire to provide constructive support to underprivileged populations. Thus, its goal is to support one or more social or educational projects, or projects promoting social cohesion – showing the potential to become self-sustaining. Fondation Tremplin awards are reserved for projects accompanied by the Impuls program.

Etika non-profit (FR): the reference for social finance in Luxembourg. In collaboration with the Banque et Caisse d’Epargne de l’Etat, or Spuerkeess, Etika offers alternative savings products and facilitate access to loans for initiatives that make a priority of social and cultural utility, international solidarity or ecological development.

Act for Impact: recently launched by the BGL BNP Paribas, Act for Impact is a new system that aims to provide tailored banking and non-banking solutions to social entrepreneurs: lending skills, tailored credit policies, hosting in the Lux Future Lab, a specialized team…

Lita.co: yes, you heard me right. Impact investing is coming to Luxembourg. This platform, also present in neighbour countries such as France, Belgium and Italy, will soon be open to projects from Luxembourg with strong social, societal and environmental impact seeking financing.

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Taking part in competitions & events

The Impact Ecosystem Event: on October 1st and for the second consecutive year, the Luxembourg Microfinance and Development Fund (LMDF) will be hosting an event dedicated to Luxembourg’s Impact Ecosystem in partnership with the City of Luxembourg, giving local players a platform to engage with the local community.

Social Innovation Tournament: Are you working on a social innovation project? If so, this contest, hosted by the European Investment Bank Institute, may be of interest. Fifteen finalists are selected each year, competing for 4 prizes awarded by a jury of specialists from the academic and business worlds.

Lux4good (FR): digital technologies serving societal challenges. The second edition of the hackathon Tech For Good, organized by Intech and the Technoport, will be taking place October 11th and 12th. Whether you’re an NGO, an association, an institution or an individual… take advantage of this event gathering several teams for a 2-day period to innovate and learn.

Arch Summit: did you know this flagship startup event, held in Luxembourg, has a category dedicated to social impact? Time to prepare your pitch for the next edition!

Worlds Summit Awards: an international competition that rewards top digital innovations to improve society. Contact nyuko for more information if your project has a digital aspect and meets one of the sustainable development goals defined by the United Nations.

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Do you have a project with a social goal? Apply for Impuls’ next session for assistance achieving it!

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