Every year, we survey our members at Impact Hubs around the world to find out how being part of our network helps them to reach their goals. The results have been independently analyzed by the Social Entrepreneurship Center / Vienna University of Economics & Business. Last year we published our first impact report that compiled 5 years of data in our first global effort. This year, we looked deeper into why people choose Impact Hubs and how our members benefited from being part of the network.
What did we find?
The latest data from survey participants showed that the main benefits for entrepreneurs in our network are gaining a sense of community, collaboration, access to better infrastructure and improved motivation. But why do these matter? Social entrepreneurship is not an industry vertical, so the support needs of those who do business for good are very broad. From developing ideas and skills, strengthening personal motivation, gaining professional visibility and credibility; the need to feel part of a larger community and network stands out as the most important factor.
Without a community behind them, entrepreneurs can often feel like it’s me against the world. When we factor in the positive social or environmental focus on top of that, that leads industry professionals to view social entrepreneurs as lesser entrepreneurs due to the priority of creating impact over amassing financial wealth, the problem can grow exponentially. I’ve met many individuals during my time at Impact Hub Stockholm who have felt drawn to our network or coworking space due to the lack of motivation that working alone can bring. Being a lone wolf with a mission to change the world can quickly become overwhelming when you don’t have the support of a pack. And when no one is working with you, it becomes easier to give up or avoid being accountable for your goals.
ENTREPRENEURS WHO ARE PART OF THE IMPACT HUB NETWORK FEEL SUPPORTED IN:
It’s all about collaboration
As our global growth has slowed, we have been able to give more focus to developing and strengthening our community. With the launch of our global community platform to connect entrepreneurs across borders and locally-based community events, in the last year we have seen 1,500 collaborative projects created by 2 or more members and 435,000 hours of peer support shared around the world. What is most interesting is that our data showed that the positive effects of collaboration on organizational performance are particularly noticeable over time. Compared to members who collaborated less, members who made many connections ended up with a total of 17,300 USD more investment by the end of the following year.
Trust, Courage and Collaboration are the core values upheld by our global network and it’s not empty virtue-signaling. We believe that to create a better future, we need to trust each other, work together and be brave in stepping up and changing business and society for the better. There’s much to be said in support of collaboration. From pooling resources to help each other grow and create greater impact, a huge added benefit is being able to access transdisciplinary perspectives to create more meaningful and sustainable change. Opening up to peers about your work, your challenges and your needs also provides the community with an opportunity to help by directly providing feedback or insights, or by indirectly connecting you to someone in their own personal network who can help.
Are you looking to join a community of purpose-driven entrepreneurs and changemakers? Find out more about our coworking options here.
Just want to support what we do? Become a member and access a smörgåsbord of benefits. See some of them here.
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD OUR GLOBAL IMPACT REPORT.
Cathy Xiao Chen is the Head of Operations at Impact Hub Stockholm. With a passion for supporting social impact, she advises and connects changemakers with collaborators to maximize impact.