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Eos Entrepreneur Foundation - Update September 2019 (English)

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The project update 2019 provides insights from and an update of the active projects and initiatives. The focus of the 2019 update is on the topic of the circular economy and the impact of measures on the climate as follows: (1) Circular economy - an approach to sustainability, (2) Eos ECIS Navigator as a starting point for coaching of social entrepreneurs, (3) Women social entrepreneurs as bearers of hope for sustainable change, (4) Cocoa agroforestry contribution to CO2 reduction, and (5) Being active made easy - Call to action - Kickstarter Action Days in Switzerland

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Eos Entrepreneur Foundation - Update September 2019 (English)

  1. 1. Project Update September 2019 1 Our Foundation focuses on the promotion and support of social entrepreneurs which is reflected in our daily project work as well as in different communication channels, e.g., website, social media and articles. There, we highlight a wide range of challenges which social entrepreneurs are facing: 2015 Migration and its consequences, 2016 Investment instead of Consumption, 2017 Digitization and in 2018 UN Agenda 2030 of the Sustainable Development Goals and the contributions that social entrepreneurs can make in the communities. This year, we are focusing on the topic circular economy and the impact of measures on the climate. Overall, we like to emphasize that social and environmental challenges of our times should be taken up in a self- responsible manner, that innovative solutions are sought out and implemented in order to achieve a more sustainable world. This is where social entrepreneurs come in. They are sensitive to social and/or environmental challenges in their communities and realize that solutions are lacking. In their own responsibility, they begin to address these challenges with an entrepreneurial approach. Our experience and studies show that they often fail during the solution implementation phase because they, for example, underestimate the resource management or financial means to reach sustainability. Nevertheless, well-thought-out social entrepreneurial initiatives and solutions are suitable for many societal and ecological challenges. However, they might need targeted coaching and, if necessary, start-up financing in order to achieve the desired positive impact. Have you ever wondered, dear reader, what a social enterprise is and does? Do you know one in your environment? Follow us into the world of social enterprises and how they approach projects, especially regarding the opportunities related to circular economy. Thanks to the Eos ECIS Navigator, the Foundation has the possibility to offer effective support for social entrepreneurs in Switzerland and Latin America. Also, in this Project Update you read about how the cocoa project, i.e. the smallholder farmers’ cultivation in agroforestry, significantly contributes to CO2 reduction which is therefore an important measure for climate protection. All this is possible only thanks to your meaningful support and commitment to our projects, be it as funding organization, private donor, as a member of the advisory boards and as coach. Thank you very much! Sincerely, Dr. Erna Karrer-Rüedi Dr. Urs Karrer Managing Director | Co-founder Vice-President | Co-founder Eos Entrepreneur Foundation Eos Stiftung für UnternehmerInnen | Fundación Eos Emprendedores Purpose of the Foundation Support social entrepreneurs who address environmental and social challenges in order to achieve a positive, sustainable impact. Geographic Focus Latin America, Switzerland Eos = greek goddess of dawn, announces the new day, transforms the dark into light Circular economy approach to sustainability Eos ECIS Navigator self-assessment Cocoa in agroforestry CO2 reduction/sink capacity Genuine hope social entrepreneurs
  2. 2. Project Update September 2019 2 Social entrepreneurs are predestined to tackle solutions for a circular economy The circular economy is a regenerative system in which the use of resources and waste production, emissions and energy waste are minimized by slowing down, reducing and closing energy cycles as well as material cycles; this can be achieved through durable construction, maintenance, repair, reuse, remanufacturing, refurbishing and recycling (Martin Geissdoerfer et al: The Circular Economy – A new sustainability paradigm?, 2017). The principles of circular economy are based on the awareness that, in a world with finite resources, only production processes with a real material circuit can be continued without restriction. Thus, the linear economic model of mass production, mass consumption as well as the resulting mountains of waste clearly stands against the planetary boundaries and the idea of sustainability. The path to a circular economy is all about us; we all are responsible. Within the framework of the Foundation, we therefore place a focus on raising awareness in society and promoting accelerators, specifically social entrepreneurs as actors in our society, who can achieve great impact in small steps. We are convinced that change usually is initiated on a small scale, exploratory, innovative and characterized by above- average commitment of people who perceive the challenges but are also willing to tackle the problem itself, i.e. want to improve the current situation. Social entrepreneurs embody this badly needed commitment - as has already been shown and referred to in various publications - in order to move towards a circular economy effectively. It is obvious that these types of initiatives must be scalable in order to achieve a positive environmental and socio- economic impact. The Eos Entrepreneur Foundation works with social entrepreneurs on various initiatives and projects, thus makes an important contribution to realize a circular economy. For example, during the next 12-18 months, the Foundation will be holding Kickstarter Action Days on the topic of social enterprises leading toward a circular economy. The canton of Zug is one of the many Swiss regions where action days are hosted – see more about this in »Being active made easy» on page 6. The initiative contributes to more responsible consumption and production patterns which is a focus of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG #12, of the UN Agenda 2030. The cocoa project with agroforestry cultivations significantly reduces CO2, therefore is a relevant measure to climate protection (SDG #13).
  3. 3. Project Update September 2019 3 The Eos ECIS Navigator as a starting point for the promotion of social entrepreneurs The Eos ECIS Navigator is a good instrument to support social entrepreneurs in the realization of their projects, e.g. related to the circular economy. This, because the Navigator provides social entrepreneurs a pragmatic and comprehensive feedback about their initiatives, among other, through the Peer Group Comparison. In this context, the question arises how a social enterprise defines itself and to what extent it differs from a traditional, purely for-profit enterprise. A social enterprise is different from a traditional enterprise because it focuses on addressing social and/or environmental challenges with innovative solutions or products/services and does not primarily or only focus on profit generation. Of course, an enterprise must be financially viable, only this way can it sustainably maintain or scale the positive impact realized for and to beneficiaries. In this context, we are talking about Triple Bottom Line as it seeks social, environmental and economic sustainability. What exactly is the Eos ECIS Navigator? The Navigator is an analytical tool, represented as a radar profile (see illustration), which is the outcome of an Eos ECIS Online self-assessment completed by a social entrepreneur. The Navigator forms the basis to discuss and validate the strengths, weaknesses and problems of a social enterprise during an initial workshop. This profile is also used as an input for coaching that is offered by the Foundation. The Eos ECIS Navigator depicts seven dimensions based on 70+ underlying questions – the comprehensive Online Self-Assessment pragmatically highlights critical areas of enterprise management. While personal traits, lifecycle and financing, as well as risks are important dimensions that all companies are facing, including for-profit organizations, the social-environmental motivation, the social business model and the ambition to make a positive impact, i.e., the impact dimension, are primarily relevant for social enterprises. The Operating Model includes well-known operational management aspects but embedding the social business model as well as measuring and monitoring of the positive impact achieved for beneficiaries requires social enterprise-specific considerations. The Eos ECIS Online Self-Assessment has established itself among social entrepreneurs and those who aspire to be one, since the self-assessment supports a qualified self-reflection which, in turn, is a critical prerequisite for having a lasting effect and impact as a social entrepreneur. The online self-assessment is available in German, English and, as of now, also in Spanish. This provides a good basis for the Foundation's continued work in Switzerland and Latin America. Below links to the Eos ECIS Online Self-Assessment can also be found on the Foundation's website under the section "I am a change maker, I am a social entrepreneur". German https://www.eosentrepreneurfoundation.org/aktiv-sein English https://www.eosentrepreneurfoundation.org/en/be-active Spanish https://www.eosentrepreneurfoundation.org/es/involucrarse
  4. 4. Project Update September 2019 4 Women social entrepreneurs are bearers of hope for sustainable change The Eos ECIS Navigator shows that more than 50% of all participating social enterprises are run by women. Other international organizations with a focus on social entrepreneurship support this finding. The Eos Entrepreneur Foundation has recognized the importance of women as changemaker since the very beginning and supports them as an important force in thriving for social and ecological sustainability. Today's challenges reinforce the relevance of empowering women to take on leading roles and facilitate change. In the Cocoa Project, the Eos Entrepreneur Foundation supports women from the communities in Colombia to gain access to fair and decent work in the cocoa sector, especially in their communities and rural areas, but also throughout the cocoa value chain. At the same time, we support women as team leaders in order to integrate the women into the professional network of the cocoa value chain as well as to enable them as coaches or trainers in the cocoa sector. We can only expect to accelerate change if women witness that they are actually changing their living conditions at home, making a strong contribution to sustainable cocoa production and a significant contribution to sustainable cocoa production, e.g., to the environment in which they live, hence, increase the productivity and quality of their life and of their cooperatives. In the project Access to Health Services, the Eos Entrepreneur Foundation, with the support of a wide range of organizations, provides coaching of several social entrepreneurs who provide basic health services, including home visits to their communities. These social entrepreneurs are associated with medical clinics already working in underserved zones, from where they also receive supervision – supported by the Foundation. Over time, we realized that the social entrepreneurs needed additional coaching on-site to overcome hurdles on their path to auto-sustainability. We were looking for a specialist in financial planning with experience abroad, especially in Latin America. After various evaluations and preparatory discussions with the social entrepreneurs, coaches/supervisors on-site and some candidates, we decided to engage Sonja (name changed and known to the Foundation) who committed herself to the Foundation to go to Nicaragua for three months. Sonja: «Meine Arbeit in Nicaragua hat mir gezeigt, dass die grundlegenden Bausteine und Prinzipien des Marketings gleich sind wie bei gewinnorientierten Unternehmen; es gibt jedoch einen sehr wichtigen Unterschied: Sozialunternehmen haben einen sozialen oder ökologischen Zweck und verfolgen nicht die Gewinnoptimierung.»
  5. 5. Project Update September 2019 5 The day-to-day on-site mentoring invigorated the motivation of the social entrepreneurs, supported the supervisor in her endeavors and increased the social entrepreneurs’ likelihood to become financially sustainable. This will continue to help beneficiaries in the underserved community not only by continuing to benefit from these services in the future, but also to offer the possibility of scaling this social enterprise model in the existing zones as well as to adapt it to other underserved communities in Nicaragua for the provision of a wide variety of basic services. Cocoa agroforestry makes a significant contribution to CO2 reduction As mentioned in the introduction, in this update we focus on the topic of the circular economy and the effect of measures on the climate. The cocoa communities in Cauca/Valle del Cauca, Colombia are depending on the climate, as well as many other industries do, definitely all producers of agricultural field production. More or less predictable weather patterns are a prerequisite for the successful production of agricultural goods. Climate protection measures are a necessity in this area, adaptation a must. With the continuous support of the Swiss Re Foundation and the Eos Entrepreneur Foundation, the cocoa cooperatives have planted/injected (seed or genetic material) almost 100,000 new cocoa trees in recent years. The regional association Fedecacao is assisting the cooperatives with advice on the selection of the most suitable genetic material under today's regional climate conditions and, of course, with regards to the resistance to plaques and diseases. In view of the fact that the young cocoa trees have a higher carbon dioxide (CO2) intake than older trees, as well as that the growing cocoa trees significantly increase the carbon dioxide absorption in the soil overtime, the three Cooperatives and thus the "Buen Cacao - Vida Buena" project makes an important contribution to the UN Agenda 2030, the Sustainability Development Goal number 13 (SDG #13): Measures for climate protection. In addition, the technical assistants of all three cooperatives promote good agricultural practices in order to improve good cocoa production in a healthy agroforestry.
  6. 6. Project Update September 2019 6 Interestingly enough, a recently published study on agroforestry systems for cocoa and their carbon uptake or storage capacity shows that cocoa trees store about 31.1 tons of carbon per hectare (ha). Depending on the type of cultivation, the authors distinguish between a "traditional" and an "innovative" agroforestry system. "Traditional agroforestry" has 30 to 40 tree species, "innovative agroforestry" 5 to 6 tree species. The total carbon stock is estimated at 138.1 tons of carbon/ha in the “traditional agroforestry” and 46.9 tons of carbon/ha in the “innovative agroforestry” (see publication: Carbon storage potential of cacao agroforestry systems of different age and management intensity, 2018). In other words, cocoa production in agroforestry systems is a strong measure to protect the climate. Thus, cooperatives are taking initiatives towards combating poverty for cocoa smallholder farmers, i.e., small farmers can improve their income by improving the quality of cocoa beans and by increasing productivity, as many additional cocoa trees have been planted and are now productive to improve their income. The planting of disease resistant cocoa trees combined with other multifunctional trees (agroforestry production) strengthens the ecological resilience of the cultivation system, helps to diversify income flows while at the same time is an important measure to protect the climate due to high CO2 absorption and CO2 storage capacities. All this contributes to the economic sustainability of the cocoa industry in Colombia. Get in touch with us info@eosentrepreneurfoundation.org www.eosentrepreneurfoundation.org www.twitter.com/Eos_EFoundation www.facebook.com/EosEntrepreneurFoundation www.linkedin.com/company/eosentrepreneurfoundation Raiffeisenbank Thalwil, 8800 Thalwil IBAN: CH04 8080 8006 2460 4983 4 BIC: 808080 / SWIFT: RAIFCH22 Pictures : Eos Entrepreneur Foundation, Triodos Bank, Francesc gambus, Dialogue Café Being active made easy Do you know someone who has an initiative or suggestions related to advancing the circular economy? We are planning Kickstarter Action Days in several regions of Switzerland on the topic of the circular economy. We look forward to your engagement and will be happy to include you in our action days! About us The Foundation was established in 2012 by Erna Karrer-Rüedi, Dr.sc.nat. ETH and Urs Karrer, Dr. oec. and can draw on many years of experience in consulting, strategy development and implemen- tation, including 25+ years of international experience in microfinance and socially responsible investment as well as in environmental sciences and sustainable development.