Impact entrepreneurship

Impact entrepreneurs are purposefully driving progress toward the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). From digital tools to long-term capacity building services, we are helping their life-changing businesses achieve greater scale and impact.

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What EY can do for you

Underscoring the EY Ripples vision to positively impact one billion lives by 2030 is the belief that a better working world is one where everyone can contribute to and share in the benefits of sustainable inclusive growth.

With billions of people still excluded from access to decent work, opportunities, and goods and services, a special breed of innovators we call “impact entrepreneurs” are coming up with better answers to global problems and driving progress toward the SDGs.

We extend the value of EY knowledge to provide a range of services to help impact enterprises scale and bolster their success.

EY professional services

EY professionals work with impact entrepreneurs in-person or virtually, offering support to help improve their businesses’ resilience, productivity and capacity to scale sustainably. Over 500 projects with impact enterprises have been completed in over 60 countries, focused on scaling and promoting off-grid renewable energy, clean water and sanitation, sustainable products, gender equality and other SDG-aligned missions. Interested impact enterprises can request more information and apply for EY professional services support here.

Skills development and coaching

The EY organization collaborates with leading impact investors and entrepreneurship networks to provide a variety of skills development and coaching programs for impact entrepreneurs. These typically feature a combination of practical training, peer discussion, and individual or group coaching. Designed with the busy entrepreneur in mind, coaching programs focus on common barriers to growth and range from half-day workshops to recurring monthly sessions.

The work EY does to help social enterprises scale their businesses and grow their impact can be truly catalytic. It’s encouraging to see a professional services organization like EY leading on this important work.
Jacqueline Novogratz
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Acumen

Digital tools and resources

Self-service tools to support impact entrepreneurs at every stage of their journey:

  • EY Finance Navigator is online financial modeling software specifically designed for start-ups; impact start-ups qualify for a 75% discount.
  • Co-developed with global social impact investor, Acumen, the inclusive business playbook provides a practical framework and inspirational case studies to guide businesses in adopting a more systemic approach to the inclusion of low-income and marginalized communities. Related courses on redefining success and reimagining operations are also available via the Acumen Academy.
  • TRANSFORM is a joint initiative between EY, Unilever and the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), which provides grant funding and business support to impact enterprises across Africa and South Asia. Its free support hub connects impact enterprises with corporates, peers, learning content and a global community of pro bono professionals.
  • EY Velocity is a free digital platform that enables ambitious entrepreneurs to understand the drivers of growth for their businesses

EY teams also develop webinars and recorded coaching sessions for impact entrepreneurs – meaning anyone with internet access can benefit from EY guidance.

Collaborating for scale

We believe that SDG #17, “Partnerships for the Goals,” is the key to unlocking all the Sustainable Development Goals. EY collaborates with leading organizations such as Acumen, Unreasonable, Impact Hub and Ashoka, as well as with EY clients including Unilever, the World Bank and SAP, to help impact enterprises scale. By embedding an impact focus within EY programs and creating a global mentoring community of alumni, EY teams extend the value of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ and EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ to impact entrepreneurs as well.

Impact entrepreneurs are already changing millions of lives by making it their business to tackle social and environmental challenges. By working with them and collaborating with others, EY professionals are helping them to impact millions more.

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