Building Bridges Between European Social Startups

A few weeks ago we had the pleasure of attending the Global Entrepreneurs Conference in Milan and whilst we were there we popped in to Impact Hub Milan to say bongiorno! We got along so well they even put up a blog piece about our work: (for those of you whose Italian is not so strong please check out the translation below!)

Supporting Impact Hub Birmingham, and getting more involved in the global network, has been a fantastic journey for us a business and as people. The warm welcome, and genuine business opportunities and connections we got from just a short visit, means we would reccomend getting involved with the global network to anyone looking to expand and connect with other European social businesses.


Being part of an international community like that of Impact Hub allows you to create connections and intercept faster opportunities that also came from across the border. On the occasion of the Global Entrepreneurs Congress 2015 hosted in the city, Impact Hub Milan has become even more than usual one joint meetings. Among the many entrepreneurs moved from Via Paolo Sarpi also Duncan Chamberlain, arrived from Birmingham Impact Hub for s ostenere and build new bridges between the European social startups thanks to his business Bridging to the Future .

1. What are the mission and the main activities of your enterprise?

The mission of Bridging to the Future is economic independence through entrepreneurship and education. To achieve this we design and test a range of new models, programmes and approaches, including active incubation (for start-up companies), microI (small scale investment for start-ups), SLAM! (leadership for entrepreneurs and young/new business people and The Talent Pool to build local capacity to meet local demand and need.

2. why are you interested in building bridges with Italian entrepreneurs and what kind of opportunities are you looking for?

Our mission is an international one and we look to work with individuals and organisations in many countries. Italy is fascinating and full of potential — as I saw when I visited the Impact Hub Milan and the Global Entrepreneurs Congress 2015 in Milan. I like the ideas and the passion of new and young Italian entrepreneurs and hope that our programmes and ideas might be able to help them……and of course, I have learnt a lot from listening to a variety of Italian business people.

3. What are the most innovative projects you are working on with other European partners?

Creating and developing new businesses in Greece, Bulgaria, The Netherlands and Spain using our Bridge Model method has been very exciting and our SLAM! leadership programme is highly innovative — and we are just about to roll it our in The Netherlands, Poland and Czech Republic.

4. What kind of role do you envision for enterprises like yours and Impact Hub network in supporting social enterpreneurship?

I think there is a crucial role for organisations such as the Impact Hub and private companies such as mine — they can offer practical, direct, straightforward advice, coaching and in some cases investment in a way which is essential to social entrepreneuers. A focus on the enterprise more than the social is very important at the first stages of a social enterprise to help them achieve their social mission.

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