SEWF Events

15 reasons not to miss out on SEWF 2021

by Helen Harvey / September 2021

“SEWF 2021 is NOT JUST another ZOOM meeting! 2021 has been difficult for many – we’ve kept friends, family and colleagues at a distance, just when we’ve needed them most. Here at SEWF, we are extremely aware that COVID has affected people around the world differently and at times, disproportionately and we have worked on many ways to support social entrepreneurs around the globe, through this trying period”. – Helen Harvey, SEWF Event DIrector

Here are 15 reasons why you can’t afford to miss out on SEWF 2021.

1. Be part of the conversation at one of the world’s largest social enterprise events, and connect with over 3,000 social enterprise leaders, practitioners and changemakers from 80+ countries.

This year, more than ever, we’ve come to appreciate the integral value that community has in our society. 2021 has been difficult for many – we’ve kept friends, family and colleagues at a distance, just when we’ve needed them most. Here at SEWF, we are extremely aware that COVID has affected people around the world differently and at times, disproportionately. We feel very lucky that we’re able to hold this event and would like to acknowledge those that are unable to attend and participate this year due to the circumstances of the pandemic. With just over a week to go, we’re incredibly excited to bring people together from all over the globe in one place, safely and remotely. Join a community of social enterprise leaders and world changers from all corners of the planet, and get ready to feel part of something special.

2. This is NOT just another ZOOM meeting!

SEWF 2021 is being held on Hopin – the world’s leading multi-purpose event platform. Similar to an in-person event, SEWF 2021 will include a main stage and various session rooms for panel discussions and masterclasses, as well as open and private meeting spaces, a networking area and a virtual marketplace.

3. Designed by social enterprises, for social enterprises

The SEWF 2021 programme has been co-designed with our Co-host Common Good Solutions and a programme working group with input from partners from around the world. From decisions on key themes and session topics to speaker nominations, all aspects of SEWF 2021 have been considered by people in the social enterprise community with care and relevance to you in mind. 2021 themes include rural enterprise, equality and inclusion, climate and circular economy, young changemakers, Indigenous-led community and social enterprises, COVID-19, economic recovery and social procurement.

4. Get inspired and learn from outstanding social enterprises from around the world

SEWF 2021 will feature world-class content showcasing leading social enterprises, big and small, rural and urban. With exciting sessions including “COVID-19: Last mile responders leading the way to recovery”, “Climate change collaboration: Social enterprises required”, “The refugee crisis: A call to action to the SEWF Community”, “The future of business with an Indigenous vision”, “Tech for Good”, “Partnership approaches to tackling systemic racism”, “Enterprise design ideas: Inspiration from Doughnut Economics” and “Can the fashion industry ever be sustainable?” you’ll be spoilt for choice.

View the full programme in your time zone and filter by session types and themes. Make sure to add sessions to your calendar so you don’t miss out.


5. New, diverse voices and unheard stories

Around 80% of speakers on the main stage and in our parallel firesides and panel discussions are first-time speakers at SEWF with over 30 countries from around the world represented. Over 50% of our speakers identify as female, non-binary or trans and around 30% of our speakers are under 30 years old.

6. Build your skills through expert-led masterclasses

Choose from a variety of expert-led masterclasses and a broad range of topics to build your skills and strengthen your enterprise. Have your pick of “Telling your enterprise story” with Digital Storytellers, “Impact integrity: Measurement, mapping, forecasting” with Gingras Global, “Business (re)model canvas” with Common Good Solutions, “Value proposition and marketing development” with TRANSFORM, “How to get ready to sell to corporations” with Acumen and Yunus Social Business, “Fundraising for social enterprises” with School for Social Entrepreneurs and “Navigating mental wellness and burnout” with Jermaine Henry. There’s something for everyone.

7. Join Partner-led sessions

Each day during the middle block, the Partner Stream will feature sessions led by a broad range of partners and leaders in their fields including Catalyst 2030, Acumen, Yunus Social Business, Euclid Network, Possibilists and DIESIS/SILK. The Partner Stream also features a Spanish language session featuring Agora, BLab/Sistema B and League of Intrapreneurs and a panel on social enterprises in the MENA region with speakers from Palestine, Jordan, Tunisia and Egypt.

8. Don’t just sit there – opportunities to get involved and connect!

We’ve implemented lots of ways to ensure you can get involved and connect with others this year; try our ‘chat’ feature, participate in Q&A’s and polls, or join our open rooms for 1-1 networking, discussions, or try out our ‘meeting’ option, which enables you to schedule a meeting with up to four others.

9. Connecting locally and globally – find out if there is a Community Hub near you

From Liberia to Malaysia, Australia to Pakistan, groups are coming together to self-organise and host SEWF 2021 Community Hubs (virtually and in person) to connect local conversations with the global SEWF 2021 event. This is part of our hybrid event model to support the development of local social enterprise ecosystems. Find out if there is a Community Hub near you.

10. You spoke, we listened – your feedback is invaluable to us

SEWF 2021 is built on 14 years of experience in convening the global social enterprise community. The feedback we receive each year is integral to the ongoing evolution of our events, including our Community Consultation last year following our first-ever virtual event, SEWF Digital in September 2020.

11. Learning from others to ensure the best experience for all

Like many others, we’ve had to adapt quickly to move from in person delivery to a virtual one, and although this is our second year of being online, much of what was true last year has changed. In the design of SEWF 2021, we are applying learning from event best practices from around the world. We’re definitely not going to get everything right, but we are committed to learning and evolving to deliver the best experience for all involved.

12. No SEWF is ever the same – 2021 spotlight on Canada

Every year (with the exception of 2020 due to COVID-19) we work with a co-host to deliver our annual programme of events, spotlighting themes and topics important to their community and showcasing the work of social enterprises from that region. This means that no SEWF is ever the same. This year, we are working with Co-host Common Good Solutions in Nova Scotia to highlight key themes including rural enterprise and Indigenous-led community and social enterprise and will feature outstanding social enterprises based in Canada including SmartICE, Nawalakw, CultureLink, Diversity Foods, Taking Root and Ulnooweg.

13. Live content across time zones

No matter where you are in the world, there will be live content during your day. Use the time zone switcher in the interactive online programme and “add to calendar” to make sure you don’t miss out. Too late or too early? Access content on-demand through the Replay area.

14. Parlez-vous français? Live interpretation available in Canadian French

All main stage sessions and selected parallel sessions will have live interpretation from English into Canadian French. CC captions in English are also available.

15. Busy on 28-30 September? Access anytime, anywhere with content on-demand – exclusive to SEWF ticket holders only. Get your ticket today to ensure you don’t miss out!

All main stage and session content will be recorded at SEWF 2021. Content will be available during the event through the Replay area on Hopin and following the event through the SEWF website. This content will be exclusive to ticket holders only for six months.

Need more reasons to attend? Check out our incredible speaker line-up for over more and get your ticket to #SEWF2021.
Helen Harvey is SEWF's Event Director