Past events

Past events

The first ever Social Enterprise World Forum in 2008 showcased the unique potential of bringing together individuals and organisations from the social enterprise movement around the world. Since then, we have held events on every continent and in 2020 we moved online to create SEWF Digital.

SEWF legacy of change

In 2008 when SEWF was founded, the sector lacked a global context. SEWF provided a platform where people could form long-lasting relationships, draw on and share models of best practice and drive the social enterprise movement together.

Since then, we have built momentum, developed networking opportunities, explored diverse social enterprise models, shared and created policies and exchanged learning experiences.

Our annual events and growing range of activities have allowed social enterprise leaders, practitioners and policymakers to engage and grow the social enterprise movement.

SEWF 2021

In 2021 we travelled – albeit virtually – to Nova Scotia, where we partnered with Common Good Solutions as 2021 Co-host to shine a spotlight on Canada, while also addressing priorities and issues for social enterprises around the world. SEWF 2021 was our first hybrid event with a network of Community Hubs hosting local events (in person and virtually). 58% of our speakers at SEWF 2021 identified as female, nonbinary or trans; 31% of speakers were under 30 and 72% also were first-time speakers. We recorded a combined 3,142 participants from 131 countries who were in attendance at the Youth Forum (27 September) and at SEWF 2021 (28-29 September). Spread across the year were also different SEWF events including the Policy Forum (27-28 April), Academic Forum (16-17 November) and the Rural Forum (27-28 October).

SEWF Digital 2020

In 2020, with just a few months to pivot our plans after the pandemic made meeting in person impossible, we hosted our first ever SEWF Digital events. SEWF Digital was our biggest global event to date, with over 5,000 reserved places from participants across 100 countries – 26% of whom were under 30 years old. A total of 234 speakers participated in 94 sessions. Prior to SEWF Digital, we held our first online Policy Forum, which engaged 162 policymakers and sector leaders across 30 sessions, featuring 43 different speakers.

Subscribe to access past event video content

Starting with over 80 videos from the SEWF Digital event in 2020, we’re building a database of social enterprise content for the SEWF community. It’s free to subscribe and we’ll keep adding to the collection as each new event takes place.

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Explore the archives

Below you’ll find a list of SEWF past locations and hosts. Click on the location for more information, including participant numbers, reports and videos (available for 2016-2020).

SEWF 2021

Hybrid event / Host: Common Good Solutions / Host Country: Canada


Addis Ababa, Ethiopia / Hosts: British Council Ethiopia and Social Enterprise Ethiopia


Edinburgh, Scotland / Host: CEIS


Christchurch, New Zealand / Host: The Ākina Foundation


Hong Kong / Host: Hong Kong General Chamber of Social Enterprises (HKGCSE)


Milan, Italy / Host: ACRA-CCS


Seoul, Korea / Host: Work Together Foundation


Calgary, Canada / Host: Trico Charitable Foundation


Rio de Janeiro, Brazil / Host: NESsT


Johannesburg, South Africa / Host: University of Johannesburg


San Francisco, USA / Host: Social Enterprise Alliance (SEA)


Melbourne, Australia / Host: Social Ventures Australia


Edinburgh, Scotland / Host: CEIS