Ventures from the Investment Ready (IRP) and Impact Hub Scaling Program from around Europe pitch at the leading conference for Impact Investment in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).
On Friday, June 19th Impact Hub Vienna hosted the 4th CEE Impact Day in cooperation with Österreichische Kontrollbank (OEKB) and ERSTE Bank. Social Entrepreneurs. Experts, Impact Investors and Intermediaries came together to discuss opportunities and challenges in the field of Impact Investment in the CEE region. Charly Kleissner, serial entrepreneur and pioneering impact investor (Toniic, KL Felicitas Foundation, IRP) explained what „Impact Investing“ actually means:
is an investment approach that
intentionally seeks to create
both financial return and positive social and/or
that is actively measured
Besides key-note speeches, networking opportunities and break out sessions, six ventures from the Investment Ready and Impact Hub Scaling Program got the chance to pitch at the event. From feminine hygiene products (Erdbeerwoche), affordable technology for deaf blind people (Real DB Communicator) to Crafts in Romania (Mesteshukar ButiQ) the start-ups from the two programs showed the diversity and potential of social enterprises. Tobias Judmaier, another “Scaler” who started IssMich! as an upcycling company that makes convenience food out of unused organic fruit and vegetables said after the event:
“CEE Impact Day was a great opportunity to get to know the investors landscape but also to exchange with peers and gain practical insights over the European and global perspective of social innovation investments.”
Currently, Impact Investment only makes up a small percentage of the Austrian and worldwide investments. The CEE Impact Day however makes a compelling argument that purpose and profit are not exclusive and more and more investors are stepping up to build the sector further.