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Beyond Dialogue: Building Sustainable and Inclusive Business Models in Partnership with Social Entrepreneurs

This report breaks down barriers to collaboration between corporations and social enterprises and identifies a framework for partnership.

  • Report
  • All Problems
  • All Regions
  • 2016

The University of Oxford’s Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and Acumen organized a one-day gathering in 2016 to facilitate partnerships between global corporations and social enterprises. The event, titled Beyond Dialogue: Building Sustainable and Inclusive Business Models in Partnership with Social Entrepreneurs, brought together over 70 participants from leading corporations, social enterprises, and impact intermediaries. Sponsored by Mars, Inc., EY, the Levi Strauss Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, and PepsiCo, the gathering aimed to break down barriers to collaboration and provide a framework for different partnership models.

The event focused on four types of partnerships: Skills Partnerships, Channel Partnerships, Venture Partnerships, and Knowledge Partnerships. It featured roundtable discussions on energy, agriculture, workforce development, health, and water & sanitation, highlighting the importance of partnerships in these areas. Notable participants included Citibank, Novartis, Unilever, Marks & Spencer, Bayer, Microsoft, and several impactful social enterprises.

Beyond Dialogue aimed to help corporations and social enterprises understand how they could partner to achieve shared sustainable and inclusive business goals. Participants shared experiences and networked to explore collaboration opportunities. The event sparked reflections on the challenges and opportunities of partnering with different types of organizations, leading to the formation of potential future partnerships.

The report based on the event seeks to reinforce key insights and stories shared during Beyond Dialogue. It distills lessons from case studies and offers recommendations for future collaboration. The report aims to encourage proactive efforts to expand partnerships that benefit people living in poverty, demonstrating how such partnerships can support both business and social impact goals.