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A financial guide for social entrepreneurs

A financial guide for social entrepreneu

Now available (book & e-book)

by Nikolay A. Dentchev, Philippe Eiselein, Kris Van der Velpen, Maxime Bouckaert, Abel Diaz Gonzanlez

This book provides what it promises to the reader, i.e. A financial guide for social entrepreneurs. It departs from the challenges that social entrepreneurs face to fund their ventures. We discuss three main challenges in this context:

  1. Access to funding;

  2. Complexity of business models;

  3. Predominant focus on social impact.

This book offers an overview of the different funding possibilities while presenting the main funding actors in Belgium as an illustration. Yet, we think that more is needed to survive the financial wilderness of social entrepreneurship. Therefore, we advise attention to a solid business model, supportive ecosystem, impact measurement and effective communication. The illustrative case studies and the presentation of ecosystem actors that can provide support to social entrepreneurs make this book a quite practical guide. All cases and ecosystem actors presented here come from the Belgian context, which is what we know best. We are confident that this Belgian view can inspire the international community as well. This book could be useful to social entrepreneurs, impact investors, universities, vocational training centers, corporates supporting social entrepreneurs, social impact incubators and accelerators, policymakers or everyone who wants to help a social enterprise in their journey. And please enjoy reading, our societies need more social entrepreneurship!


“Everybody interested in social entrepreneurship should get a copy of this book. It is a must-read for all those who want to understand the intricacies of social enterprises.”

– Wolfgang Spiess-Knafl, Director of the European Center for Social Finance, Author of “Impact Investing”, Germany

“We have to mobilize more financial resources to solve social and environmental challenges. This guidebook will help to achieve this goal!”

– Dr. Andreas Rickert, CEO, PHINEO gemeinnützige AG, Germany

“A fine guide to help social entrepreneurs develop an appropriate business model.”

– Prof.dr. Jan Jonker, Chair Sustainable Entrepreneurship, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands

“This book gives a contemporary overview of the opportunities and challenges related to social impact ambitions and measurement.”

– Prof.dr. Karen Maas, Director Impact Centre Erasmus, Erasmus University Rotterdam and Professor of Accounting & Sustainability, Open University, The Netherlands

“This much-needed book is not only a great roadmap for social entrepreneurs but also a wonderful resource for those of us teaching social entrepreneurship!”

– Barrie Litzky, Associate Professor, Drexel University, USA

“This book A Financial Guide for Social Entrepreneurs is very relevant for all system change social entrepreneurs in Belgium and to our Ashoka Fellows that have also contributed as case studies such as Arnoud Raskin, founder of Mobile School & StreetwiZe. It is a fantastic resource to navigate the complexity of funding their idea and impact. Thank you to Professor Dentchev and the co-authors for this contribution, which will have a tremendous impact on continuing to build the supportive ecosystem for social entrepreneurs in Belgium.”

 The Ashoka Belgium Team

“This is a complete and well-structured work that should be mandatory literature for all entrepreneurs, be they social, impact, or mainstream entrepreneurs.”

– Wim Beazar, President of SOIF De Punt, Belgium

“A great source to dig in and get all the information needed to set up or develop a company with a positive impact.”

– Céline Bouton, Director,, Belgium

“Financial Guides to Social Entrepreneurs, that combine case studies, conceptual frameworks, analysis, and practical recommendations, like this book, is much needed in Europe and around the globe. Only financially sustainable social enterprises can promote the social innovations that are needed to mitigate the economic and social damage brought by the coronavirus pandemic, and to provide models for redesigning societies and economies to recover from the crisis.”

– Gerhard Bräunling, Expert in Social Entrepreneurship, Belgium

“This book offers a good overview of how the Belgian ecosystem of social entrepreneurship and impact investing looks like anno 2020.”

– Piet Colruyt, Impact Investor, Belgium

“This book provides for both nascent and experienced social entrepreneurs the opportunity to reflect upon their financial challenges and solutions in creating a more sustainable society.”

– Chantal Cooreman, Belgium Impact

“This guide includes both a comprehensive theoretical framework on social entrepreneurship as well as field examples which illustrate the concepts in a very relevant way.”

– Sevan Holemans, Managing Director, Solifin ASBL/VZW, Belgium

“An essential book to develop your social project or to support social entrepreneurship in Belgium. It bases its theories on practical cases, in a serious academic approach and a language accessible to the greatest number. To be read urgently!”

– Marie-Laure Jonet, Founder and Director, DiversiCom, Belgium

“This book is a must-read for every social entrepreneur. It will help them to increase and “sustainalize” their impact for sure.”

– Lode Leirens, Manager Sustainable Business & Social Enterprises, BNP Paribas Fortis, Belgium

“A guide as we love it: the right focus, to the point and practical.”

– Björn Macauter, General Manager, Ondernemers voor Ondernemers, Belgium

“This great book brings together the mayor insights you need to know to start up and grow a social enterprise. Having access to this document in the early days of StreetwiZe • Mobile School would have saved us a lot of time and energy. We are flattered to be chosen as one of the case studies in this thoroughly elaborated document.”

– Arnoud Raskin, Managing Director, StreetwiZe • Mobile School • StreetSmart, Belgium

“This book is very hands-on! A true guide for social entrepreneurs.”

– Sarah Schelstraete, Director, Sociale InnovatieFabriek, Belgium

“This book guides social

entrepreneurs through the financial wilderness. But more importantly, it emphasizes the need for having a strong business model and a broad ecosystem. Social impact is created thanks to partnerships and focus.”

– Olivier vanden Eynde, CEO, Close the Gap, Belgium

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