The Focus on Impact project

The Focus on Impact project aims to create an innovative service package by involving, exchanging and linking experts from Slovakia, Hungary and internationally. The focus of the project is on social impact investing, but at its launch in September 2022, it was decided to broaden the scope of this concept in several ways. On the one hand, facilitating multifaceted, multifocused, resource-sharing collaborations between companies and organisations with a social mission (social enterprises and NGOs), not only in terms of financing, but also in terms of multifaceted, multifocused, resource-sharing collaborations, becomes our overarching, shared goal. On the other hand, we want to link the project impact focus to the sustainability trend, as we believe that the growing ESG regulations and reporting/rating frameworks create opportunities for stakeholders to achieve new levels of social and environmental impact generation through cross-sectoral collaborations.

The aim of the project was to identify key areas that are essential for the development of the area. As a first step in the mapping process, we organised focus groups in Hungary and Slovakia, involving stakeholders active in the field of sustainability and social impact generation, corporate responsibility, both nationally and internationally. However, during the discussions, we did not only draw a map of sustainability, identifying the key actors and instruments, but also mapped common values and key areas of gap. One of the most important of these was the lack of community, which is a barrier to new collaborations, to learning new tools and methods and good practices, and to developing a common language across sectors.

With this in mind, the primary objective of the Focus on Impact project has become to promote sustainability, also known as positive and sustainable social/environmental impact generation, in a cross-sectoral manner, with a particular focus on supporting collaboration between corporate and socially focused organisations in Hungary and impact-focused decision-making and community building by individual and family resource (social) investors in Slovakia. The project has resulted in this website, where we present a map of sustainable social/environmental impact generation (ecosystem), which helps different actors to recognise and identify their roles, identify further stakeholders, and also to learn about concrete good practices, tools and methodologies that work.

The website also presents services related to key areas of particular importance for generating impact, which at the current level of maturity will help the site’s visitors to enter the community of sustainability stakeholders by implementing programmes in their own areas, using the resources available to them, and by adapting tools and methods that are clearly capable of generating positive impact and supporting sustainability efforts.

Our aim is therefore to contribute to the spread of a sustainability approach by reaching out to those actors who play a key role in making social and environmental responsibility a common practice in economic life and in public policy. Such actors include NGOs, social enterprises and social innovators, for whom mainstreaming sustainability is an opportunity to apply their values, achievements and knowledge more widely. For them, we aim to provide a platform for networking and contact points, in particular to develop and market their own services and solutions.

Our aim and mission is to reach out to local communities and municipalities, identifying their roles and responsibilities, raising awareness and visibility of their impact generating activities.

We also want to reach a diverse range of experts in the sustainability field, often from large companies. These are the people with the most experience and the most up-to-date knowledge of the latest trends, with a wealth of experience in many areas of sustainability. Whether it’s reporting, auditing, communications, community programmes, employee branding, environmental or social programme implementation and so many other areas related to sustainability. For them, the platform allows them to communicate their professional development and achievements, and to use their knowledge and ideas to generate and adapt new projects beyond the organisational boundaries, with even wider reach and impact.    

Last but not least, the site, the map and the services developed offer guidance, tools and contact opportunities for individuals and organisations who fund or plan to fund social/environmental impact generating activities, organisations and institutions. We believe that by using their financial resources in a conscious and often combined way, their social/environmental impact can be multiplied.

The project was funded by the European Union’s ERASMUS+ Small Partnerships Programme. Contract: 2022-1-SK01-KA210-ADU-000082682

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