Social Business Accelerator was launched in 2011 as a joint program of the Polish Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (PSIK) and Ashoka (a global social organisation supporting innovating social sector leaders) through which PE executives were mentoring the Ashoka social entrepreneurs.
The SBA program was launched as a response to the increasing need for business competences, performance management and a sense of accountability in social organisations that want to grow their impact and to achieve a significant scale of their work, and eventually serve hundreds of people in need – be them children, youth, adults or society as a whole.
Within the framework of the SBA program, the most experienced investment professionals of private equity and venture capital funds operating in Poland (members of the Polish Private Equity & Venture Capital Association – PSIK) have brought their skills and disciplines to work in social organisations in Poland, committing their time, expertise and opening their networks. They work with social entrepreneurs’ organisations just as they do with their portfolio companies, the only difference being that their engagement is entirely pro bono.
Within the framework of the program the leader and the management of the social organisation is paired with the PE professional who is working with them for at least 10 months, meeting with the leader and the team at least for 2 – 3 hrs every month, to address the most appealing and critical organisational challenges. Many pairings continue to work for minimum two years, and some also pursue their partnership longer, engaging broad networks of their business partners and experts.
Since its establishment the program have engaged over 20 senior private equity professionals from 15 firms with 18 of Poland’s leading NGOs (24 PE professionals with 24 organisations with 3rd edition).
Since its third edition, launched in 2014, the SBA program has become a vehicle for providing competences and skills to social organisations and their teams and a source of social investments for Valores and its support.