• Social Founder Events

    We bring social founders and other interested stakeholders together -

    to share, learn, inspire, support and connect.

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    Net Zero Champions

    Our second Net Zero event is in October

    We'll focus on securing grants and sponsorship to drive change, both inside your organsiation and externally with your partners, clients and beneficiaries.

    Use your founder profile to drive the sustainability agenda in your organisation.


    This central London in-person free event, held in partnership with Green Business Action, will include funders talking with inspirational founders about how best to access funding for sustainability initiatives.


    Social Founders and Green Business Action are hosting another joint event, focusing on the founder’s leadership role in the transition to net zero.


    From engaging and getting buy-in from the board, empowering staff to set up green teams, setting a realistic budget for planned improvements, there's a wealth of solutions and actions to help drive this mission forward. But where do you access the funds to make change happen?


    Our speakers will share learnings from their own journeys about how they have accessed funding to drive this agenda, alongside funders and corporate sponsors who have supported London-based organisations and businesses around net zero transition.

    This is a free event for London-based founders and business owners.

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    Our Social Founders EY Summer Forum was on 4th July.

    Our theme was 'Building a positive culture'

    On 4th July, 9am-2pm, join fellow founders of social impact organisations at our annual Social Founders Forum, hosted by EY in their beautiful Vista Suite looking over the Thames, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London.


    Our half day morning Forum, in-person and including a light lunch and networking, brought together 40 social impact founders to share solutions, stories and learnings in a friendly and safe space.


    Our theme this year was ‘Building a positive Culture’ - how we, as the founders of our organisations, can best build, enable, inspire and lead a culture that maximises wellbeing, kindness, respect and equity - for all who interact with our organisation.

    We believe that a culture of kindness, led by us as founders, is also the key to delivering impact, sustainable business models, scale (if you want scale), and resilience - resilience for you, your team and organisation, and the communities you support.


    Huge thanks to our three brilliant speakers, to EY for hosting us so generously, and to all the founders who joined us.

    Caroline_Diehl_MBE, Alvin_Carpio, Nigel Clarke and Beatrice Ngalula Kabutakapua

    Leap into the Limelight!

    On 29th February we held another Hackney Impact Social Founders Forum.

    Our theme for this event was 'founder profile' - how, and when, to use your social founder profile to grow your impact, income and influence.


    30 Hackney-based social founders joined us to hear from three fellow founders, all with deep expertise in media, communications, story-telling and brand profile - as well as in building their own organisations, social impact, personal and organisational profile.


    Our three brilliant speakers, pictured alongside Caroline in this photo, were:

    Alvin Carpio, Founder & CEO of the School for Social Justice.

    Nigel Clarke, Founder of DadVengers, and Presenter of The Babyclub on CBeebies.

    Beatrice Ngalula Kabutakapua, Founder and Business Storytelling Coach.


    "Thank you for having us today, it was a real space for reflection on us as Founders and leaders but also about how to translate our journey into THE journey - of our organisation, teams, beneficiaries, stakeholders etc."


    "Really good selection of speakers, brilliantly presented (clear, focused, good time keeping and relevant). For me, a lot of what they said is common sense (market to different audiences, know yourself and your organisation, have a brand running throgh what you do etc) but their strength lay in who they were and their social proof - they were of such a high calibre in terms of their life achivements I was in awe and learnt so much about their journey and drivers that THAT was inspiring - to be in a room alongside them meant so much." Rachel Woolf, Founder & CEO, Street Storage.


    "Brilliant event, I appreciate the opportunity to attend and network with amazing founders with such amazing missions to help others." Dannii Hadaway, Founder & CEO, IDGO


    "Really helpful around why it’s important to share our stories. And also about marketing and having the right person who could do this. Very useful also about sticking to perhaps only one or two platforms for social media rather than so many as I realised it’s too much to manage at once. So many things learnt today, I found this very helpful." Melissa Francis, Founder & CEO, Bridge the Gap - Digital Poverty CIC.


    Founders at our Hackney Social Forum

    Our Hackney Impact Forum was back on 6th December at Hackney CVS

    Speakers included Joyclen Buffong, Founder & CEO of Rise:365, Charlie Fraser, Co-Founder of The Entrepreneurial Refugee Network, Rhyania Blackett-Codrington, Founder & CEO of BetaMinds, Paul Monks, Founder & CEO of Core Arts, and Jamie Ward-Smith MBE, Chair of the Co-op Foundation, and Co-Founder & former CEO of Do IT


    This free event was for mid-stage Hackney-based social impact founders & business owners, looking to grow their income generation model and financial sustainability from grants, contracts, trading, sponsorship and/or donations. This event was delivered in partnership with Hackney Impact and Hackney Council.


    Hackney Impact is a dynamic partnership between a group of local organisations, including Social Founders, all committed to fostering growth and prosperity within Hackney’s vibrant business community.

    Together we are offering free business support, mentoring, events and coaching to residents and entrepreneurs across the London Borough of Hackney.

    Contact us if you're interested in setting up a local branch of Social Founders in your area or city.

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    Henry Stewart was key speaker at our October Hackney Impact Forum

    Free for Hackney founders and business leaders 

    thanks to Hackney Council and Hackney Impact.

    Hackney-based founders and support organisations joined us for an inspirational and informative day. Our lead speaker in the morning was Henry Stewart, Founder and Chief Happiness Officer of Happy Ltd, a highly successful business that he founded in his Hackney bedroom 30 years ago. Henry engaged our audience in a lively discussion around strategies for enabling growth - of both income and impact.


    Happy has been rated among the top 20 workplaces in the UK, in the Financial Times/Great Place to Work institute Best Workplaces awards, for five successive years – as well as the very best company in the country for health and well-being.


    In 2022 Happy was top 2 in the Best Workplaces (small business section) and top 15 inEurope.


    During the afternoon we had presentations from Hackney Impact, Hackney Giving, Hackney CVS, Compass Wellbeing and the Federation of Small Businesses.

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    Our fourth London Social Founders Forum was in May 2023, hosted by

    EY London

    EY London 23rd May 2023 08.30-12.00

    Social founders from across London, and even from California, joined us in person for our fourth London Social Founders Forum in May.
    Our three powerful speakers were
    • Sara Nathan, Founder & Trustee, Refugees at Home
    • Nathaniel Peat, Founder & CEO, The Safety Box, and
    • Margaret McCabe, Founder & Group CEO, Debate Mate

    Hosted in EY's iconic Vista Suite, looking out over the River Thames, the Tower of London and Tower Bridge, the event brought together 40 social founders in person for inspiration and connections, resilience and renewal - and a delicious breakfast!


    Sign up to our Newsletter now 

    to be sure to hear about future events, features and Social Founder Stories

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    On Thursday 2nd March 2023 we held our 3rd local forum for Hackney Social Founders

    Mete Coban MBE, Founder and Chief Executive of innvoative Hackney-based youth charity My Life My Say, and Hackney Council's Cabinet Member for Environment & Transport, talked to, and with, our Hackney-based social founders about his founder journey, joys and challenges.

    Places were free thanks to our Hackney sponsors Hackney CVS, Urban MBA and SWIM Enterprises.


    Are you a Hackney Founder?

    Book now to join our 26th October Forum

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    Hackney Social Founders: in 2022 we held two gatherings for local Hackney-based social founders, hosted by Hackney CVS, on15th June and then on 1st November 2022.

    Hackney-based founders talked passionately about their founder journeys, sharing their impact, learnings and advice with other Hackney founders. Our speakers in November were Joyclen Buffong, founder and CEO of Rise:365 and Rachel Woolf, founder and CEO of Street Storage. Our speakers in June were Peter Merrifield, Founder and CEO of SWIM: Support When it Matters, and Abdi Hassan, Founder Director of Coffee Afrik.


    Read more about Hackney Social Founders in our News section, including the report on our Hackney research, and the wonderful support to our founders from local Hackney businesses.


    Be inspired by Joyclen Buffong's feature interview, Peter Merrifield's founder story, and Rachel Woolf's guest blog.


    Hackney Social Founders is sponsored by Hackney CVS, Support When It Matters (SWIM) and Urban MBA.

    Read about Kofi Oppong's vision and founder story as Founder & CEO of Urban MBA.

    Thank you to all our supporters and donors to the first local branch of our global Social Founders network.


    Are you a Hackney Founder?

    Book now to join our 26th October Forum


    Contact Caroline if you are interested in creating a local branch in your area.

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    Our third London Social Founder Forum  

    was on 1st October in EY London's beautiful Vista Suite

    We enjoyed breakfast, networking, inspirational speakers, debate and connections. Our speakers were Dr. Hany El-Banna OBE, co-founder of Islamic Relief, and Sarah Corbett, founder of the Craftivist Collective, author, campaigner, social media guru - and craftivist.

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    Social Founder Network

    Launch in Madrid

    September 2019

    Impact Hub Picasso

    Three inspirational social founders - Virginia Castello Castro from Musica en Vena, Alex Pastrana from Hemper, and Maria Luisa Fresno from Soulem - talked about their founder journeys to an audience of Spanish social founders, funders and friends at our Madrid launch in the stunning Impact Hub Picasso.

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    Social Founder Network in Tokyo

    In March 2019 we launched in Tokyo

    60 Japanese social founders, charity leaders, impact investors and interested friends came to our launch event at EdgeOf in Shibuya, Tokyo to hear from fascinating Japanese social founders, to debate founder issues and network over drinks and delicious food.

    Our guest speakers were Mie Kajikawa, founder of Sport for Smile, and Aiko Odachi and Makoto Goda, co-founders of Nippon Biodiesel Fuel and Green Image Film Festival.

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    Our second London Social Founder Forum

    EY London November 2018

    30 Social Founders gathered at the Social Founder Network Breakfast Forum, hosted by EY London on 8th November, to network with other social founders, and hear the powerful story of Michelle Morgan, co-founder of Livity, and now founder of Pjoys.

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    Making History: Stories of Social Founders in the Voluntary Sector

    Caroline Diehl gave a talk about Social Founders past and present to members & guests of the

    Voluntary Action History Society

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    Social Founder Network

    Launch in Sri Lanka

    In July 2018 we launched in Colombo

    40 Sri Lankan social founders and their colleagues joined our launch event in July 2018 at the Good Market in Colombo to debate founder issues and to network with founders from charities, foundations, social enterprises, corporate and community organisations.


    We were delighted to be back in Colombo in January 2019 to speak at the Social Enterprise international conference in partnership with Social Enterprise Lanka and the British Council, and to hold another gathering of Social Founders at the Good Market.


    Read about Sri Lankan social founders in our Founder Gallery

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    Social Founder Network

    Launch in London

    EY London July 2017

    We were thrilled that EY hosted our first event in their iconic London HQ. 45 social founders, at all stages of their founder journeys, came together to share their stories, hear from inspirational speakers: Saeeda Ahmed, founder of Educations Partnerships UK; James Partridge OBE, Founder of Changing Faces; Gordon D'Silva OBE, founder of the Hoxton Apprentice and Training for Life; and Victoria Thornton OBE HonFRIBA, founder of Open House.

    We developed key themes to take forward, and priorities for the new network.

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    Future events

    Contact us if you would like to discuss being involved in, speaking at, creating or sponsoring an event around a particular theme, or in your local area, city or country.