In Denmark, too many people with physical, psychological or social issues are excluded from the labor market, the educational system and mainstream society. This affects their sense of personal well-being. It also weakens social cohesion and economic sustainability of society as a whole.
Danish businesses are crucial in addressing this challenge. Being part of a “real” workplace boosts self-respect, sense of belonging, and makes vulnerable persons more self-reliant. Accordingly, company-based initiatives on the regular market are most effective in helping marginalized groups overcome barriers to participate in the labour market.
However, to overcome the great challenges of marginalization, we need to find more effective ways for more companies to create inclusive growth by combining good business and effective social inclusion.
Therefore, Den Sociale Kapitalfond invests capital and competences in companies that strive to combine social and commercial success to give those in the margins of society new opportunities to fulfil their potential.
TrygFonden and Lars Jannick Johansen set up Den Sociale Kapitalfond (The Social Capital Fund) in 2011 with the help of our competence partners Accenture, Accura and EY, who support our work with their professional expertise.
Since 2011, Den Sociale Kapitalfond has invested in social enterprises creating new opportunities for marginalized groups in Denmark. The investments are based on donations from TrygFonden into an evergreen fund with all returns reinvested. This social impact investment pilot program is exploratory in nature, focusing on developing and testing new insights. The investments are primarily (convertible) loans but also include some equity investments into different forms of social enterprises.
In 2013, we started Det Sociale Vækstprogram (The Social Growth Programme), an accelerator programme for established enterprises with the purpose of creating jobs for people who are currently excluded from the labour market for The Danish Agency for Labour Market and Recruitment. In 2014, social entrepreneurs were invited to engage in a new, targeted programme called Social StartUp with the support of the VELUX FOUNDATIONS.
Since 2015, Den Sociale Kapitalfond Analyse (The Social Capital Fund Analysis Department) has contributed to our work by conducting independent analysis, developing tools, sharing knowledge and helping our partners through advisory services and project development.
In 2016, we developed the latest generation of our social accelerator programme that was launched in 2017: Vækst med Social Bundlinje (Growth with a social bottom line) – Payment by Results, in partnership with TrygFonden, TuborgFondet, Bikubenfonden, Markedsmodningsfonden (The Market Development Fund) and leading Danish municipalities. The accelerator focuses on SMEs (small and medium sized companies) wanting to grow and create new opportunities for disadvantaged people. The project will test whether by growing companies and creating employment for marginalized groups, savings on local government budgets can contribute to funding the accelerator program through a so-called “Payment by Results” mechanism.
In 2017, we have launched Den Sociale Kapitalfond Invest – the first commercially based social impact fund in the Nordic countries focusing on creating new opportunities for marginalized groups through equity investments into social SMEs. The European Investment Fund is anchor investor together with Vækstfonden (The Danish Growth Fund), and the investors among others also include, The Novo Nordisk Foundation, TryghedsGruppen, Ferd Social Entrepreneurs, Hempel Foundation, Færchfonden, Sparekassen Sjælland-Fyn, Østifterne, and Færch og Døtre, among others.
We prioritise sharing our experience and findings, for instance by participating in the Danish government’s Special Committee on Social Enterprises and its Dialogue Forum on Social Responsibility and Growth, and in international networks, such as the Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum, Skoll World Forum, and European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA). Den Sociale Kapitalfond is a member of EVPA and the Danish Venture Capital and Private Equity Association DVCA.