Reach for Change – the soul of the Kinnevik Group
During 2013, its fourth year of operation, Reach for Change has touched and improved the lives of over one million children in nine countries. By transferring our strengths to the social arena, canvassing entrepreneurship and innovation, challenging perceived limitations, and scaling inspired ideas, Reach for Change embodies the soul of the Kinnevik group.
We have a dual mission of improving the lives of children and supporting the local and regional business objectives of the Kinnevik group. Drawing on the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child, Reach for Change supports social entrepreneurs so that we can jointly have a positive impact on local communities in our markets. We believe that social entrepreneurs are valuable catalysts, who innovatively can help address social challenges, and that the highest impact can be achieved through early-stage investments. We are not an ordinary corporate responsibility effort – we do not just donate money. Rather, we strive to actively grow social ventures, thereby ensuring sustainability and creating value for all our stakeholders.
It is also in our DNA to constantly evolve as thought leaders. We recognize we can always do better. Key learnings from 2013 will help us improve, and in 2014 we will develop our programs by focusing on selected investment themes while ensuring portfolio balance. We will also work more closely with our corporate partners, both regional and national ones, and external stakeholders such as national governments, so as to strengthen relationships that we hold on all levels.
In 2013, our revenues and costs grew by 56 percent respectively, while the number of social entrepreneurs in our programs surged from 23 to 39 (a 70 percent growth). The expansion of our work will continue, in terms of turnover, markets and number of investments. In 2014 we will add seven countries, mostly in collaboration with MTG, and nearly double the number of investments we make in social entrepreneurs. Long term, we will continue to grow in the footsteps of the Kinnevik group companies, while in 2014 Reach for Change will even lead the group into new frontiers.
Alongside the development of our programs, we decided last year to focus on impact assessment. The first result of this effort is in your hands right now. Of greatest importance to our stakeholders is the impact we have on children, and that is our focus when we measure our activities. We will continue our work in the coming years – conducting impact assessments, developing the most efficient programs and creating value for all our stakeholders, first and foremost the children.
I would like to thank the Board of Reach for Change. It is rare to work with such a committed group of focused commercial partners like the CEO of Kinnevik, Mia Brunell Livfors, the CEO of MTG, Jørgen Madsen, the CEO of Tele2, Mats Granryd, and the CEO of Millicom, Hans-Holger Albrecht. I am pleased to welcome Rachel Samrén to the Board as a new director with deep local knowledge of our core growth markets. Rachel acts as a change agent each time she spends time in Africa, Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe and Russia. Local connectivity is fundamental to our successful execution and all of our directors ensure that Reach for Change, like the Kinnevik group, is embedded in our local markets.
As of February 1, 2014, Mia Brunell Livfors will assume the Chairmanship of Reach for Change. Rachel Samrén will become Deputy Chairman and of course I will remain a Board director actively supporting the strategy of Reach for Change.
Finally, I would like to extend our deepest thanks to Sara Damber and Jacob Stedman for their tireless commitment to the Reach for Change cause. I am sure Reach for Change will endure the test of time and continue to create sustainable change in the lives of the entrepreneurs and young generations in the Kinnevik group markets.
Chair, Reach for Change