Idea Exchange

Catalyzing Collaboration Between Companies and Social Enterprises

How can companies and innovative social enterprises come together to accelerate impact for the SDGs?

On-Demand | 59 minutes

Originally Recorded on July 1, 2021

About this webinar

On June 24, Catalyst 2030 and Resonance released new research on how and why companies partner with social enterprises to expand opportunity in emerging markets and solve complex challenges.

Through interviews with a dynamic group of companies, social entrepreneurs, impact investors, and intermediary partners, we explored how companies are building social enterprises into their value chains; sponsoring social entrepreneurs to scale impact; and taking ambitious steps to create more supportive innovation ecosystems. 

In this session, we’ll bring together four leaders and innovators to talk about how companies can—and should—partner with social enterprises to meet their corporate sustainability and core business goals:

  • Alexandra van der Ploeg is Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at SAP, globally. Alexandra is responsible for setting the strategic direction of CSR through strategic partnerships and programs that deliver sustainable social impact and long-term business value. In this function, she also oversees corporate giving, volunteerism and the development of multi-stakeholder partnerships, for which she has a particular passion. Alexandra has developed and managed various global CSR programs, such as building an infrastructure for social business in Haiti and spearheading SAP’s social procurement initiatives.

  • Naa Akwetey is Senior Vice President, Strategy and Business Development, at mPharma, a multiple award winning, venture-backed, technology-driven healthcare social enterprise headquartered in Ghana and operational in Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia, Rwanda and Malawi. She is responsible for working with the CEO on defining and executing mPharma’s medium- and long-term business and corporate strategy as well as expansion efforts for new business ventures. Prior to joining mPharma she worked as an Economist with KPMG’s Transfer Pricing Team in the UK and as an Economist for Pricestats in the USA.

  • Vikas Bali is CEO of Intellecap, which works to build enabling ecosystems and channel capital to create a more sustainable and equitable society. At Intellecap he is focused on developing innovative business models for emerging markets across Asia and Africa. Vikas has close to 25 years of experience spread across management consulting and industry roles. Prior to joining Intellecap, Vikas worked as a Managing Director at Accenture.

  • Moderator Steve Schmida is the Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Resonance, as well as author of the cross-sector collaboration playbook Partner with Purpose. As Chief Innovation Officer, Steve is responsible for working with Resonance staff, clients, and partners on the development of new products and services designed to drive meaningful impact in emerging markets.

In this webinar, we will:

  • Explore why companies would want to partner with social enterprises

  • Look at how companies and social enterprises partner with impact

  • Talk about common pitfalls and success factors when companies and social enterprises collaborate

  • Ask how companies can deploy collaboration most effectively for systems change and truly ambitious results

Catalyst logo

About our partner

Catalyst 2030 is a global movement of social entrepreneurs and social innovators from all sectors who share the common goal of creating innovative, people-centric approaches to attain the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

Meet The Presenters


Alexandra van der Ploeg

Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at SAP


Naa Akwetey

Senior Vice President, Strategy and Business Development at mPharma


Vikas Bali

CEO of Intellecap


Steve Schmida

Founder and Chief Innovation Officer at Resonance

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