Social Entrepreneurship Summit 2023

From discourse to action: towards a lasting societal impact

31th Aug. – 1st Sept.
Cartagena, Colombia

Welcome to #SES2023
Hybrid conference
Deadline for submissions: 21 May 2023

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The Social Entrepreneurship Summit (SES) is an event that brings together individuals from various sectors such as academia, business, government, and entrepreneurs to collaboratively address some of society’s most challenging issues. The summit aims to foster collaboration and provide hands-on support to social entrepreneurs and other ecosystem actors. It is organized by “El Patio” the innovation unit at Universidad Tecnológica de Bolivar with the support of the VUB Chair of Social Entrepreneurship at Vrije Universiteit Brussels, and the School of Business and Economics at Maastricht University, in partnership with the ELANET Consortium of universities and organizations that support social entrepreneurship.

The first edition of the Social Entrepreneurship Summit was held in Santa Marta, Colombia in 2019. Since then, the summit has attracted the interest of over 800 participants from around the world, including those attending in-person and online. Our most recent summit was held in Cochabamba, Bolivia, where over 140 participants attended in-person, with an additional 70 participants joining online.

We are proud to present the SES2023 edition “From discourse to action: towards a lasting societal impact” to be held in Cartagena, Colombia, hosted by Universidad Tecnologica de Bolivar (UTB).  For two days, the summit will provide a platform for sharing best practices (both from academia and practice), discussing emerging trends, and practical solutions to the most pressing challenges facing social entrepreneurs today. Together, we will explore the potential of social entrepreneurship to transform communities and create a lasting impact. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to connect come and present your ongoing research projects, social enterprises and connect with like-minded individuals and drive positive change.

Who can participate?

  • Academics with research interest on Social Entrepreneurship;​
  • University leaders (International Relations, Outreach, Community Engagement) with the main interest in the relationship between the university and local communities;
  • Students and professionals, with interest in social entrepreneurship;
  • Social entrepreneurs and business representatives, currently working on all type of projects with a social or environmental impact;
  • Business leaders and practitioners with connections to Social Entrepreneurship and CSR;
  • Policymakers and other government agencies;​
  • NGO’s and other organizations with social/environmental projects;
  • Leaders from incubators, accelerators, coworking spaces, and innovation.

SES2023 Hybrid Conference

It is our ambition to organize SES2023 safely and responsibly, in light of the current situation worldwide related to the COVID 19 pandemic.

We have learnt over the past years, that hosting a hybrid conference brings many possibilities and opportunities for those that can not physically attend our event. The hybrid conference format is particularly important for our mission to promote social entrepreneurship as a tool for positive social and environmental impact. By making our event accessible to individuals and communities that may face geographical or financial barriers to attending in person, we hope to empower a wider range of change-makers to drive sustainable change in their local contexts.

SES2023 is planned to be held as a hybrid conference. This means both, onsite in Cartagena and online. We hope for favourable conditions to have the opportunity to meet in person and to host virtually those participants who are unable to travel. We will closely monitor the situation in Cartagena and communicate in due time, should our plans of hosting an onsite conference change. 

What can you expect from this summit?

  • Gain inspiration from a range of presentations by academics, students, business leaders, government officials, social entrepreneurs, and other key stakeholders in the entrepreneurial ecosystem;
  • Build long-lasting connections and explore new avenues for creating sustainable solutions, drawing on the knowledge and experience of other participants;
  • Receive valuable feedback on your current social entrepreneurship projects and ideas, helping you to refine your approach and increase your impact.
  • Acquire new knowledge and skills to take your social entrepreneurship initiatives to the next level, with innovative and effective ideas for creating positive change in your community and beyond.​

What are the participation styles?

  • Academic Presentation: We welcome all types of scientific research, including literature reviews, conceptual papers, case studies, and qualitative/quantitative research.
  • University Initiatives Presentation: Universities are invited to showcase their exemplary cases on how to support/stimulate social entrepreneurship through teaching, research, or outreach activities
  • Practitioner’s Presentation: We welcome social enterprises, practitioners and government officials to share their ideas and experience on the topic, by presenting their cases, best practices and discuss their challenges with a broader audience to create awareness, establish new connections, and receive feedback;
  • Round Table Debates: Proposals are welcome to open up debates on challenging topics in the support of social entrepreneurship.

What is a submission?

When submitting your manuscript, be sure to include the following elements:

  • Title of your work;
  • Abstract of your manuscript;
  • Keywords;
  • Reference list.

Abstracts of 1,000 words are required for all submissions, which should mention one of the above types and elaborate on proposed ideas. Both English and Spanish presentations are welcome, with a clear presentation of preference. All submissions will be subject to peer-review.

Important dates #SES2023

Main topics for submissions to #SES2023

  • Innovative business models in social entrepreneurship
  • Building supportive ecosystems for social entrepreneurs
  • Social entrepreneurship and the base of the pyramid (BoP) context
  • Social innovation and best practices/case studies
  • Role of universities in promoting and supporting social entrepreneurship
  • Circular economy and new business models
  • Impact investing and social finance
  • (The role of) technology and (in) social entrepreneurship
  • Social entrepreneurship in a post-pandemic world
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion in social entrepreneurship.
  • Corporate social responsibility – CSR and social entrepreneurship
  • Social entrepreneurship in rural and remote communities
  • Social entrepreneurship and healthcare innovation
  • Human-centered design in social entrepreneurship
  • Ethics and values in social entrepreneurship.

This is not an exhaustive list of topics. Therefore, we will welcome any other submission on topics related to Social Entrepreneurship.

Publication opportunities

After the conference, we will announce publication opportunities in two modalities:

  • The conference organizers are working on opportunities for publications in refereed outlets in both English and Spanish

Conference fees

Online Participation

  • General admission:      40 Eur
  • Student:                     25 Eur
  • Social Entrepreneurs:   25 Eur

​Onsite Participation

  • General admission:      150 Eur
  • Student:                     100 Eur
  • Social Entrepreneurs:   100 Eur

For participants coming from Bolivia, there is a reduced price for onsite participation of 40 Eur

Please note that there will be no refunds in case you are registered for onsite participation but decide for whatever reason to participate online. 

Contact information

Prof. dr. Jason Roncancio
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
+32 477 43 28 82

​Prof. dr. Luis Carlos Arraut Camargo
Universidad Tecnógica de Bolivar (Colombia)

Social Entrepreneurship Summit
Previous editions

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