The Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF) was the first event of its kind. SEWF provided an opportunity for social enterprise leaders and practitioners from around the world to network and exchange ideas.Spurred by the first event’s success, a steering group was quickly convened where it was agreed that there was potential beyond the initial experiment. They decided to hold an event on each continent before reviewing the need and value of SEWF to promote social enterprise internationally.
In 2008, more than 400 delegates from 29 countries congregated in Edinburgh, Scotland with one goal: to raise awareness of social enterprise as an expanding global mechanism for social change.Since then, SEWF has engaged with thousands of social enterprise leaders and practitioners from over 50 countries worldwide, holding forums in cities as diverse as Rio de Janeiro, Addis Ababa, Seoul, San Francisco and Christchurch.
In 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic, we held the first SEWF Digital event. Despite having just a few months in which to pivot our plans, we were able to organise our biggest global event to date, with over 5,000 reserved places from participants across 100 countries.