ACT Group (AG) is a NGO that empowers the social/impact economy ecosystem in Croatia. It's structured support program focusing on education and networking.
In 2013 the social enterprise ACT Group started its comprehensive work on fostering socially responsible economic development. It provides business and technical support to entrepreneurs and micro-enterprises, whose activities positively affect society and the environment (social/impact enterprises).
It was a venture building in the beginning, when the AG was starting social entrepreneurship from the scratch, and worked on building both, capacity and knowledge, and operations of these companies. In 2016, support has been opening up to other social/impact enterprises and the AG is directing its energy, knowledge, and driving spirit to the portfolio of entrepreneurship support recipients ever since.
Support covers different stages of the social enterprise development - from an idea to a market appearance – and includes (but is certainly not limited to) business needs and business health analysis, suggestions for its improvement with a specific operational implementation plan, mentoring and working with experienced professionals from various fields of knowledge and areas, workshops, training and lectures, grants and support for accessing financial instruments, networking, visibility, support, encouragement, and access to business knowledge resources.
ACT Group is currently a team of 10 very dedicated, hardworking and persistent people who share and nurture common values such as personal responsibility, openness, participation, solidarity, cooperation, and transparency. AG has a network of 50 experienced internal and external mentors.
Evidence of success
ACT Group started in 2021 with a portfolio of 40 entrepreneurs (the current cohorts of its support programs as well as the alumni) to whom the organization provides support and with whom they are in almost daily contact. Every year ACT Group receives an increasing number of service recipients and finds new ways to transfer the necessary knowledge, and support hardworking social/impact entrepreneurs.
There aren’t enough available sources (institutional, private, corporate…) of direct financial support aimed to serve the existing business support organizations like ACT Group. Such financial support will enable effective support mechanisms like AG’s support programs for sustainable growth
Potential for learning or transfer
ACT Group’s support is not limited in duration - after the entrepreneurs are selected in one of its competitions, they stay with the organization and they are provided with support long after the end of the program in which they applied. Such an approach has proven to be correct and very effective, there is a very clear social and economic impact achieved by that organization and its alumni. As an organization led by agile principles ACT Group can adapt to changes rapidly and to adequately answer the social/impact entrepreneurs needs. These changes make organic ripple effects on the entire ecosystem of entrepreneurial support in Croatia.
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