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The New Allies Handbook: Initiatives to enable catalytic cooperation between governments and social entrepreneurs


Downloadable/printable .pdf document


November 2021


Working team
Catalyst 2030
Jeroo Billimoria
Bram Van Eijk
Susana Ramirez

Facilitation partner
McKinsey & Company
Koen Vermeltfoort
Sanne Lamers
Natasja Jovanovic
Ellen de Ruiter

Other contributors
Various Catalyst 2030 social entrepreneurs, innovators and their teams

Introducing the New Allies Handbook

The New Allies Report, published in January 2021, outlined how governments can unlock the potential of social entrepreneurs for the common good. This report was very well received, with many civil servants and social entrepreneurs eager to get into action. As a result, it raised the next question: “What are concrete steps my government can take?”

For this purpose we created the New Allies Handbook. This Handbook builds on the recommendations of the New Allies Report and provides practical initiatives for civil servants to create a supportive ecosystem for systems social entrepreneurs to foster and spread social innovation sustainably at scale. In parallel, the International Social Enterprise Law & Policy Report1 can be consulted on how governments can use legal reforms as a catalyst for social enterprises.

The Handbook starts off with the definition of systems social enterprises and why government action is key to accelerate social innovation. Next, the Handbook framework is introduced. It outlines the five impact areas governments can act on to create a supportive ecosystem, which are illustrated with a country example.  Additionally, practical steps to implement initiatives and the overarching principles governments should adhere to when execution initiatives are provided for those seeking extra guidance. Finally, we share the full overview of initiatives per impact area including a deep dive on institutionalisation directions and a self-diagnostic template to assess your country’s starting point. The Handbook concludes with an explanation of the role of Catalyst2030 and how they can support in implementing the initiatives.

In order to make the content of the Handbook easily digestible, various ideas are presented in a structured and descriptive manner. Please note, they are not meant to be prescriptive nor exhaustive. We acknowledge that governments operate differently per country and encourage adjusting the presented initiatives to your country’s context, whilst recognising their original intent.

Finally, true to the Catalyst 2030 principles, the entire document was made in co-creation with civil servants, social entrepreneurs, donors and other social sector thought leaders to whom we would like to express our gratitude for contributing.

We hope you enjoy reading the Handbook and find it useful in driving initiatives to enable catalytic cooperation between governments and social entrepreneurs.

The Catalyst 2030 Team

New Allies Handbook Government Action
enable social sector models
strengthen capabilities
Page sample: Ambition diagnostic

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