Companies tackling the world’s biggest environmental and social issues deserve recognition, but currently they receive less than 1% of all available funding .
The Norrsken Impact100 is an annual list of the world’s most promising impact companies, and it shines a light on visionary founders who are changing the world for the better.
“We believe that entrepreneurs building rapidly scalable businesses are our best bet to solving the world’s hardest and biggest problems,” says Niklas Adalberth, Founder of Norrsken Foundation. “These awards are the first of their kind to celebrate their impact in this way”.
“Startups are usually celebrated because of their growth and financial valuation, regardless of the impact they have on people and the planet. We believe that entrepreneurs driving positive change are the true heroes and deserve to be recognised. Similarly, unicorns are usually companies with a valuation of over $1bn, but we want to recognise potential impact unicorns – those that will positively impact 1 billion people,” says Adalberth.
“At the moment these companies are not being given the recognition they deserve, and that’s where the Impact100 comes in. As the world wakes up to the need for a sustainable future, there is a lot of noise – and confusion – about the solutions out there for the various crises we face. These awards cut through that noise and put the best impact entrepreneurs on a pedestal. We want the Impact100 to become the ‘Nobel Prize for Impact’ – recognising those who are leading the world in impact entrepreneurship, and helping build a better planet.
“One challenge that entrepreneurs face is that the smallest portion of venture capital financing is allocated to startups that are solving the world’s greatest problems. Less than 1%, in fact. With this recognition we hope they will attract more investment, and potentially impact even more people.”
“We also hope this list will inspire other entrepreneurs to consider the social and environmental impact of their work, and if they aren’t already – to begin developing impactful solutions of their own,” explains Adalberth.
The companies in the Impact100 list will not be ranked. There will, however, be winners in two separate categories. The winners will be revealed at Impact Week, an annual gathering of founders, investors, business- and policy leaders at Norrsken House in Stockholm, this fall.
The categories are as follows:
- Rising stars: Companies valued below $1bn
- Shining stars: Companies valued above $1bn
The Impact100 assesses companies on their impact potential, which is defined as driving measurable, positive progress against the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
The Impact100 consists of:
- Companies where having a positive global impact is an intrinsic and non-negotiable part of their business model
- High-risk, high-potential ventures that aim to grow quickly by leveraging scalable technology
- Businesses that can successfully combine commercial viability with positive global impact
- Companies that have delivered at least a minimum viable product (MVP) to market, and/or have raised at least seed or series A funding.
The Impact 100 list is scheduled to be announced in August 2022. The finalists (ten companies, five from each category) will be invited to Stockholm to participate on stage during Impact Week, an annual gathering of founders, investors, business- and policy leaders at Norrsken House in Stockholm. The winners in both the Rising Stars and Shining Stars categories will be announced at the event, in a ceremony hosted by His Royal Highness Prince Daniel of Sweden, which runs from the 7th to 14th September 2022.
The winners will be invited to join the judging panel for next year’s Impact 100.
The Impact 100 will be judged by an independent panel of experts, including:
Niklas Adalberth, founder, Norrsken
Jacqueline Novogratz, founder, Acumen
Ulrika Modéer, UN Assistant Secretary General, Director of the Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy, UNDP
Srishti Gupta, ex-director global development McKinsey, board member Norrsken
Matt Miller, partner Sequoia
Nonkululeko Nyembezi, chairwoman Standard Bank
Carl Manneh, co-founder Mojang
Amit Bouri, CEO and co-founder, Global Impact Investing Network
The companies that feature on the Impact100 have been nominated by partner organisations, which are:
- Obama Foundation
- World Fund
- Footprint Coalition
- BMW Foundation
- EQT Foundation
- Softbank Investment Advisers
- Trellis Road
- Food Planet Prize
- Nordic Capital
- Mustard Seed
- Leaps by Bayer
- Summa Equity
- Norrsken VC
- Norrsken Impact Accelerator
“The purpose of the awards is to shine a spotlight on the visionary founders that are changing the world for the better,” says Niklas Adelberth. “Because if they win, we all win”.
 According to GIIN, $715b has been deployed in impact globally. According to BCG and others, global assets under management are $100 trillion. $715b/$100 trillion is less than 1%