Kavitha Nagaraj Basket weaver, Industree, India

Social entrepreneurs

We work with people who use entrepreneurship as a way to create social change. Together, we aim to enable a more equal and inclusive society, where everyone has the opportunity and capability to provide for themselves and their families.

We work with people who use entrepreneurship as a way to create social change. Together, we aim to enable a more equal and inclusive society, where everyone has the opportunity and capability to provide for themselves and their families.

What is a social entrepreneur?

A social entrepreneur is a person who uses business as a way to solve social challenges, such as reducing poverty and empowering women. He or she has an objective to make a social impact rather than just to make a profit, and operate by providing goods and services in an entrepreneurial and innovative fashion. They are visionaries that work at all levels – from creating change in local communities to influence the way social issues are addressed globally.
Fernando Assad and housing project
Social Entrepreneur stories

Improving families’ living conditions in Brazil

One of the social entrepreneurs we collaborate with is Fernando Assad from Brazil. Through his organisation Programa Vivenda, he provides affordable and easy-to-install home improvement kits to mitigate the unsafe housing situation in Brazil’s favelas. Around 40 million people in Brazil live in houses that pose health risks.

Read the full story

We bring people together

Social entrepreneurs often face challenges in expanding their business, having limited access to financial means as well as business networks and supply chains. This is where IKEA Social Entrepreneurship comes into the equation. By sharing our networks and our business knowledge, we team up with social sector organisations to support established social entrepreneurs to increase their impact. Also, we collaborate and do business with social entrepreneurs to produce unique items and develop services for IKEA. 

Social entrepreneurs we work with

  • Allison Silva
    Allison Silva

    Fundacion Empreender Futuro

    Allison increases the ability for vulnerable people to improve their social status by democratizing access to business information and services.
  • Dan Drescoll
    Dan Drescoll


    Dan has created Anou, a community of artisans working together to reshape Morocco's artisan economy so that it works for them rather than against them.
  • Daniel Kerber
    Daniel Kerber

    More Than Shelters

    Daniel prototypes dignified living concepts for refugees, bridging crucial stages of their journeys.
  • Doi Tung
    Doi Tung

    The Doi Tung’s creates livelihood for tribal people living in the mountain area of Doi Tung. Their mission is to ensure that their artisans, who have small opportunities to get jobs, are economically self-reliant, without compromising the environment or their own cultural values. So far our collaboration has resulted in 7+ collections.
  • Fernando Assad
    Fernando Assad

    Programa Vivenda

    Fernando developes affordable renovation kits that fix the issues that most impact health in the favelas in Brazil.
  • Industree
    Industree Producer Transform

    Located in the south of India, Industree Producer Transform nurtures traditional craftsmanship through the making of handwoven products out of natural materials like banana fibres. This, in turn, supports the livelihoods for over 2500 people.
  • John John
    John John

    Grassroot Tea Corporation

    John is creating a new model for small tea growers to organize themselves, manufacture and sell tea to markets directly while influencing policy.
  • Jordan River Foundation
    Jordan River Foundation

    Jordan River Foundation (JRF) provides jobs for women refugees and for Jordanian women in need of work. The first joint IKEA and JRF collection, named TILLTALANDE, was produced by more than 100 women, a number that has increased to 250.
  • Liisa Smits
    Liisa Smits


    Liisa provides farmers in Ghana with climate data sets that allow them to increase their yield and efficiency by timing planting, cultivating, and harvesting.
  • Nani Zulminarni
    Nani Zulminarni


    Nani is reversing the pattern of discrimination against women in Indonesia by educating and enabling them to provide for their families.
  • Neelkanth Mishra
    Neelkanth Mishra

    Center for Aquatic Livelihood-Jaljeevika

    By helping farmers see the economic opportunity in cooperating, Neelkanth has reached 50 000 farmers and successfully integrated in-land fisheries in six states' livelihood programs.
  • Scott Stiles
    Scott Stiles

    Fair Employment Agency

    Scott shifts domestic worker agency models to one that erases fees to workers and re-aligns incentives at each link along the recruitment chain in Hong Kong and the Philippines. 
  • Suraiya Haque
    Suraiya Haque


    Suraiya has developed self-sustaining models for workplace-based care centers at factories and offices, enabling economic emancipation for women in Bangladesh.
  • White Nile Project
    The White Nile project

    The Arabica coffee beans that grow close to the Murchison Falls in Uganda don’t only result in great coffee, but also in the empowerment of Ugandan farmers and their families. The coffee is sold in IKEA stores all over the world.
  • Wietse van der Werf
    Wietse van der Werf

    Sea Ranger Service

    Wietse combines empowerment of unemployed youths and re-integration of navy veterans to provide a solution to the monitoring of marine protected areas.