Impact Shakers launches first European awards for sustainable and inclusive startups

Applications open for the Impact Shakers Awards on June 21, 2021

Inspired by the doughnut economics model, applications for the very first Impact Shakers Awards, opened on March 1st. All European startups and scaleups with a positive impact on society and the environment may apply. It is the first time that more than 40 impact ecosystem players from all over Europe, including incubators, accelerators, investors and networking organisations are rallying behind the same cause. ​

The Impact Shakers Awards are inspired by the doughnut economics model, which maps human prosperity according to a social foundation and an ecological ceiling. An international jury will pick winners in twelve categories: Energy, Water, Food, Health, Education, Income & Work, Peace & Justice, Political Voice, Social Equity, Gender Equality, Housing & Networks.

Impact Shakers, the organiser behind The Impact Shakers Awards, wants to create a growth environment in which impact driven startups can grow into strong and scalable businesses and bridge the gap between impact and profit.

Yonca Braeckman, CEO of Impact Shakers: “Impact should be a logical part of every business model. With Impact Shakers, we want to bring about a systemic shift that fosters more diverse entrepreneurship and success. In 2019, 200 of the CEOs of the top Fortune 500 issued a statement declaring that delivering shareholder value was no longer chief focus, and that value needed to extend to the employees, suppliers and environment.
Yonca Braeckman, CEO Impact Shakers
Yonca Braeckman, CEO Impact Shakers
She continues, “One advantage of an awards show is the spotlight it shines on businesses that work in harmony with society and the environment. By recognizing inclusive and sustainable businesses, people can better visualise meaningful alternatives to profit-only enterprises that overuse resources and undervalue segments of the population. It’s not that profit isn’t important, but it is no longer the only important factor.”

Inclusive entrepreneurship

Impact Shakers tackles complex societal challenges through inclusive entrepreneurship. 

Yonca Braeckman: “We believe in people — especially when they have succeeded against all odds. If you can get through tough times, break through barriers, then you can also build a company. Resilience and problem-solving capabilities are ideal breeding grounds for entrepreneurship. We work to bring out the potential from all walks of life and to incorporate inclusion in every detail.”

On top of the Awards, Impact Shakers organises several projects to help impact startups scale. In the virtual programme, ‘Raise alternative funding for your impact business’ ​ (in partnership with Atmos & Zebras Unite), they accompany startups on their fundraising journey, since financing is critical to realising the intended systemic shift. Expanding opportunity and capacity is the motivation behind Impact Shakers, launching their own micro-investment fund and accelerator later this year. Other experimental entrepreneurship programmes are organised under Impact Shakers Labs.

Applications Impact Shakers Awards

Startups and scaleups from all over Europe can apply for the Impact Shakers Awards until May 1st on the website

All applications will be reviewed by a diverse jury of European entrepreneurs, investors and other impact ecosystem players. The public will be able to cast their vote over a month-long period. Winners will be announced on June 21st during an online Awards Show.

CEO Yonca: “We’re launching a warm call for accelerators, investors and all those who care about sustainability, social impact and inclusivity, to encourage startups to apply and be a part of an impactful positive future.”

The winners in each category will get to participate in an intensive bootcamp to help them 'Raise Alternative Funding', they will get unique networking opportunities and be part of an empowered group of impact entrepreneurs.

Agenda Impact Shakers Awards

  • 1 March - 1 May: Applications
  • 7 May - 20 May: Pre-selection by jury
  • 21 May - 18 June: Start public voting
  • 21 June: Awards show (online)

Impact Shakers Awards
Impact Shakers

Diana Pati, Co-Founder & COO Impact Shakers
Diana Pati, Co-Founder & COO Impact Shakers
Anaïs Bouzidi, Marketing ​ Manager Impact Shakers
Anaïs Bouzidi, Marketing ​ Manager Impact Shakers



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About manley

manley is a boutique agency for strategic PR and content creation with a diverse client portfolio  comprising international impact-driven innovators in sectors such as energy, health, biotech, proptech, legal, mobility, logistics and food. manley's approach combines the low overheads of a boutique agency with the clout of a global media network, delivering tailor-made services via local PR experts in Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. manley was founded by Saar Dietvorst in 2014 and is headquartered in Antwerp (Belgium).


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