Meet the NESsT – IKEA Social Entrepreneurship Poland and Romania Accelerator Portfolio


As we share news of NESsT, we wanted to first express our deepest concern for the people of Ukraine.

“Very close to Poland, just behind our Eastern border, Russian troops invaded Ukraine.

It is very traumatic for us, as we’ve got many friends on the Ukrainian side…We expect a huge inflow of refugees (836,000 people have fled the country so far) in the following days and a lot of pain and tears for the whole Ukrainian society,” shares NESsT Poland Portfolio Manager Grzegorz Wach.

We are devastated by the human suffering caused by Russia’s violent invasion. We will work to support our entrepreneurs in Central Europe, and with them, find ways to support the Ukrainian people forced to abandon their homes and livelihoods. Today, we stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and join their calls for peace.

– The NESsT Team

Business growth is a challenge for many early-stage social enterprises that are addressing some of the most critical issues in the world

What are their main blockers to growth? From our experience accelerating high-impact enterprises in the past 25 years, we learned that these enterprises often need business guidance to professionalize beyond the start-up phase; they also need quality talent, strong impact frameworks with clear metrics, and financing with flexible terms that meet their needs.

In this issue, we share investments updates and case studies of how NESsT enterprises in Central and Eastern Europe and Latin America overcome key growth or scaling challenges and increase their capacity to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable communities.

Meet the NESsT – IKEA Social Entrepreneurship Poland and Romania Accelerator Portfolio

Photo: Atelierul de PânzăPora na PolaHecaTarg PietruszkowyALTRNTV Lifestyle (Atelier Merci)

NESsT and IKEA Social Entrepreneurship co-created a three-year accelerator programme to provide tailored business mentoring, technical assistance, and flexible financing to Poland- and Romania-based enterprises that expand local employment opportunities.

“We are excited to be partnering with IKEA Social Entrepreneurship in this new program to support social enterprises in the region where NESsT was born 25 years ago.” – Nicole Etchart, NESsT Co-CEO and Co-Founder

These enterprises are forging paths for long-term poverty alleviation, with unique business strategies that improve livelihoods for marginalized populations including women, migrants, small producers, artisans, youth, ethnic minorities, and people with disabilities while conserving the planet.

At the programme’s two-day virtual Welcome Summit in early February, the enterprises connected with NESsT and IKEA mentors and exchanged important lessons learned with each other.

“These conversations are already turning out to be so valuable; hearing from others who have such similar experiences is fascinating and so helpful.” – ROMO representative.

Despre autor


NESsT este un catalizator pentru întreprinderile sociale din țările cu piețe în dezvoltare și din întreaga lume. NESsT își îndeplinește misiunea prin furnizarea de capital financiar, training-uri, mentorat și acces la piețe de desfacere unui portofoliu de întreprinderi sociale cu impact ridicat din țările cu piețe emergente. NESsT combină instrumentele și strategiile specifice sectorului de afaceri și al investițiilor de capital cu misiunea și valorile sectorului social, pentru a permite portofoliului său să planifice mai bine, să își îmbunătățească capacitatea de management, să se dezvolte și să își crească impactul social.


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