Editie 5

We are Gana, Medeea, Aniek, Morgan, Ngoc and Vasilisa and we have been working on a project for LABNEST during the fifth edition of the SDG Traineeship.

About LABNEST and our project

LABNEST is an accelerator and innovation hub that offers young entrepreneurs the unique opportunity to participate in a 9-month accelerator program. During this program, the entrepreneurs receive personal guidance and the right resources to prepare an innovative business plan that they can pitch to investors. The program takes startups to the next level by integrating them in LABNEST’s “Nestwork” of like-minded pioneers and entrepreneurs.

Something that all startups within LABNEST have in common is the fact that they strive to make a positive impact. Their innovative business ideas have tremendous potential to contribute to the SDGs. A common challenge startups face is that of figuring out how to be able to realize a sustained positive impact alongside sustained economic growth. As LABNEST feels great responsibility for the startups they work with both during and after the accelerator program, they are looking for tools and methods to ensure that the startups can grow, innovate, and contribute to a better world for a long time to come.

This is where we come into play! For our project, we are working on designing a tool that will help startups define what social, environmental and economic impact they want to be making, and how to track and assess this impact.

Opportunities and challenges

Now that we are almost halfway through the traineeship, we are finalizing our research phase and working on creating the tool using the knowledge we have gained. Besides our own research, we are taking a lot of inspiration from the SDG talks and trainings we get to attend as part of the SDG Traineeship. We have already followed trainings on consultancy, stakeholder analysis and project management, among others. We also have regular meetings with LABNEST and got to interview some of the startups that are currently part of LABNEST. This has been very insightful, and we are happy that communicating and working with LABNEST has been a fun and smooth process so far.

Our biggest challenge has been defining our deliverable. As we are working on designing a tool that multiple businesses need to be able to use, we have realized the importance of balancing unique input based on the specific startup’s business activities and goals with predefined steps and sufficient guidance. We have done extensive research on existing impact measurement and sustainability tracking tools to gain a better understanding of the components and SDGs that are most relevant to the tool that we are creating. We believe that we will be able to present an end product that will help the future generation of entrepreneurs make a sustained positive impact.

It has been a very exciting and inspiring journey so far. We look forward to the weeks to come!