View over stage at Stockholm Impact Week
Photo: Camilla Lindqvist / Differ Agency

Talks from Stockholm Impact Week

Stockholm Impact Week was a great success with hundreds of people participating in conferences, panel discussions and hackathons.

In collaboration with the podcast Heja Framtiden, Invest Stockholm has interviewed some of the people taking part in Stockholm Impact Week. Tune in to five podcast episodes with Maria Håkansson, Yoram Wijngaarde, Robert Rubinstein, Maria Freitas, Menno Lammers.

Five podcast episodes on impact

The very first talk is with Maria Håkansson, CEO at Swedfund, the Swedish government’s investment company for enabling social entrepreneurship in low-income countries.

Swedfund primarily invests in Sub-Saharan Africa and some parts of Asia. In 2021, Swedfund created increased access to capital for over 500,000 small and midsized companies as well as 880,000 micro-entrepreneurs. Its portfolio companies generated 250,000 direct jobs and 1,5 million indirect jobs.

“I feel that we really can make an impact for many people. And the great thing is that half of the companies that we invest in actually show growth and profitability. This means we get 5 per cent return on investment in our portfolio, money we can reinvest in other great entrepreneurs,” says Maria Håkansson.

In the second episode of this podcast series, meet Yoram Wijngaarde from, collecting and providing data from startups all over the world. Currently have identified some 10,000 impact startups, half of them based in Europe. Yoram Wijngaarde sees a strong trend towards impact entrepreneurs attracting an increasing share of the capital flows.

“We just released a report which shows that the percentage of venture capital going into impact is the highest ever and has doubled over the last few years. People are definitely putting the money where the mouth is, and I think that the next few years will be really important in order to show that good returns can be made in this sector.”

Robert Rubinstein is being interviewed in podcast episode number three. Robert started out in publishing and now runs Trible Bottom Line Investing (TBLI), an international network and source of inspiration for investors and finance companies wanting to make a difference. At Stockholm Impact Week, he moderated a panel on how to measure impact.

“A lot of companies are talking about where they will be in 2040 or 2050. But we need solutions here and now.” As his next project, Robert Rubinstein will gather 40 of the best digital sustainability measuring tools in an online pitch competition to gather best practice in the field.

In the next episode, meet Maria Freitas from impact start-up uMore. The solution is a digital mental health self-management platform, helping individuals to screen for stress, anxiety and depression. The fundamental philosophy is that preventing is better than curing.

“All human beings have mental health, so having access to accurate screening tools can help you better understand your own context and situation. In the US, a third of all emergency visits on Medicare are mental health-related, which is very expensive. So by giving individuals tools to self-manage, we can help prevent many severe situations,” says Maria.

For the last episode we had a talk with Menno Lammers, who runs the membership alliance Proptech For Good in the Netherlands. Proptech (short for property technology) is a growing field of interest for many real estate companies around the world and with smart digital tools buildings and cities can become more clean, energy-efficient and carbon neutral.

“I see sustainability and nature in the DNA of Stockholm and the Nordic countries. There is a great infrastructure for innovation. The basics are there – now it’s all about execution and making smart regenerative connections,” says Menno.

Learn more and find the podcast episodes here.

In collaboration with Christian von Essen // Heja Framtiden