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I was yesterday at an interesting and impressive innovation talk from IKEA about

CO-CREATE CHANGE! IKEA + Social Entrepreneurship

at United Spaces Stockholm. In this blogpost, I want to share my experience and my learnings from this event, due to the high importance of this topic.


The well-known Swedish company IKEA is one of the most popular furniture and design shops in the world. I am a big fan of IKEA furniture and love to stroll through IKEA shops to get inspired by design options. Another reason to buy IKEA stuff is the appropriate prize. I never thought about where the products come from and therefore I was totally surprised when I heard that IKEA is working on expanding their production for handicraft products made by women organizations. The blue cushion cover above belongs to the project “Tilltalande made in Jordan”, which should be launched 2018 in Sweden. By 2020, IKEA is committed to create 400 new jobs for refugees and women in Jordan to fight against property and empower women in this challenging areas.

The concept behind this is social entrepreneurship by working towards a social mission. The central criterion is mission-related impact rather than wealth creation. IKEA established a team, which is working on this by finding new partnerships and sustainable development goals. IKEA want to increase their work with small social entrepreneurs, which have normally no chance to become one of IKEAs’ suppliers and to add them to their value chain. Through the creation of decent jobs, IKEA can fight against poverty and focus on people and the planet. The longterm goal is to provide the social entrepreneurs with a market place and not making them dependent. They started by pointing out social needs: many women at home and no infrastructure. As a result, they introduced different village centers and brought the work home to the women. To support women is one of the utmost importance for IKEA.


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IKEA already created 10,500 jobs in vulnerable communities by empowering women in urban areas, in rural areas and in challenging areas. A short video shows how

IKEA and Jordan River Foundation create livelihoods for locals and refugees in Jordan:


In this area – social entrepreneurship – innovation comes from small insights and can lead to powerful changes, through sharing a social mission goal. Innovation does not mean to come up with something new, but it should create value. IKEA already started to expand this and already built 19 partnerships. However, they do not have the solution for every part. Therefore, they are looking for commitment and are open for ideas. It is about how can I or/and my company contribute to the growth of social economy and give long-term opportunities. It is an important issue and the approach of social entrepreneurship can lead us to a better world. Thank you Mrs. Gunnarsson for sharing this inspiring work and insights with others to co-create change.

#ME1033 Open and User Innovation at KTH!