“As I’m walking through Berlin at 27 degrees in Berlin in April, I am reminded that we’re not fast enough in creating systemic change. How can we be more effective and faster? We need to get better and work at greater scale and influence more people to create lasting change.” Dan says while we are skyping from two opposite ends of Berlin.

Daniel Nowack is managing director at Yunus Social Business, a support organization for fledgling social entrepreneurs in emerging economies. “We harness the power of business to end poverty. Our Philanthropic Venture Funds provide hands-on growth support and affordable finance to early-stage social businesses in emerging markets seeking $100-300k on average.“

Daniel is a true pioneer of modern entrepreneurship. Determined, quick to learn, and quick to implement across a range of expertise, he is a truly valuable asset to both Social Business and for-profit worlds. It is a unique pleasure working with someone as driven and thoughtful as Daniel, and I hope to have that pleasure many times again in the future.

Emil Lamprecht, Manager Google Launchpad

But YSB has another area of expertise: Corporate Innovation. And that’s where Daniel comes in. “We create social businesses as joint ventures with existing companies. The private sector is often blamed as a key contributor to some of the social and environmental issues we see in the world. With our Corporate Innovation approach, we help them transform net positive contributors.”

We have seen massive ripple effects among employees as they begin rethinking the way they do business.” 

At the time of writing (November 2019), Daniel is running the second version of the MANImpact Accelerator, which “brings social entrepreneurs from Europe, Brazil, and Africa together to tackle social and environmental challenges through innovative solutions in the transport and logistics space.” In other words, the logistics company is working to solve issues around clean mobility, medical and last-mile transport by working with and scaling social ventures in the logistics and transport industry. 

Daniel describes himself as a generalist which seems to serve him well in his role. But he is self-critical. “Per definition my role is general. I’m good at understanding the basis of everything but I am no expert in any given industry.

One thing I have always enjoyed is connecting the dots and seeing the forest where others only see trees.

So at YSB, we think big to create solutions for the next decades. And we bring together partners from different sectors to create maximum impact.”

Outside of Yunus Social Business Daniel works as an innovation consultant with selected clients through the consulting network Lumen Partners. But it seems that mindset shift and culture change are a common thread even in these projects: “I work with Lumen Partners to help small- and medium-sized companies to stay relevant through innovation and entrepreneurial culture.”