The IES - Social Business School was born from the involvement of key people around the theme of Social Entrepreneurship, who believed that this area of knowledge and action should be stimulated in Portugal.

It was the 2nd Congress on Social Entrepreneurship in October 2008 , in Cascais, who publicly expressed interest in creating this organisation, in partnership with the Municipality of Cascais and INSEAD - Institut Européen d'Administration des Affaires . Two months later, on December 19, 2008 , the IES was born, with the mission of " Inspiring and Empowering a Better World through Social Entrepreneurship".

From early on, its founders realised that, in order to make the movement happen in Portugal, it was necessary, firstly, to discover initiatives of Social Entrepreneurship, at the time also called Live Manuals of the movement. The ES + Research Methodology was born, with the purpose of identifying initiatives with "High Potential of Social Entrepreneurship".

The value of applying the methodology lies in its ability to identify the potentialities, opportunities, needs and challenges of the initiatives of Social Entrepreneurship, allowing also to characterise the ecosystem where they are inserted. The first pilot project took place in the municipality of Cascais and was supported by the IEFP - Employment and Professional Training Institute and the Cascais Town Hall . In July 2009, the first 5 ES + Cascais were recognised .

Em 2010, In 2010 , the areas of activity were reorganised, affirming the position of the IES as a center for research and training in Social Entrepreneurship, a catalyst for good practices. The Research & Development area was created, which encompassed the application of the ES + Methodology , as well as knowledge management, production of reports, studies and training contents. After the successful experience in Cascais, the IES went to Vila Real in 2010, having the opportunity to apply the ES + Methodology. It counted on the partnership of the Civil Government of Vila Real , the EDP Foundation and the Municipalities of Alijó, Boticas, Mondim de Basto, Montalegre. Murça, Ribeira de Pena and Sabrosa . In the Training area , where university programmes and training for executives are covered, 2010 was a strong year for the positioning of the IES. Curricular units were taught at the Nova School of Business and Economics, the Professional Citizenship module was created and an Executive Training Programme was launched with Abreu Advogados .

2011 was a year of growth and consolidation for the IES. The ES + Methodology was applied to the Municipality of Porto, and, for the first time, it was also adapted to a national context: the Schools Programme . Because the ES Methodology + ES Methodology gained great visibility and expression, in 2011 the Identification area was created , responsible for the application of this methodology, which continuously leverages knowledge for Research and Training. In the Training, the educational offer increased and the first IES programmes powered by INSEAD were created. Many of the alumni of the programmes requested support to implement initiatives or overcome challenges, and a programme was created to follow the initiatives and people who were present in the training programmes.

Foi It was in 2012 that Portugal launched the MIES - Map of Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship , research project and mapping initiatives, which aims to contribute to the growth and competitiveness of a new market of Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship national in Portugal. Funded by QREN-Compete, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and EDP Foundation, and in partnership with IPAV - Instituto Padre António Vieira , IAPMEI and INSEAD as an academic partner, IES has scaled the ES + Methodology at national NUTS II level in the North, Centre and Alentejo. A level of research produced the first Social Entrepreneurship Case Study on the growth challenges of the Galicia School of Rugby project. The year of 2012 was also a year of great affirmation for the Training area. 4 Bootcamps and 1 ISEP were implemented, also the first XXI Foundations Programme was held, an IES programme powered by INSEAD, designed in a customised manner for the EDP Foundation and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, with the objective of offering the teams of the foundations participants knowledge about the dynamics of Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship.

Also in 2012, IES commenced operations in Mozambique, developed the programme ES + Maputo, which is based on the identification of Social Entrepreneurship and training initiatives, a two year partnership built between IES, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and Odebrecht (Premium Patrons of IES Training Programmes powered by INSEAD, in Mozambique).

2013 was a year of affirmation for Social Entrepreneurship in Portugal. The number of IES network initiatives increased internationally (eg Miguel Neiva became the first Portuguese Ashoka Fellow ); Social Entrepreneurship was included in Community Financing lines 14-20; There has been a growing interest from key investors in this area. The number of students training on IES Programmes powered by INSEAD grew, totalling 266 students (compared to 152 students in 2012). The first Bootcamp was launched in Maputo, which had 32 participants. The Research has launched the Manual to Transform the World , In partnership with the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. A success that saw the first edition sell out in the first 3 months.


It is in December 2014 that IES affirmed itself as Social Business School . Throughout this year 1000 alumni were formed by IES-INSEAD programmes, with a record number of Bootcamps achieved in a year (10) new and 10 alumni as trainers. The launch of the Scaling For Impact programme was celebrated with 2 editions, with a total of 60 graduates and 20 participating projects.


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The official launch of the Social Investment Lab was held, a project of IES and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, in partnership with Social Finance UK, consisting of a reference knowledge center in the field of social investment, seeking to disseminate international best practices and Innovative financial instruments, studying its applicability to the Portuguese reality. The launch of the Social Investment Taskforce: catalysing the social investment market in Portugal, which, after one year, is expected to draw political recommendations as a catalyst for the social investment sector in Portugal.

Also in 2014 , we decided to create a Social Business Laboratory that has an exclusive partnership with B Lab to bring the B Corp movement to Portugal and Lusophone Africa.

MIES is approaching its final stretch and in Maputo, Mozambique, 13 ES + Maputo were identified and supported. The start of the 1st INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship Award was also celebrated.

The training programme for the 17 Municipalities of the Metropolitan Area of Porto was also completed , encompassing activities such as strategic planning, mapping of entrepreneurship and social innovation projects, technical capacity for building of municipalities, and the implementation of projects that generate positive social impact in the city and respond to identified social needs.