empowering people. Network

Network for social entrepreneurs in development collaboration

Siemens Stiftung's empowering people. Network opens up space for the interdisciplinary exchange of ideas, knowledge and resources in the field of development cooperation. The focus is on social entrepreneurs and their technologies.
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Siemens Stiftung’s empowering people. Network connects around 50 enterprises from all over the world that use simple technologies to improve essential services in developing regions and at the same time create prospects in the form of jobs and income.

The aim of our empowering people. Network is to back social entrepreneurial innovations that specifically address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Our network members concentrate on key sectors that play a vital role in reducing poverty and enhancing living standards in a manner that is sustainable. We prioritize the following sectors:

  • E-Mobility
  • Sustainable Energy
  • Water & Hygiene
  • Circular Economy
  • Health
  • Food Security

Solutions for improved basic services

Currently, our main focus for tenders is on the E-mobility, Sustainable Energy, and Water & Sanitation sectors within sub-Saharan Africa. A comprehensive overview of all solutions can be found in our Solutions Database.

Our focus

Business Development

Good ideas deserve to grow: That’s why we work with social enterprises as part of our tenders and projects to test new business models and increase their impact through research & development.

Learning & Development

We accompany each organization individually – from training and coaching to acting as intermediaries and establishing links with potential partner companies, social investors and financial backers.

Strengthening Ecosystems

In an effort to promote an ecosystem that supports social entrepreneurship in the Global South and encourages focused on long-term impact, we engage with peer-to-peer networks, conferences, studies and advocacy groups, both in our focus regions and in international development policy.

The cooperation of engaged partners boosts the impact of an international network. For years, Siemens Stiftung has worked with renowned, internationally-active organizations such as MIT D-Lab, adelphi, Intellecap or Engineering for Change on the empowering people. Network, collaborating on opportunities for social entrepreneurs and sharing knowledge, networks, and communication channels.

How effective is the empowering people. Network? Can the network really help organizations use their technology to improve basic services in developing and emerging countries? In 2017, the Center for Evaluation (CEval GmbH) conducted an independent assessment of the network. In addition to online surveys and detailed case studies, CEval conducted expert interviews and focus group discussions with network stakeholders, representatives from similar networks, and people from member organizations. The analysis adhered to the OCED’s DAC criteria.

CEval evaluation proves impact

The results: success in the network is dependent on people – the founders and managers at the member organizations, their teams, and those at the Siemens Stiftung running the network. Those surveyed noted that personal, long-term support as well as the opportunities for exchange and cooperation among the innovators were particularly effective. Offline training options received high marks, which is why they will be intensified in the future. Themes requested by members will be integrated as far as possible.


Project Manager empowering people. Network 
Sabine Baumeister