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Root Impact

Cases of social impact group in South Korea
Root Impact is a for-purpose organization founded in 2012. We support Changemakers who are creating innovative solutions to tackle social issues. How can we help people begin their changemaking journey in their working life? How can we support Changemakers to grow sustainably? Root Impact has been trying to find better answers to these two questions. Root Impact is creating a change maker friendly environment by building changemaker communities including co-working spaces, co-living houses as well as co-learning programs. First “HEYGROUND” is a co-working community space for Changemakers. Over 500 changemakers and over 70 purpose-driven organizations are working in the “HEYGROUND” at Seongsu, which is 8-story building. Root Impact is also housed here. “HEYGROUND” members include social enterprises, non-profit startups, impact investors, and impact intermediaries.
Root Impact provides a high quality of working experience at a reasonable price, coupled with diverse programs and services for supporting their sustainable growth. In addition, HEYGROUND organizes various events to encourage interactions among the members which will lead to more collaborations and collective impacts. This will help us create a vibrant community of Changemakers. Second, “D-well House” is a co-living community space for Changemakers. D-well House provides a 40% lower monthly rental fee, and its members inspire each other and grow together through peer-learning in an intimate environment. Currently, twelve Changemakers live in the first unit of D-Well House and eight Changemakers in the second unit of D-Well House. So far 61 Changemakers have experienced the D-Well community.
Most of the members are social entrepreneurs and NGO leaders. However, there have been a number of people with interesting backgrounds, such as an artist, a designer, a developer, a management consultant, an activist and an educator. Such diversity has broadened the members’ perspectives and helped them develop invaluable networks. Third, we offer co-learning programs such as “Impact Basecamp” and “Impact Career.” “Impact Basecamp” is an eight week, intensive workshop for future Changemakers to enhance problem solving skills and develop the career. In Season 1, the participants implemented projects to address the real-world business problems faced by social ventures. In Season 2, the participants defined the social problems by themselves and attempted to find their own solutions.
As of December 2018, 208 participants completed the program and 47% of them began their career making social impact. “Impact Career” provides a joint recruiting platform for those who seek job opportunities in the social sector and those who want to hire capable Changemakers. It also offers a two-week orientation training program for participants. Specifically, “Impact Career Y” connects young job seekers with social ventures. And “Impact Career W” supports women whose career has been interrupted due to factors such as marriage, child birth, and child care. This matches those women with social ventures so that they can restart their career in the social sector. Root Impact runs Impact Career Y and W two times per year and 65 people completed these programs in 2018.
Our vision is: “A better world where everyone engages in resolving issues in their own genuine way.”
and Our mission is: “Support people of good will to realize their vision.”
We don’t invest in companies or projects. Instead, we invest in people who will create companies or projects for our society. We believe that investing in human capital is a necessary but missing block in impact investing. In so doing, we closely work with partners committed to grow young changemakers. For example, we work together in running “Impact Basecamp” with Universities including Hanyang University, one of the two Ashoka Changemaker Campuses in Asia.
Root Impact has contributed to building an impact ecosystem by creating and developing various types of Changemaker communities, whose function includes incubation and acceleration for Changemakers’ sustainable growth. Root Impact thinks that community can play a role of a buffer for Changemakers. With a sense of belonging and solidarity, community members can support each other and help reduce financial and emotional stress. Moreover, community can be a source of growth for them to share tangible and intangible resources, including ideas, experiences, skills and network. Community also attracts more external resources and opportunities, which can be used to serve the interests of community members. Last but not the least, community can be a catalyst for collaboration among members.
Root Impact tries to maintain a holistic point of view for supporting Changemakers. We believe that it is possible for Changemakers to grow sustainably when the interests of an organization and those of its members are well aligned, when their work and life are well balanced, and when their skills improvement and inner development are achieved together.
For the past seven years, Root Impact has successfully influenced the Korean impact ecosystem in a positive way. We will not stop here and will continue making changes - beyond output to create outcome and impact in the long term. At the same time, we are considering expanding our impact businesses locally and globally. On the one hand, we will continue trying brand-new experiments and creating inspirational cases to inspire other players in the impact ecosystem. Last but not the least, we want to be a great company to work for. We will make our colleagues to experience both professional development and personal growth, and we will strive to be an exemplary role model in this sector in terms of organization culture.
Personally, I want to be recognized as a leader who is humble and sincere. Furthermore, I hope that people around us listen to their inner voices and live up to their own potential based on a sense of purpose. Finally, I wish not my words but my life itself can inspire my colleagues and friends to some extent.
Root Impact is a for-purpose organization founded in 2012 supporting changemakers who are creating innovative solutions to all kinds of social problems.

Root Impact encourages changemakers and social entrepreneurs to achieve their missions. We have a strong belief that the more changemakers there are, the better will be at solving social problems in healthier ways.

Root Impact envisions a world where everyone can make a real change. In order to help young social entrepreneurs and changemakers who endeavor to create positive change in the world, Root Impact has been building an Impact Ecosystem where more changemakers and social entrepreneurs can further their missions, solve pressing issues, and sustain their growth. As part of this, Root Impact is creating a changemaker-friendly environment that includes co-living and co-working spaces as well as educational opportunities.

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Social Innovation in South Korea

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