Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

01/06/2021 Online

EaSI Technical Assistance workshop on blockchain for social impact: social business models and social enterprise finance

The European Union is offering a virtual half-day workshop entitled: "Blockchain for Social Impact: Social Business Models and Social Enterprise Finance" under the EaSI Technical Assistance programme for social enterprise finance providers. The workshop will take place online between 13.00 and 17.00 (CET).

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Thilo Roth will discuss new trends in the financing space as the blockchain technology offers social enterprise finance intermediaries new opportunities. It also needs to be considered that investments in start-ups follow a very different financing path, which will be discussed in detail.

Federico Ast will discuss the business model of Kleros. Kleros is a platform which resolves consumer disputes in e-commerce and the collaborative economy. It is based on blockchain technology and game theory. In 2020, the platform was awarded the European Innovation Council (EIC) Prize on Blockchains for Good. Its legal form is a French Société Coopérative d’Intérêt Collectif (SCIC).

Wolfgang Spiess-Knafl will moderate the workshop and discuss some of the new business models in this space.

A background paper will be shared ahead of the workshop to help to structure the discussions.


  • Federico Ast holds a PhD in management from IAE Business School, is an alumnus of Singularity University and teaches on Coursera. He is the founder and CEO of Kleros.
  • Thilo Roth has been involved in this space since 2015 and has spent time working as an investment associate for a blockchain-focused Venture Capital Fund in Hong Kong investing in blockchain projects globally. Thilo has a background in business and economics as well as web development.
  • Wolfgang Spiess-Knafl works at the European Center for Social Finance, which delivers EaSI Technical Assistance services on behalf of the European Commission. He has an engineering background and started his career in investment banking. Wolfgang is active in the field of social finance since 2009. His current main interests are emerging new technologies and their intersection with social and environmental objectives.

How to participate?

If you are interested in participating in this event, please fill in the participation form.  

The number of participants is limited, therefore we invite you to send your application as soon as possible and at the latest by 20 May.

The webinar is financed under the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI) and participation is free of charge.


Blockchain technology can be understood in a simplified way as a concept to securely store information and set up algorithmically controlled processes. It can be used to store value in the form of cryptocurrencies, track commodities across the supply chain, disburse funds using smart contracts or structure decision-making processes.

The workshop will address the two following aspects which are relevant for social enterprise finance intermediaries.

Emerging business models

Social enterprises are starting to integrate blockchain technology in their business models. Resulting business models are based on total transparency, immutability of data or the integration of economic incentives using cryptocurrencies. The high degree of trust enabled through blockchain technology is relevant in many contexts and such cases can be observed across a new generation of blockchain-based social business models.

New financing mechanisms

Blockchain is best known for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum. There are many other mechanisms that can be put in place such as algorithmically controlled processes to disburse funds whenever a certain milestone is achieved. Some concepts are aiming to track standardized units of impact, while others develop rather sophisticated decentralized finance protocols.


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