Flat-packed social purpose: how Ikea’s ‘impact integrity’ clicks into place

Flat-packed social purpose: how Ikea’s ‘impact integrity’ clicks into place
Ikea Social Entrepreneurship investee Ignitia provides high-quality weather forecasts to smallholder farmers in tropical areas © Ikea

Its bold, yellow-and-blue brand is familiar across the globe. But Ikea does more than furnish thousands of millennials’ homes: the purveyor of the Billy bookcase also runs its own, specially created corporate social investment company which aims to “back and boost social entrepreneurs all over the world”.

But corporate social impact is not as easy to assemble as a piece of flatpack furniture. So how does Ikea Social Entrepreneurship, which is deeply interwoven with its commercial parent brand – and therefore seemingly at high risk of undermining its ‘impact integrity’ – ensure that it stays true to its social purpose?