SEIF supports and promotes individuals or teams seeking to apply innovative business ideas to respond to current social and/or environmental problems, otherwise known as “social enterprises”. We do so by offering companies programs, consulting, training and general support according to their needs and stage of development.

To contribute to the professionalism of the social entrepreneurship community and build up the capacity of the social enterprises, SEIF also act as a bridge between stakeholders by connecting actors from the financial sector, corporate world, universities, foundations and others to create the highest social impact possible.


Prof. Mariana Christen Jakob

Founder & Managing Partner EmailLinkedIn

Mariana has a background in social sciences from University of Zurich (UZH), an MBA from University of St. Gallen (HSG) and recently absolved the Impact Investing Executive Education at Oxford University. She has more than 20 years experiences in research, coaching and training in the field of social innovation, social entrepreneurship and corporate social responsibility as a Professor at the University of Applied Sciences in Lucerne as well as a free consultant. Mariana founded SEIF in 2011 with the aim to professionalize the social entrepreneurship sector, which was still in its infancy at the time, and to support startups with various programs and services. Today, one of the professional focuses is on impact investing and the issues involved in initiating the first financing rounds. 


First Ventures, Gebert Ruf Foundation, Jury Member
The programme promotes UAS students with an innovative business idea with financial contribution as well as tailored coaching

BRIDGE, jointly offered by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and Innosuisse, Member Steering Committee
The programme offers funding opportunities at the intersection of basic and science-based innovation for young and experienced researchers

RaiseNow, Advisory Board Member

Aimée van der Wolde

Managing Partner EmailLinkedIn

Aimée has developed and managed several social innovation and impact programs for public and private institutions. She has experience in consulting both (public) institutions and social entrepreneurs on how to achieve impact, as an independent consultant. She was involved in Social Impact Bonds and  is experienced in deal sourcing for Impact Angels and supporting impact startups to become impact investment ready. At SEIF, she is responsible for the implementation of Tech for Impact programs and developments and is leading the impact investors circle. She has a background in history and social economics and international relations.

Sarah Linder

Program Lead Education & Impact Management EmailLinkedIn

At SEIF, Sarah is responsible for strategic projects within impact management in the context of impact investment. She further manages the SEIF Impact Academy and the Innosuisse courses for social entrepreneurs. Sarah has an academic background in business and sustainability, holds a PGC in social innovation management and absolved the EVPA training in social impact management and measurement as well as the Acumen training in lean data approaches to measure social impact. She has experience working with social entrepreneurs in Switzerland, Brazil and Kenya. 

Maria Ljung

Program Lead & Communication EmailLinkedIn

Maria has an academic background in economics, international relations and journalism. Before joining SEIF, she primarily worked with communication and project management in the public and non-profit sectors. At SEIF, she manages the international business plan competition SEIF Awards, with a focus on Tech for Impact, as well as SEIF communications.

Dr. Jaap E. Borger

Technology Advisor EmailLinkedIn

Jaap E. Borger is a scientist with a background in sustainable chemistry. He moved to work and live in Switzerland after obtaining his doctoral degree in the Netherlands at the end of 2016. He has experience as a research associate in the pharmaceutical industry and as a postdoctoral researcher at the ETH in Zürich. His latest projects involved the development of new strategies to sustainably produce bulk and specialty chemicals, as well as the synthesis of novel materials designed to tackle some of the current challenges in the energy industry. With his background and vision, he has the skills to detain the potential of technology in order to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs.

Karen Rauschenbach

Growing a winning team EmailLinkedIn

Before moving into social entrepreneurship and starting an ethical fashion label Karen held senior management roles in programme and operations at AIRBUS. She did a social entrepreneurship course at Oxford University and Executive Leadership programme at THNK school of creative leadership in Amsterdam. Her aspiration is to use her business experience to support and grow social entrepreneurs. At SEIF she acts as a free trainer/coach on `Growing your team. `

Emily Elsner (Adams)

Impact Measurement & Management EmailLinkedIn

Emily is a consultant specialising in impact measurement and NGO management (www.elsnerrc.com).  She has a background in social-ecological relationships, and a PhD in Human Geography.  She is co-founder of Capacity, a non-profit entrepreneurship incubator in Zurich for people with refugee and migrant backgrounds.

Advisory Board

Dr. Monika Binkert

Monika Binkert successfully founded in 2010 her own consulting company for SMEs, NGOs and NPOs with a focus on strategic issues, development and transformation processes, corporate culture and leadership. She also acts as an executive and career coach. In her projects with organizations and professionals she pursues a consistently solution-focused and systemic approach. Her strength lies in particular in initiating developments that contribute to rapid changes in corporate culture.
Dr Binkert has a PhD in Law, an Executive MBA, a variety of different coaching trainings as well as extensive practical experience in working at managerial level with private companies and public institutions.

Hansjörg Utz

Hansjörg Utz has studied law in Zurich and finished his studies with a doctorate in Basel. After several years as a lawyer in 1983 he moved into journalism where he started as a freelance to become chief reporter at the “Tages-Anzeiger”. In 1989 he moved to the Swiss television where during eight years he moderated the „Kassensturz” show and was later in charge of the news magazine “10vor10”. In 2013 he founded Media Check GmbH. Hansjörg Utz currently works as a media coach, consultant and journalist.

Holger Schmid

Holger is director for the sustainable economy programme at the MAVA Foundation. He leads MAVA’s strategy development and portfolio management on natural capital, green finance and circular economy. He facilitates and advices on collaborative civil society initiatives with diversity of partners in various European countries. He serves as a board member for the Plastic Solutions Funds, the Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture and a private mountain transport company. He joined MAVA in 2005 having previously worked for WWF in the Mediterranean and in Mongolia.

Jürg Kronenberg

Jürg Kronenberg lives and works in Zurich. He has worked for almost 40 years at UBS in various management positions, most recently as Head of Corporate Clients, Zurich region as Relationship Manager for Large Corporates in the Zurich region. He also acts as Chief Executive of the Commercial Association of Zurich and Switzerland, Society for Business Cycle Research at ETH Zurich and is a member of the Association Bahnhofstrasse Zurich.

Otto Bitterli

Otto Bitterli holds a Masters in Political Science and has worked for more than 25 years in the Swiss insurance industry in various executive positions. As former CEO of Sanitas health insurance, he took on various responsibilities at the Swiss Insurance Association (umbrella organisation representing the private insurance industry in Switzerland) and curafutura, the association of innovative health insurers. He is currently Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Sanitas Group.