Background SEIF

Mariana Christen Jakob


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

In 2010 she founded SEIF with the announcement of the Professional Program for Social Entrepreneurs and the first Award competition in Switzerland, supported by the Confederation’s innovation promotion agency, CTI, and the Gebert Rüf Foundation. She developed the Business Creation and Business Development Courses for Social Entrepreneurship as well as the concepts of the Corporate Programs, the SEIF Label and the Impact Investors Circle in strong collaboration with the team.

Hybrid Structure

The SEIF GmbH is involved as soon as services are brought to corporates or investors. Universities or the public sector are principals here as well. Innovative solutions in the field of impact investing are elaborated by using applied research approaches.

The SEIF Association aims to increase the awareness around the topic of Social Entrepreneurship by offering workshops, conducting community building events, communicating through social media or speaking at conferences. The SEIF Association develops specific learning concepts for Social Entrepreneurs and offers them different promotional platforms, such as the annual SEIF Awards for Social Entrepreneurship.