Mark Hooley

Helping social economy entrepreneurs find time, skills and support each other

Are you a social entrepreneur without the time to do everything you want? Help is now at hand thanks to a new collaboration and community platform called CollabMaker. Having found themselves unemployed at the beginning of the pandemic, the founders of CollabMaker met at a hackathon called ‘Hack the Crisis’ in Sweden, which aimed to create solutions to the pandemic and beyond.

Mark Hooley, one of the founders of CollabMaker, explains, “I know from working for charities for most of my career in the UK, many social enterprises, not-for-profits and small businesses doing good in the world often don’t have the time and all the skills they need to create the impact they would like to and are working so hard to create. At the same time, we know there are lots of people in the world who want to use their skills to help create a positive impact in the world, but there is no easy way for social enterprises to find these people. So, we decided to build a matchmaking platform to match you with skilled people who want to use their skills to create a better world. This means your social enterprise can benefit from skills and expertise you don’t currently have.”

We also know from research that social entrepreneurs often meet a few times a year at events and conferences, but knowledge exchange is often limited to this. Research also shows that social entrepreneurs often feel isolated and would like a safe space to exchange knowledge, share knowledge and support each other. To help the exchange of knowledge all year round, so social entrepreneurs can support each other and help accelerate the impact of their work, we built an online peer-support community so social entrepreneurs can share knowledge, expertise and support each other throughout the year.

We are trying to connect the dots for social entrepreneurs, so they can create more impact. Many people don’t like networking or have the time to do it. Together through the automatic matching and community, it’s a great way for people to increase their network. CollabMaker also works on a national or international level, so it’s a great way to meet other social entrepreneurs who you wouldn’t usually meet. We’ve already seen good examples of people on CollabMaker benefitting from an extended international network with people they have met on CollabMaker.

Having originally met at a hackathon at the start of the pandemic, called Hack the Crisis Sweden, Mark explains the background story of CollabMaker, “As founders, we all lost the jobs we were in at the start of the pandemic and met as strangers at the hackathon. We knew the huge challenges the world was and still is facing and despite lots of amazing people and organisations working towards them, change happens too slowly. The very simple helicopter idea was could we build a digital platform that connected the skilled people in the world who want to use their skills to create a better world, with the social businesses and not-for-profits making a positive impact or the people walking around with great ideas and are not able to do anything about it. Organisations making a positive difference often don’t collaborate. All this means change in the world happens too slowly, time we don’t have.

Through research with people and organisations, we were then able to build the original idea into a real service for social entrepreneurs. We conducted a pilot with local inventors and a local university and now have people who have joined CollabMaker from more than 30 countries across the world.”

It’s been quite a journey building a digital platform out of nothing. Last Autumn, CollabMaker took part in a social enterprise incubator through Tallinn University and the Impact Start-up accelerator in Sweden, which helped us immensely. We are passionate about the positive impact we can make, CollabMaker is also an active member of Catalyst 2030 and we are always open to collaboration that helps us to increase our impact.


You can find out more and join CollabMaker at  


CONTACTS: Mark Hooley – Co-Founder of CollabMaker | Email:


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