Romanian, Slovenian and Italian projects announced as the winners of the EUSIC 2018
Last Thursday 8th November the 2018 edition of the European Social Innovation Competition came to an end in Brussels after a full year of intense preparation. Selected from over 700 eligible applicants coming from 39 different countries, each project applied to receive a €50,000 prize from the European Commission to develop their innovative ideas on how to tackle youth unemployment in Europe from a place-based approach.
Different places have different histories of industrial change, migration, regeneration and ‘brain drain’, which affect young people and the whole community. Each place has its own challenges and assets arising from its unique story. Europeans were asked to consider what’s available in their local community and what’s presenting a challenge.
How could this be used to design solutions that ensure young people can fully participate in the economy and society?
20 Semi-finalists received coaching and support to develop their ideas and produce detailed project development plans in July at the Social Innovation Academy in Cluj, from which 10 finalists were selected.
At the final event in Brussels last Thursday, a Funder’s Fair was organised for finalists to learn about the various funding options available from a wide range of Investment Experts – from corporate to impact investment to philantropic and institutional. ENoLL hosted an advice slot for finalists on ‘How focusing on end-users from get-go can make for better use of investment’. During this open session finalist where explained how best to use the Living Lab approach – early phase experimentation & end-user engagement – in their projects to: test product-market fit, select their key end-users, and maker more efficient use of investment thank to early ‘reality check’.
After multiple rounds of advice, finalists pitched their projects at the Awards Ceremony from which three winners were chosen.
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE THREE WINNERS
Career Bus – Career orientation on wheels for rural youth (Romania)
HeritageLab – Incubation of new businesses in the heritage sector (Slovenia)
Ulisse – Network of young deaf tour guides (Italy)
The European Social Innovation Competition, launched in memory of Diogo Vasconcelos, is a challenge prize run by the European Commission, now in its sixth year. The competition is open to applicants from EU member states and countries associated to Horizon 2020. The competition is delivered by a consortium of partner including Nesta, Kennisland, Ashoka, ENoLL and Scholz & Friends.