Ten finalists, all with ideas to encourage better employment opportunities, have been chosen for the European Social Innovation Competition. A grand total of 1,254 entries were originally whittled down to 30 semi-finalists, and today the European Commission announced the shortlist of ten finalists.
The contest, now in its second year, was set up to encourage and reward social innovations that have a real impact on helping unemployed people get jobs or create new opportunities for work across Europe.
The competition invited submissions from across the continent that tackle the threat of high unemployment with viable, creative initiatives.
The ten finalists are a truly eclectic sample from across the sector – they are:
Having built a team of exciting young designers and women from disadvantaged backgrounds, chic Italian fashion house Quid assembles exclusive collections from high quality, second hand clothing that are stylish, ecological and affordable.
The Multi Company Mobility Centre offers a platform for businesses to exchange experienced employees on a short-term, project-to-project basis, maximising expertise for the employer and job satisfaction for the employee.
As a distribution and logistics hub for farmers to sell their products online, epelica.com provides a unique platform for farmers to maximise revenues and create jobs.
This Viennese project recycles used snowboards to create bespoke longboards, involving marginalised groups, including young offenders, in the manufacturing process.
UK youth charity vInspired is the force behind Task Squad, a mobile-compatible platform for young people with volunteering experience to secure short-term paid work with charities and startups looking for flexible resources.
The Synergising Project
This community project from Grow Enterprise Wales looks to create ‘social landlords’, who are encouraged to establish social projects within their communities and employ their tenants to assist in the maintenance and upkeep of their properties.
Urban Farm Lease
Founded by a coalition of specialists, this project is looking to standardise the legal process behind opening and maintaining farming businesses on unused urban spaces, offering security to the farmers running them.
Working with councils and construction companies, this social enterprise scheme looks to renovate and reimagine unused social housing as learning spaces and entrepreneurship labs to help tackle unemployment and homelessness.
Waste Fab Lab
Through creating a network of centres that look to source waste products for repair and restoration, this venture is looking to recruit solely from economically disadvantaged groups, including people with migrant statuses or those who suffer from a disability.
YouRock is an online employability platform aiming to target the 7.5 million NEETs (Not in Education, Employment or Training) in Europe, which highlights personality tests, infographics and primary skills in order to best present themselves to potential employers.
Three winners, each receiving €30,000, will be announced at the closing event of the Social Policy Innovation Conference on 20 May.