Romania - Social Enterprises for Community Development
UniCredit Foundation’s commitment in Romania in support of social entrepreneurship, once again in collaboration with NESsT, continues. The activities started in 2012 finds continuity in a new project that sees the support of three social enterprises, selected through a national call, accessed by invitation and aimed at NGOs that manage social enterprises.
During its different phases, the project counted on the participation of the colleagues from US (Unicredit Services) in Romania. As well as a grant for the launch and development of social enterprise activities, thanks to the ‘Your Choice, Your Project’ programme, an extra grant was awarded to the project that received the most votes from the nation’s US employees. A summary of the profiles of the most voted associations and projects:
- Asociatia Centrul pentru Arii Protejate si Dezvoltare Durabila Bihor (CAPDD)- Întreprinderea socialã PEstera Meziad. The project aims to generate employment through the creation of a social enterprise that promotes a local area with a great potential for tourism, the caves of the Apuseni Mountains. The project would also sell artisan products.
- Asociatia Mai Bine - Întreprinderea socialã CUIB (Centrul Urban de Initiative Bune). This social enterprise, which won the most votes in the ‘Your Choice, Your Project’ programme, aims to become the first open space for responsible consumer choices and community building in the country. The project ensures support to at least 20 beneficiaries (15 children and 5 adults with disabilities) who will learn how to build objects that will then be sold through social enterprise channels.
- Asociatia Gaspar, Baltasar si Melchior - Întreprinderea socialã Scoala Agatonia, proiect Caravana Mèstèsugurilor. The project aims to set up artisan workshops (ceramics, textiles, sculpture, wrought iron) that preserve and enhance local traditions and the products will be sold to support the Agatonia School, a free and private school in a small village 36 kilometres from Bucharest called Piscu, where the public school was closed down.
Social Enterprise. Increasing opportunities for marginalized communities
The second initiative promoted by UniCredit Foundation has been named “Social Enterprise: increasing opportunities for marginalized communities” and fits into the strategy implemented by NESsT in a country that aims to increase social impact and the number of beneficiaries reached, especially within the poorest communities. The fourth edition of the Social Enterprise Competition was launched in this context and was aimed at social enterprises active in the following areas of intervention: labour inclusion for vulnerable and minority groups; sustainable income for artisans, farmers and micro-entrepreneurs and the availability and use of financially accessible technologies for disadvantaged communities.
Of the 83 applications received, 12 social enterprises were pre-selected to take part in a capacity building programme aimed at the development of a business plan. Moreover, the partnership ensured the strengthening of NESsT activities as an incubator for enterprises. The 2013-2014 programme is especially aimed at 15 social enterprises that will be able to take part in thematic workshops, business mentoring and will receive financial support.