The 2015/2016 edition of the project done in cooperation with Via Foundation envisaged a public tender addressed to social businesses in the start-up phase. It aimed to identify organisations with innovative, replicable business models, involved in social and environmental matters. The capacity to create employment in the favour of disadvantaged groups and to attzract the interest of investors to the local markets, were distinctive aspects of the preliminary assessment process.
The program then ensured financial and operational support for 8 social enterprises. A total of around €64,000 was granted to them. Additionally, two more grants were made available: the “Best Progress Award”, given to the project which demonstrated the best results since the start of the incubation phase, and the “Your Choice, Your Project” grant, for an overall total of €10,000. During the training process, 6 workshops were organised and the companies received 33 hours of training. A team of 8 consultants and 20 other experts offered around 340 hours of dedicated support to the project teams. Portus Praha received the Best Business Plan grant, awarded by the tender jury, and Metráž received the Your Choice, Your Project grant, after receiving the most votes from the UniCredit employees in the Czech Republic who participated in the program.
Here are the projects that were supported in the second edition of the program:
- Metráž: this social enterprise used the grant to grow its sales network for items created by women without a fixed residence in Prague.
- Vrátka: the grant obtained thanks to Better Business was used to renovate a bakery that employees disabled individuals in the city of Třebíč.
- Green Island: this social enterprise based in Dobřichovice, near Prague, employs deaf and hearing impaired in a laundry.
- Fair & Bio: in central Bohemia, this cooperative employs individuals with disabilities in coffee roasting and sales, mainly through online channels.
- Hartenberg castle: in the Sokolov district, the social enterprise made use of the grant to offer work to individuals undergoing difficulties (longterm unemployed, former prisoners, substanceabusing people) in renovation and maintenance of the local castel which is a tourist attraction.
- První Férová: at the the restaurant/cafe Férovka, opened in a village in central Bohemia, this social enterprise offers employment to single mothers and unemployed people.
- Pivovar Chříč: in the Plzeň district this small artisanal brewery employs disabled individuals, while also serving as a meeting place and holding cultural events.
- Portus Praha: thanks to the contribution of UniCredit Foundation, this social enterprise in Davle, in central Bohemia began making preserves following local traditional recipes.
Tereza Madlova,Project Manager, Via Foundation
“All the projects saw significant progress, with a 22% average increase in revenue and a 10% increase in customers. Five-year forecasts show a clear trajectory towards sustainability and growth over time.”