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Commissioner Andor visits 'Specialisterne' – an innovative company promoting employment and fighting exclusion in Denmark

25/06/2012

In a visit to the IT company 'Specialisterne' (The Specialists) in Ballerup, Denmark, employing people with autism spectrum disorder, Commissioner Andor described the company as "an example of what social businesses can achieve towards getting vulnerable people out of unemployment and out of social exclusion".

The EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion praised the social innovation company and its pioneering work and called for more similar initiatives in Europe "as part of our goal to build a sustainable and inclusive economy".

"In 2011 the Commission launched the Social Business Initiative Choose translations of the previous link  with an action plan aimed at fostering the development of such businesses, focusing on better access to funding, increased visibility and recognition and an increased visibility and recognition", the Commissioner added.

Background

Specialisterne is a Denmark-based company that offers IT-related services to large businesses. Nearly 75% of its staff has autism spectrum disorder. The company was founded by Thorkil Sonne whose son is affected by autism spectrum disorder. The company recently expanded to countries other than Denmark.

Specialisterne managed the EU project 'Accelerating the employment of people with autism spectrum disorder in real business' supported by PROGRESS   , the EU's employment and social solidarity programme.