Brussels, 29 May 2013
Best social innovation ideas. New ways to create new jobs and businesses
Social innovation can stimulate new business models addressing unmet social needs. Today, José Manuel Durão Barroso, President of the European Commission, has awarded the first Social Innovation prizes for three ground-breaking ideas that seek new ways to create more and better jobs in Europe. The winning projects aim to reduce youth employment by sharing jobs among young and older employees, to extend the reach and quality of small-scale social care and health services via an app, and to improve access to the job market for economically deprived by making their skills widely visible.
To boost social innovation, the European Commission has launched the Social Innovation Competition in memory of Diogo Vasconcelos1 on the 1 October 2012. Europeans were invited to develop solutions for creating new opportunities for work, and for better work. As a result over 600 proposals were received out of which three were awarded with a prize of €20,000 at the European Social Innovation Awards Ceremony in Brussels today.
José Manuel Durão Barroso, President of the European Commission said: “The winning ideas show that social innovation has the potential to make a major difference in creating new opportunities for work. New markets can be developed from grass-root ideas. The current economic crisis makes this more important than ever. We must look to social innovation to stimulate a more dynamic, inclusive and sustainable social market economy. Unlocking potential and creating work is what we dearly need in today's difficult times.”
Vice President of the European Commission, Antonio Tajani, responsible for industry and entrepreneurship, added: “We need to think and act differently to combat unemployment– the biggest societal challenge of today. I wish that these types of innovative ideas could be expanded and replicated to have large-scale impact. This is a source of growth and jobs. We need to tap into.”
More information on the Competition page
Jobs for the economically deprived - three outstanding ideas
Social innovation can create new products, services and businesses to strengthen Europe’s relative position in growing fields such as healthcare and environmental services. Social innovators design public services that are better tailored to citizens' needs and greater value for money. The following new and outstanding ideas on how to unlock fresh talent and skills to address pressing unmet needs were the winners of this year’s social innovation competition:
The jury was composed of 10 experts in social innovation, independent from the European Commission and from various countries and backgrounds. Each of the proposals from the finalists clearly illustrated innovation, potential for systemic change, ability to be replicated or transferred to another EU Member State or more, and potential for sustainability.
The 2014 round of the Social Innovation Award will be launched in Milan in October 2013.
Sara Tironi (+32 2 299 04 03)
1 :Diogo Vasconcelos chaired a Business Panel on Future EU innovation policy in January 2009 to provide input to the next European Commission, in the context of post 2010 Lisbon strategy. He was the Chairman of the Social Innovation Exchange (SIX), a global community of over 5000 individuals and organizations committed to promoting social innovation.