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These are the winners of the 2015 European Social Innovation Competition Published on: 26/11/2015, Last update: 17/02/2016

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Sit-in beekeeping foundation Apiform, peer-to-peer homestay model for older people The Freebird Club, and accessible car sharing platform Wheeliz have been named the winners of the 2015 European Social Innovation Competition.

Selected out of 1,400 applications from over 40 countries, the winners represent this year’s theme, ‘New Ways to Grow’. The judges have selected winners with the potential to increase growth and sustain not only financial value, but also social progress for citizens, government and enterprises alike.

The three winners highlight social and environmental issues that concern many Europeans. They address our ageing population, inclusion and accessibility in creative ways.

Winners 2015

  • Bosnian winner Apiform makes beekeeping accessible to people in wheelchairs, senior citizens, people with back pain or arthritis. By developing a beehive accessible from behind and from a lower level, Apiform allows more people to take part in the opportunities offered by beekeeping. They aim to replicate the model across countries to foster entrepreneurship and organic living, while helping to restore the bee population in Europe.
  • The Freebird Club is a peer-to-peer social travel and homestay platform specifically designed for the over 50s. Established in Ireland, the idea applies ‘collaborative economy’ principles to address practical issues such as loneliness and financial sustainability for older people.The Freebird Club offers a new world of social travelling for older adults, with a membership-based model.
  • Wheeliz addresses accessibility and inclusion within the transport industry through a car-sharing platform. Public transport in many cities is not accessible for wheelchair users, and the use of specialised taxi services is not affordable. Wheeliz aims to pool the estimated 100,000 adapted cars owned in France, to create a shared fleet of automobiles available for rent by wheelchair users, with hopes to expand across Europe.

The competition - New ways to grow

In memory of social innovator Diogo Vasconcelos, the European Social Innovation Competition seeks game changing ideas to advance Europe’s growth model. This year, soloutions around inclusion, education and young people, employment, health and ageing, climate change, food waste and the environment were top priority for many of the participating innovators.

Each winner received €50,000 to implement their idea.

Due to the security situation in Brussels, the awards ceremony on 25 november was cancelled. If you have any questions please email info@socialinnovationprize.eu

Follow the European Social Innovation Competition on Twitter: @EUSocialInnov #diogochallenge