The European Social Innovation Competition was launched on 1 October 2012 in memory of Diogo Vasconcelos. Ideas and proposals from all sources, sectors and all types of organisations including for-profit, non-for-profit, or private companies are welcome.
Over 25 million Europeans are out of work. On top of that, many people are stuck in low-paid jobs or sense that they have few opportunities on the job market – sometimes because of their gender, age or a handicap. Few issues have as acute a need for social innovation as tackling unemployment.
The target groups for ideas could include for example unemployed or disadvantaged people, young people out of school/studies looking for a job or willing to set up their own businesses, elderly people interested to or having to keep an activity, or various joining forces in a community. No prior assumption is made on the target groups which may be chosen or on the opportunities which may be explored; only the potential result matters, i.e. helping people to move towards work or into new types of work through social innovation.
These could include radical ideas that find new opportunities in current social challenges that:
- Unlock or tap people’s talent. For example, adapting new technology platforms to stimulate demand for local services; connecting individuals to work; or offering job placements or training. Examples might be individuals with specific needs, such as senior citizens who require care in their homes; or innovative work patterns.
- Create or shape new markets. For example, ideas that support the creation or expansion of new markets, often by influencing behaviour. These could include new solutions in growth sectors such as green economy, medical technologies, complementary currencies and vouchers to mobilise capital.
- Enable people to start and grow successful new businesses. For example, encouraging sole traders or one-man businesses to take on a young person, supporting franchising, minimizing the risk and providing support for people as they make transition from being out of work into starting a new business.