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5 INNOVATIVE START-UPS VS THE BURNING SOCIAL PROBLEMS OF TODAY

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by Martyna Rubinowska

There is nothing more powerful than a good idea in the hands of an entrepreneurial person. It’s the social innovators who transform the reality, redefine the social relations and make a real change the quality of life of people. Good ideas can also earn money – then they become independent and sustainable. Five winners of the Social StartUp competition for the innovative social enterprise prove that regular citizens can build an amazing social capital for their countries.

Old social problems can be solved in a new, unexpected and effective way. What counts is an idea, sometimes supported by technologies but also by a new configuration of old methods. The best ideas for implementation of the noble idea of social entrepreneurship were again chosen by the Ashoka Foundation and the UniCredit Foundation in cooperation with the Bank Pekao S.A. in frames of the Social StartUp competition for the innovative social enterprise.

The Jury of this year’s edition had a very difficult task ahead. From among almost 40 applications four chosen are already operating innovative solutions that need acceleration and one is a bright new concept that needs incubation.

This is truly good news that among the applications we have found so many creative solutions. I’m glad that the social innovations answer the needs of our society in a more and more effective way .Now, the most important  thing will be skillfully implementation of their ideas in Polish realities, in order to bring the best effect and inspire others to act – says Henryka Bochniarz, member of the Jury and the president of the Confederation Lewiatan.

The best ideas selected are:

fundacjalaka kuchniakonfliktu teatr21 hospicare mamopracuj

Area of interest of this year’s winners of the competition: environmental protection, migration, integration of disabled people, the labor market or health protection, perfectly reflect the contemporary social challenges. With its innovative approach to solving these problems and consulting, which the winners will receive in the coming months, soon we should be able to see the concrete results of their activities.

– says Grzegorz Piwowar, vice president of the Board of the Bank Pekao S.A., a member of the competition Jury.

In its interventions UniCredit Foundation cooperates with experienced organizations specializing in social entrepreneurship in order to identify and support local initiatives that can reach high level of social impact thanks to the creation of job opportunities and the organization of innovative welfare services – said Maurizio Carrara, Chairman of UniCredit Foundation, “

For the next 8 months the participants together with experts will work on their business models. They will also receive financial support to cover the costs that can’t be covered from the income they generate at the moment nor from other sources, that will appear to them and the expert as key leverage investments. Next working with TEDx professionals the winners will prepare their investor pitches for potential investors.

The idea of the competition is not only to help individual social innovators though – the organizers want to raise awareness of this kind of entrepreneurship  in Poland. The winners of this year’s competition joined the 10 winners from last year’s edition. All of them will have an opportunity in frames of the Social StartUp program, with support of the experts, to master their business skills and make their visions come true. The competition is a part of a program implemented by the Ashoka Foundation together with  UniCredit Foundation and in cooperation with the Bank Pekao S.A.

 

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