The European Commission (EC) announced today the launch of a social innovation competition for job creation. Called the European Social Innovation Competition, the EC is asking Europeans to come up with ideas to tackle the region’s unemployment woes.
It’s currently estimated that 27 million people are unemployed across member states of the European Union, not including those who are under-employed, in unsustainable employment, and economically inactive – not in work nor seeking employment.
The competition was launched for the first time in October 2012 and was the idea of Diogo Vasconcelos, a visionary whose span of work entailed bringing people together to tackle societal challenges and create a better future. Vasconcelos was the chairman of Social Innovation Exchange before he passed away in 2011. He wanted to incentivize people to come up with radical solutions to problems and this competition was created in his memory.
Three winners, chosen from over 600 ideas, were named in March 2013 from last year’s competition with a similar theme of job creation. Community Catalysts from the UK came up with an idea to create employment through micro-enterprises that would offer social care and health services to people, including the elderly and people with disability. Economy App from Germany aims to facilitate a barter economy through a platform where people would offer their services and products. MITWIN.NET from Spain proposes an intergenerational professional network allowing older workers to share a job with younger people.
Similar to last year, each of the three winners will receive €20,000 as financial support. Applicants have until December 11, 2013 to submit their entries. The competition is open to anyone – individuals, for-profits, nonprofits – legally established or a resident in the European Union member states. Ten finalists will be invited to an award ceremony in May 2014 where the winners will be announced.
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