Winners of the social entrepreneurs’ grants competition “Working without borders” announced
According to the “Our Future” charity, 108 entries were submitted to this competition which resulted in 3.4 million roubles being distributed among nine start-ups from six Russian Federation regions. “The main project assessment criterion was innovation in resolving social problems and future project self-sufficiency. All the chosen start-ups have these qualities and I wish them every success on the road to social entrepreneurship”, said the charity’s Director, Natalia Zvereva.
The winners have plans for a number of inclusive projects, including a ceramics workshop for disabled people in St Petersburg and the production of candles from natural wax in Moscow which will involve disabled people. A co-working studio will be created in Novosibirsk which will employ disabled people with textile manufacturing skills, and disabled people in Khabarovsk district will teach business planning and social design classes. The average grant amount is 400,000 roubles.
“We’re pleased that our programme under the “Working without borders” initiative has also become a platform for business start-ups, as well as helping disabled people from all over Russia to find jobs and fulfil their potential”, said Ekaterina Ivanova, Sustainable Development and Corporate Communications Manager at the “Baltic” brewing company, part of the Carlsberg group.
“Working without borders” was launched in 10 Russian regions in September 2017 and provides financial and training support for social entrepreneurs whose work helps with the employment and social adaptation of disabled people. The competition was held in two stages, i.e. for existing entrepreneurs and those who are just starting out. An online school was also organised for social entrepreneurs, the winners having four projects that came through the school.