On 1 October 2012 the European Commission launched the European Social Innovation Competition in memory of Diogo Vasconcelos. The aim is to find the best social innovation solutions to help people move towards work or into new types of work.

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.

This competition invites any European to come up with new solutions to create new opportunities for work, and for better work. Not doing anything about unemployment and under-employment is not just cruel and wasteful; the corrosive effects of high unemployment will cast a shadow over the economy and our society for years to come.

The competition, with deadline 21 December 2012, includes a strong mentoring component for shortlisted entries. Eventually the three best proposals (indicative maximum) will each be awarded with a prize of 20.000 € in May 2013. A second prize competition will be launched in 2014.

The EU Commission is offering this prize to social innovations that have a real impact on helping more people move towards work or into new types of work. 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.


» Main features of the competition
» All information about the competition
» Flyer of the competition

» Recommended reading:

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