Applications invited for Al-Russian Competition for Social Entrepreneurs
The charity “Embracing Change” recently announced the launch of the All-Russian social entrepreneurs’ competition at the Blagosfera centre, inviting social project applications from across Russia to be submitted by 15 June.
The competition is for social entrepreneurs whose projects enhance children’s personal development and education, as well as protecting their lives and health. Above all, projects should be innovative and contribute to the resolution of major issues. An expert panel will assess the seriousness of a problem, how it will be addressed, whether the proposed solution can be applied across the board and if it is financially viable.
The applicant’s personal motivation, including their desire to learn and affect change, is particularly important for the competition’s organisers. “To us, a social entrepreneur is principally a philosophical rather than a legal phenomenon. This is a person who’s able to get to the very heart of a problem, has an innovative way of resolving it and wants to use business methods to ensure its self-sufficiency and sustainability. Ideally, they should have a burning desire to change the system”, say the competition’s organisers.
Applications will be examined initially by ”Embracing Change” staff and partner companies to ensure they meet the competition’s principal criteria prior to being passed to social entrepreneur, business and other sector experts. In mid-August, a list of 50 semi-finalists will be announced who will attend training workshops in a number of Russian cities, as well as receiving a discount if they join the Association of Fundraisers, says “Embracing Change”.
The competition final will be held on 30 November when eight finalists will present their projects to a jury panel comprising top managers, charity representatives and children. Four winners will eventually be chosen from the process, each receiving 1,200,000 roubles for their project, with the remaining finalists given the opportunity of promoting their projects on the Planeta.ru crowdfunding platform.
All the finalists will be involved in the “Incubator” professional development programme where they will work with supervisors, correct mistakes, and together look for appropriate solutions to particular problems.
The programme has already received the support of 35 social entrepreneurs and more than 120 people have attended competition workshops. Last year, “Embracing Change” awarded grants to authors of projects such as “Special bicycles for special children”; the iDiabet-Mobile app; the inclusive theatre project “Working together” and a gadget that helps blind and partially sighted children navigate the space around them.
Applications can be submitted by NGOs headed by a social entrepreneur as well as by private citizens and should be completed on the charity’s website by 15 June.
The competition is also being supported by the Tele2 company and the Metro newspaper.