Winners of contest for social entrepreneurs

Ten social entrepreneurs will receive 38 million roubles from the fund ‘Our Future’

Moscow 13 July 2015

The fund for regional social programmes “Our Future” has reviewed the next stage of the All-Russian contest for “social entrepreneurs”. The finalists of the competition were founders of ten projects aimed at children with particular health needs, the elderly, the development of social tourism, footwear production, the expansion of a network of hostels and the opening of a centre for children’s creativity.

The contest is open to social entrepreneurs from all regions of Russia and the application process is carried out online. The results of the selection are announced twice a year. In just 8 years the fund has supported 143 social business projects in 48 regions of the country, totaling 335,800,000 rubles.

The creators of 10 projects from 8 Russian regions have become finalists of the “Social Entrepreneur – 2015” competition. Among the winners were social entrepreneurs from the Moscow, Yaroslavl, Astrakhan, Ivanovo regions and representatives from social businesses in Kamchatka, Moscow and the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug — Ugra.

For the first time in 2015 a project from the Kursk region was supported. Social entrepreneur Olga Sukhorukova plans to open a swimming pool in one of the commuter regions of Kursk. The main feature of the sports facility, designed for children from birth to seven years old, will be the conducting of individual classes under the guidance of professional trainers. Thanks to the launch of the project, five additional jobs will be created. The loan fund from “Our Future” will be spent on the installation of the pool and its equipment (the pool will use modern technology, eliminating the chlorination of water).

For the second time, the project “Opeka” has received support from the “Our Future” fund to create a private boarding house for elderly people who need care. The loan will be used to purchase medical equipment and to furnish the house. Entrepreneur Aleksei Mavrin is the developer of a network of “Opeka” boarding homes in St Petersburg and the Leningrad region. Thanks to support from the fund, in 2016 the 8th “Opeka” geriatric centre will be built in Moscow. The new “Opeka” centre, along with its boarding house, will run a “dementia clinic” and thematic lectures, located in a historic building in the Bauman district of the capital.’

Aleksandr Meshchankin from the Kamchatka Krai will use the fund to develop social tourism. The Kamchatka Centre for youth tourism “Rosomakha” (“Wolverine”) provides guest accommodation at prices, which are affordable for young people and people with low incomes. In the short term, “Rosomakha” will be the first centre for social tourism in the region. Today, the centre is working on the adaptation of premises and territories to make them accessible for people with disabilities. The loan fund pays for the equipment in guesthouses for people with particular health needs and the creation of a barrier-free environment in the surrounding area.

The project for “assembly line production of shoes by way of direct moulding, made by hand by disabled people for healthy people” solves the problem of employing people with disabilities as the company creates jobs for disabled people in groups II and III. The creator of the project is Stanislav Sorokin (Leningrad region). Employees of this social enterprise are engaged in the manufacture of footwear (shoes with textile uppers) and bags. Part of the production makes use of recycled materials. The company’s products are sold at charity fairs and auctions as well as through direct sales. The company currently employs 16 people with special health needs. The loan fund “Our Future” will be used to pay for the current operating costs of the company.

Social entrepreneur Yana Okuneva from Yaroslavl will develop a network of hostels called GOOD LUCK. The first GOOD LUCK hostel opened in Yaroslavl in 2011 and then a mini hotel opened. GOOD LUCK works in the niche market of “affordable prices – high quality service”. The hostel offers additional services such as taking tour bookings, renting bicycles and they pay more attention to working with students. As part of the project of creating a network of GOOD LUCK hostels, the area for individual accommodation in the Yaroslavl hostel will be expanded and hostels will be opened in Moscow and St Petersburg.

The full list of winners can be found here:

Author: Yulia Viatkina

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