Winners of interest-fee loans for social entrepreneurs
The Our Future Foundation of regional social programmes has announced the winners of its ‘Social entrepreneur — 2019’ competition.
Ten projects from ten regions of Russia received interest-free loans totalling 31 million roubles. Over the 12 years of its work, including the total from this year’s contest, the Our Future Foundation has provided social business with targeted support totalling 627.2 million roubles, supporting 242 social enterprise projects from 56 regions of Russia.
“This time, the majority of projects are focused on helping children. Among the winners are an equestrian club where they provide hippotherapy [therapy drawing on horses’ movement to improve sensory processing], centres for child development, kindergartens and swimming pools. Those social entrepreneurs supported by the fund also dedicate their time towards children with health and developmental issues,” commented Natalia Zvereva, Director of Our Future.
So, a covered arena for “White Horse” equestrian centre will be opening in the Magnitogorsk region. This club has already been working with children with disabilities for the last 14 years. During this time, more than 500 disabled children have had the opportunity to undergo a course of hippotherapy. But the practice can only take place during the warm season. They are therefore planning to build a covered arena using the funds which will allow them to run hippotherapy courses all year round.
In Stavropol, thanks to the Foundation’s support, a network of aquatic centres called “Flipper” will be created for children aged between 1.5 months and 12 years, and pregnant women. Children with disabilities (including cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome, impaired psychomotive development, heart disease) will be able use the centres.
The full list of winners can be found on the Foundation’s website.
The Social Entrepreneur competition is a key mechanism for the Foundation to select projects to receive financial in the form of interest-free loans. Applications are accepted online all year round. The results of the contest are announced twice a year, in the summer and the winter.
In order to have a chance of winning in the second wave of the competition for this year, social entrepreneurs must submit an application no later than 7 August. Applications submitted after this date will be considered as part of the 2020 competition.