Three projects meet the European Job Challenge and receive the Social
Social innovation can be a tool to create new or better jobs, while giving an
answer to pressing challenges faced by Europe.
Today, Michel Barnier, European Commissioner, has awarded three European
Social Innovation prizes to ground-breaking ideas to create new types of work
and address social needs.
The winning projects aim to help disadvantaged women by employing them to
create affordable and limited fashion collections, create jobs in the sector of
urban farming, and convert abandoned social housing into learning spaces and
After the success of the first edition in 2013, the European Commission
launched a second round of the Social Innovation Competition in memory of Diogo
Its main goal was to invite Europeans to propose new solutions to answer The
The Commission received 1,254 ideas out of which three were awarded with a
prize of €30,000 each.
Commissioner Michel Barnier said:
"We believe that the winning projects can take advantage of unmet social
needs and create sustainable jobs.
I want these projects to be scaled up and replicated and inspire more social
innovations in Europe.
We need to tap into this potential to bring innovative solutions to the needs
of our citizens and create new types of work."
More information on the Competition page
More jobs for Europe – three outstanding ideas
The following new and exceptional ideas are the winners of the second edition
of the European Social Innovation Competition:
'From waste to wow! QUID project' (Italy):
fashion business demands perfection, and slightly damaged textile cannot be
used for top brands.
The project intends to recycle this first quality waste into limited
collections and thereby provide jobs to disadvantaged women.
This is about creating highly marketable products and social value through
'Urban Farm Lease' (Belgium):
urban agriculture could provide 6,000 direct jobs in Brussels, and an
additional 1,500 jobs considering indirect employment (distribution, waste
management, training or events).
The project aims at providing training, connection and consultancy so that
unemployed people take advantage of the large surfaces available for agriculture
in the city (e.g. 908 hectares of land or 394 hectares of suitable flat roofs).
all major cities in Europe have "voids", units of social housing which are
empty because city councils have insufficient budgets to make them into viable
At the same time these cities also experience pressure with social housing
provision and homelessness.
Voidstarter will provide unemployed people with learning opportunities
alongside skilled tradespersons in the refurbishing of the voids.
The jury was composed of 12 experts in social innovation, independent from
the European Commission and from various countries and backgrounds.
Each of the proposals from the finalists clearly illustrates innovation,
potential for impact and ability to be scaled-up and sustained.