This Works!
Promoting Europe

This Works!

Ideas and Solutions for Employment and Recovery in Southern Europe

High levels of youth unemployment in Southern Europe present major challenges for the societies concerned. Due to the fact that there are countries where every second person under the age of 25 is unemployed, young people are very unstable in terms of being able to shape their futures. Opportunities for development in their immediate environment are also hampered by the fact that social and cultural activities are particularly affected by cuts in public expenditure.

Hence, there is demand for innovative concepts that allow young people to access the labor market. A promising approach that creates fresh prospects for young people who want to actively change their societies is social entrepreneurship, which combines a solution for social problems with entrepreneurial activity. This is why Ashoka Deutschland GmbH and the Robert Bosch Stiftung support the transfer of successful social entrepreneurial ideas from abroad to Italy, Spain, and Greece in a project entitled "This Works! Ideas and Solutions for Employment and Recovery in Southern Europe". At the same time, the development of necessary structures at the local level as well as the training of potential social entrepreneurs is supported.

Transfer of social entrepreneurial ideas

About thirty successful social entrepreneurs were selected from the Ashoka network – individuals whose ideas can contribute to the fight against youth unemployment and to the establishment of resilient service structures. The chosen Ashoka Fellows develop business plans for the transfer and present these to representatives from politics, business, government, and civil society at events held in Italy, Spain, and Greece to gain local support for the start-ups. At the same time, employees of Ashoka and Ashoka Fellows offer advice at the local level to interested young people who want to become social entrepreneurs themselves.

The project is conducted by Ashoka Deutschland GmbH together with Ashoka Europe and country offices in Spain, Italy and Greece. Other foundations from the three target countries support the project as well. Companies and consultancies are involved by offering pro bono services.

About Ashoka

Ashoka is the world’s leading organization for the development of social entrepreneurs – people who found companies and work at their own risk and with innovative concepts and creativity to solve problems in society. Ashoka identifies these concepts while they are still in the early stages of development and makes it possible for the people behind them to concentrate fully on seeing their idea grow. As a social investor with philanthropic venture capital, Ashoka has looked for and fostered the work of almost 3,000 leading social entrepreneurs – Ashoka Fellows – in 70 countries since 1980.

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