Building a European Network of Incubators for Social Innovation

Impact Hub Zagreb became part of the Social Innovation Ambassador Network (SIAN) within BENISI project,  the cluster of HUBs to support social innovators to meet Europe’s challenges.

BENISI Project was created to build a Europe-wide network of incubators capable of identifying the most impactful social innovations – new solutions to Europe’s most pressing social and environmental needs – and to deliver those support services that are necessary to help them scale successfully across the continent.

BENISI is a three year EU-supported project the HUB Network is launching on 1 May 2013 with project lead i-propeller, in collaboration with DIESIS, the European Regional Authorities Development Agency (EURADA) and philanthropic foundations such as Cariplo Foundation and the European Network of Foundations of Social Economy (PEFONDES).

BENISI“Networks are already structured in a collaborative mode; they are more able to spread knowledge and practice horizontally and they are the perfect ally when trying to develop a Europe-wide programme that needs to balance local action with continent-wide strategy and vision,” says project lead Max Bulakovskiy of i-propeller based in Brussels.

The aim of this trans-European consortium is to identify and highlight three-hundred of the most promising, impactful and employment-generating local social innovations – in the public, private, third, social enterprise and cooperative sectors – that are yet to be scaled either significantly within their originating country or internationally. The consortium will create the conditions for these solutions to be strengthened locally and transferred to other European localities.

“Europe is not facing a crisis of opportunity. On the ground in our HUBs, we witness every day citizens responding to the times through prototyping entrepreneurial initiatives that make their communities a better place.” says Alberto Masetti-Zannini, founder of HUB Milan and BENISI project coordinator on behalf of the network of HUBs.

The project will involve six HUBs: Amsterdam, Bucharest, London-Kings Cross, Milan, Stockholm, and Vienna as pivot points within five different geographic clusters of EU and neighbouring countries. These HUBs will collaborate within the HUB network and with partners to encourage social entrepreneurs to scale-up their ventures for positive impact in Europe.

The Social Innovation Ambassador Network (SIAN) is a network of selected organizations dealing with social innovation issues. It aims to identify, promote and scale up social innovation initiatives, by joining skills, resources and capabilities of its members and of the whole BENISI consortium. Coordinated by the BENISI partners, this network unites organisations specifically interested in social innovation from a variety of sectors and with a wide geographical spread. Learn more at the BENISI project website

 

Antonis Lianos