NESsT Romania Launches Social Enterprise Competition 2015


NESsT Romania Foundation today announced the launch of “Enhancing Social Entrepreneurship, Building Bridges,” a project co-financed by a grant from Switzerland through the Swiss Contribution to the enlarged European Union.

This project aims to consolidate social entrepreneurs’ capacity to plan, start and develop sustainable social enterprises, creating jobs and income opportunities for disadvantaged groups in Romania, while benefiting from the expertise and experience of one Swiss partner and two Romanian partners.

The project is implemented by NESsT Romania Foundation in partnership with the Social Entrepreneurship Initiative & Foundation (seif) in Zürich, Switzerland and the Alaturi de Voi Foundation (ADV) in Romania, two active and experienced players in the field of social economy. Their distinct approaches will allow for innovative ways to address social problems and create new opportunities for international collaboration.

The main goal of the project is to strengthen the role of social enterprises as agents of positive change and inclusive growth by establishing knowledge and best-practice sharing between Romania and Switzerland.

The project starts with the launch of the Social Enterprise Competition 2015 in February aiming to identify 10 social entrepreneurs with high potential. They will receive capacity-building support for business plan development.

Other activities in the project include: roundtables to identify potential social entrepreneurs; capacity building, mentoring and consulting for 10 social enterprises to consolidate and develop their business (through mentoring, site visits, exchange visits); two video case studies presenting social enterprise best practice in Romania; and Social Enterprise Day 2016, an event dedicated to fostering a nurturing social enterprise ecosystem by sharing best practice and key instruments with social entrepreneurs, investors and policy makers. The project will be implemented over three years.

The total amount of the funding requested from the Thematic Fund Partnership & Expert Fund is 249,143.98 CHF, while the co-funding of NESsT Romania Foundation is 50,804.00 CHF.

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About NESsT: NESsT is an international social enterprise incubator that supports entrepreneurial solutions to social problems in emerging market countries. Using a combination of capital investments, business development and strategic advising, NESsT equips entrepreneurs in emerging markets with the tools and skills they need to plan, launch and scale their socially beneficial business ideas. We support innovative market-driven methods of addressing major social issues, including poverty, unemployment, poor education and opportunities for young people, labor discrimination, and other challenges facing low income individuals in marginalized communities. For every US$1 invested in a NESsT social enterprise, US$2 in revenue is generated in return. For more information visit

About seif: The Social Entrepreneurship Initiative and Foundation (seif) from Zürich, Switzerland, supports individuals or teams whose innovative ideas seek to solve social business challenges. seif provides professional support services for social businesses through capacity building and networking at all stages of the business' development, from the idea creation up to the growth phase of a social businesses.

About ADV: ADV is an NGO founded in 2002 with the mission to achieve labour and social inclusion for HIV-positive persons and for other marginalized groups. ADV Romania is the first organization in Romania to have established three protected units under the logo Util Deco, creating jobs for persons from disadvantaged groups. ADV Romania is one of the promoters at national level of the concept of social economy, with three resource centers in the field in Iasi, Constanta and Targu Mures and an online resource center (Social Economy Product Made in Romania).