Transforming a challenge… into an opportunity
Fuel poverty has become a major problem in Europe. There are between 50 and 125 million people who struggle every day to ensure adequate heating, light, and cooking power in their dwelling at an affordable price (European Parliamentary Research Service). This has a severe impact on their health and wellbeing. Creative and systems-changing solutions are needed to transform this issue into an opportunity for these people to thrive.
After a successful partnership in 2015-2016, the Schneider Electric Foundation, under the aegis of the Fondation de France, and Ashoka, have renewed their commitment to helping improve the living conditions of millions of people facing fuel poverty in Europe. It is by offering support for the most innovative social entrepreneurs in Europe that we can help entire communities tackle fuel poverty and move towards energy sustainability.
Our new Call for Projects aims to identify, engage, and support to scale-up 15-20 innovative organizations that offer creative and systems-changing solutions to tackle fuel poverty and promote energy sustainability in five European countries: Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. The 2017-2018 Call for Projects will open on Monday, 12th June 2017 at 9am GMT and will close on Sunday, 8th October 2017 at midnight GMT.
In particular, we are looking for organizations and projects working in one or more of the categories below.
Is this you?
Call for Projects
12th June 2017 until 8th October 2017 at midnight GMT.
National and European Selection
Announcement of winners
13th-17th November 2017 during COP23 in Bonn, Germany (exact date TBC).
Two-day European Summit
24th-25th May 2018 in Rome, Italy
This program is fully funded. If selected, you will benefit from the following:
2000 euro in seed-funding for the best five projects;
Twelve weeks of mentoring support to help you craft an effective strategy to scale up and accelerate the social impact of your organization;
Inspiring meetings and networking events within the European network of fellow social innovators, experts, and organizations working in this field;
Increased visibility during COP23 in November 2017, where all winners will be announced, and during a final two-day European Summit in April 2018;
In addition to receiving support through the Ashoka GlobalizerX, winners of the Social Innovation to Tackle Fuel Poverty program may receive further support from the Schneider Electric Foundation and the Schneider Electric Impact Investment Fund. The five projects with the highest potential for social impact and that are most aligned with the Foundation and the Impact Investment Fund’s criteria may benefit from additional financial incentives and investments, technical competences, and other forms of in-kind support for up to 10000 euro. For instance, during the first edition of the initiative, six projects received further support from the Foundation to experiment and sustain their activities. Three of them are currently partnering with the Impact Investment Fund to strengthen their business model in preparation for future investments.
The program took my project to a whole new level; it prepared it for scalability, not just at the regional level, but at the European level.
Applications are first evaluated on the basis of a set of knock-out criteria:
You must be either the founder, co-founder, or leader of an established organization with a strong social purpose; or the project manager for or leader of the project on fuel poverty if the organization has a broader scope. Fully for-profit companies, governmental agencies, and corporate foundations are not eligible to apply.
You must be able to demonstrate that the organization has been running for at least one year.
You and the organization must be residing in one of the following countries: Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, or Spain.
You must be proficient in English as the European gatherings will be in English. The mentoring may be in English and/or in the language of the country you apply from.
You must be able to travel to Bonn (Germany) between 13-17 November 2017 and to Rome (Italy) in April 2018.
All applicants meeting the above criteria are then evaluated on the basis of the following additional criteria:
Social mission and innovative aspect of the project;
Current and potential social impact;
Viability of the social business;
Potential and creativity of the development strategy; and
Entrepreneurial qualities, ethical fibre, and availability.