VP/SI in Central Eastern Europe - Case Studies

April 26, 2017



Discover our cases studies about Social Purpose Organisations' solutions to social problems in Central Eastern Europe and how venture philanthropy and social investment contribute to their success.

You can download these leaflets for free. Should you want to add them to your website, please link to this webpage.

CEE Case Studies 2018

Good Deed Foundation – Kiusamisvaba Kool

Cee Case Studies Kiusamisvaba Kool Photo By Iris Kivisalu

© Iris Kivisalu

In Estonia, Kiusamisvaba Kool (Bullying-free School) is implementing KiVa, a research- and evidence based anti-bullying programme created by the University of Turku in Finland.

Good Deed Foundation, along with the Estonian School Psychologist Association, other partner organisations and private individuals, set up Kiusamisvaba Kool and provided extensive non-financial support.

NESsT – Timural

Cee Case Studies Timural

Timural aims to create jobs for people with disabilities and people from disadvantaged backgrounds in rural areas. Since 2010, it has been employing people from these communities to produce educational toys and small wood furniture under the brand Woodjoy.

Thanks to NESsT, Timural also benefited from a grant, but also a mentoring programme a pro bono consultant who trained the management team in lean production management. NESsT has helped Timural refine its business plan and operations.

TISE – Cvernovka Foundation

Cee Case Studies Cvernovka Photo By Peter Gall

© Peter Gall

In Brastislava, Cvernovka Foundation has renovated an abandoned building to build a dynamic a creative centre for local artists to develop and revive the cultural life of the city district and local neighborhood.

TISE has provided a 7-year loan help Cvernovka finalise the initial investment into the building and renovate it, and advising Cvernovka's founders on the best option in terms of revenue strategy and financial management.

CEE Case Studies 2017

Smart Kolektiv - Optimist

Smart Kolektiv Optimist

Optimist aims at empowering socially vulnerable families in the south of Serbia by creating working opportunities for them in agriculture.

Smart Kolektiv has helped this organisation increase its social impact by providing financial support, developing fundraising mechanisms, creating partnerships with relevant companies, and is also contributing to its scaling up.

Valores Foundation - Integracja

Valores Foundation Integracja

In order to improve the digital inclusion for people with disabilities, Integracja developed its expert accessibility services (online and infrastructure audits, and staff training).

Valores Foundation has helped Integracja develop with its market strategy, sales management and its impact measurement and reporting.

Delta Foundation - Caritas Šabac

Delta Foundation Caritas Sabac

Caritas Šabac is encouraging socially vulnerable people to work in agriculture in order to become financially independent.

Delta Foundation is supporting them in increasing the employment rates of people with mental illnesses or disability and women who are victims of domestic violence.

Yunus Social Business - CityTex

Yunus Social Business City Tex

City Tex helps women with low skills and education, living in difficult social and economic conditions in Albania, by hiring them and giving them work experience in the textile industry.

Yunus Social Business is helping this social enterprise to grow by providing financial support, market access, strategy advice, marketing, etc.

NESsT - Kék Madár Foundation

NESsT Kek Madar Izlelo

Ízlelő, a family restaurant in Hungary that offers high quality daily menus and helps people with disabilities access the job market.

NESsT is contributing to its success and preparing its scaling up, thanks to its long-term financial and capacity-building support.

Mozaik Foundation - Igraj Uči Rasti

Mozaik Foundation Igraj Uči Rasti

Igraj Uči Rasti has invented a unique card game that helps children develop 5 cognitive abilities at once, and its strong social impact thanks to the units given for free to low-income families.

Mozaik Foundation has supported this social enterprise with strategic support from the very beginning and is now helping it access the markets outside Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Webinar on VP/SI in Central Eastern Europe

On 3 October 2017, we organised a webinar to present our work in Central Eastern Europe through the CEE Taskforce and presented an update on two of the case studies (NESsT - Kék Madár Foundation and Mozaik Foundation - Igraj Uči Rasti).

You can now watch the recording of this webinar:

Q&A with the EVPA CEE Manager Ewa Konczal

Ewa Konczal

1. Why do you think VP approaches are needed for the CEE region?

Venture Philanthropy (VP) and Social Investment (SI) are definitely one of the most effective ways to support social change and allow Social Purpose Organisations (SPOs) to be sustainable and to support them to increase their impact. Therefore, I truly believe SI is a way to move the social change in CEE region forward.

2. What are the existing issues regarding the CEE?

First and foremost, the lack of social business development services and investment readiness are one of the major challenges in the CEE region. Also, I would add the excess of activities supporting the start-up initiatives, while at the same time absence, or scarcity of players who provide follow up funding to those who already proved their business models on a small scale. In general, the CEE region is missing the right type of financial instruments needed for that stage of market development.

CEE region has been used to, and grew up on grants, so we need to adapt to economic thinking, in terms of costs and profits. We should operate differently and create an alternative way of support and funding.

3. In what way VP can help resolve them?

I think VP/SI can be applied in order to solve the current funding issues in the CEE. One of the aims is definitely the education of diverse stakeholders and showing them how VP can be one of the effective tools to resolve societal issues. Other goals are about attracting investors of Western Europe, and mobilising local investors and private foundations to increase available resources.

4. Why have you decided to work in this sector?

I strongly believe we have to promote CEE region more. 90% of our members come from the Western Europe, with the same countries and organisations. Therefore, CEE needs to show the potential it has, and it definitely has one. There has been a lot of progress in attracting new players in VP/SI from the CEE region, and bringing more voice of CEE in the European social investment field.

5. What do you think about the awareness level on VP and SI in CEE? Why so, and in which way it may be improved?

First of all, I would say that the preferable term to be used in the case of CEE is social investment (SI) rather than venture philanthropy (VP) because VP makes people think about philanthropy whereas SI is linked to something CEE really needs: (social) investment. Also, SI as a term is more appealing to the investors and funders.

In general, the reaction of the people to SI is just the same as it was to social entrepreneurship several years ago. It has been a new term, however we observe many actors who have been adopting the approach for years one way or another. For example there are VP/SI practices in CEE coming from Serbia, with Smart Kolektiv, Delta Foundation, or Mozaik in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

6. What are you expecting as an outcome of publishing case studies on CEE?

I am aware of the fact that CEE will take time and the CEE case studies are just one of the first attempts the region. The CEE case studies are aiming to raise awareness and knowledge about the social investment opportunities in the region, to attract early stage, patient capital to similar initiatives in the region.

7. What attracted your attention about the 6 organisations featured in the case studies? What do they have in common? What did you like about them?

The six cases we are presenting are just a sample of what has been already happening in the field of social investment in the region. I hope those examples will encourage others to speak out and showcase their work. We hope to collect many more of those cases and engage investors, private and institutional as co-investors and supporters.

This article was written by

Caroline Cornil Caroline Cornil

Ewa Konczal Ewa Konczal

Priscilla Boiardi Priscilla Boiardi

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