Interreg Social Impact Vouchers (SIV)
Persistent long-term unemployment is an omnipresent challenge in many Central European countries. At the same time, public capacities to tackle this issue are limited. However, there is an untapped potential for solving challenges of long-term unemployment by activating private capital. This is the main goal of the EU funded Interreg project Social Impact Vouchers – in short, SIV, that started in March 2019 and will run until February 2022.
Within the scope of the SIV project, a consortium of eleven partners from eight Central European countries will introduce a novel and innovative instrument aimed to increase the capacities for an incentive system for enterprises and public stakeholders to hire long-term unemployed people based on a voucher system.
Since the start of the project, the partners have been gathering knowledge about possible target groups and possibilities for social impact investment in their respective countries. Once becoming acquainted with the systems in each country, they started developing a strategy and action plan for the implementation of the voucher system and its financing by means of social impact funds. The partners are collaborating to reach stakeholders and thus to make use of private and public capital for establishing social impact funds in the partner countries. During the next two years, they aim to raise over 2 million EUR for an informal transnational social impact fund and several national funds. Furthermore, they are working on developing a voucher system that will enable the beneficiaries and employers to access the funds. The match-making process between prospective employers and job seekers will occur via an online platform.
Therefore, the impact of the project will be twofold: First, it will contribute to reducing long-term unemployment and, at the same time, it will increase the availability of labour for enterprises. The concept was already successfully implemented in Baden-Württemberg in a pilot project. This provides the starting point for the SIV project.
We, the Competence Center for Nonprofit Organisations and Social Entrepreneurship of the Vienna University of Economics and Business take on an advisory role in accompanying the strategy development process. In a future step, the WU team will be in charge of evaluating the program upon and its implementation in the partner countries.
More information about the project is available on the SIV website: https://www.interreg-central.eu/Content.Node/SIV-.html
Project partners: Austria (Caritas of the Archdiocese Vienna; Vienna University of Economics and Business); Croatia (CEF cooperative for ethical financing); the Czech Republic (Centre for Community Organizing Northern Moravia); Germany (Social Entreprise Stuttgart (Lead Partner); Social Welfare Service of the Protestant Churches in Württemberg); Hungary (IFKA Public Benefit Non-Profit Ltd. for the Development of Industry); Poland (Cooperation Fund Foundation: Rzeszow Regional Development Centre); Slovakia (Centire); Slovenia (Foundation for Social and Impact Investment).
Project Manager Lead Partner: Marcus Nensel (email@example.com)