NEW INTERREG-PROJECT „SOCIAL IMPACT VOUCHER“
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. For this reason, the Interreg SIV project (Social Impact Vouchers, duration: March 2019 to February 2022) aims to introduce a novel instrument to increase the capacities for an incentive system for enterprises to hire long-term unemployed people based on a voucher system. A consortium of 11 partners from 8 Central European countries are collaborating to reach stakeholders and thus to make use of private and public capital for establishing social impact funds in the partner countries. Furthermore, the partners 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.
The Competence Center for Nonprofit Organizations and Social Entrepreneurship of the Vienna University of Economics and Business (i.e. Eva More-Hollerweger, Flavia-Elvira Bogorin, Daniel Heilig and Christian Schober) take(s) 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 its implementation in the partner countries.
The project started in March 2019 with a kick-off meeting in Stuttgart. Since then, the project 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, we started developing a strategy and action plan for the implementation of the voucher system and it’s financing by means of social impact funds. At the end of September 2019, the WU team welcomed all the partners to the WU in Vienna for the second partner meeting. Over the course of two intense and productive days, the partners discussed further steps and approaches for setting up the fund and implementing the vouchers.
More information about the project is available here on the project website: https://www.interreg-central.eu/SIV