Interreg Social Impact Vouchers (SIV) at the 15th annual conference of the EVPA

03. März 2020

Within the scope of the Interreg Social Impact Vouchers – in short, SIV – project, eleven partners from eight Central European countries work on developing novel means of alleviating long-term unemployment in this region.

The main goal of the project is to introduce a voucher-based innovative instrument aimed to increase the capacities of social enterprises and public stakeholders to leverage private capital for solving social challenges like long-term unemployment. The NPO & SE Competence Centre led the pilot preparation phase of the project and contributed significantly to the development of the strategy for implementing the voucher system in each partner country as well as for establishing a social impact fund for financing the vouchers.

For the strategy development process, the team relied both on the expertise available within the project consortium and on external expertise. In November 2019, Flavia-Elvira Bogorin of the NPO & SE Competence Centre together with the partners from Caritas Vienna attended the 15th annual conference of the EVPA – European Venture Philanthropy Association in The Hague. The conference mainly dealt with topics related to impact investment and brought together experts from all around the world. Here, the SIV team hosted two roundtable sessions where it briefly presented the SIV project and then got the opportunity to discuss with interested experts active in the field of impact investment, the potential as well as the challenges of tackling long-term unemployment with social impact vouchers.

One of the main conclusions of the two sessions was that the appeal and viability of the voucher programme lies in its flexibility. The fact that on one hand, the programme can rely on different forms of financing and on the other hand that it can be tailored to fit different target groups, was particularly emphasized. Furthermore, based on their previous experience, the experts shared their views about which type of investors could be interested in supporting the programme and on how realistic the programme targets are as well as their learnings on how to ensure the success of the intervention.

The SIV team is looking back on three conference days packed with interesting discussions around the topic of impact investment and impact measurement. It was a very lively conference, where networking, communication and information sharing took centre-stage. In particular, the two productive and enlightening sessions that we hosted allowed us to take with us tips and ideas that have shaped the further development of the voucher and fund strategies.

Further information on the Interreg SIV project is available here on the project website: https://www.interreg-central.eu/SIV


Flavia-Elvira Bogorin, MSc, flavia-elvira.bogorin@wu.ac.at

Mag.aEva More-Hollerweger, eva.more-hollerweger@wu.ac.at

Daniel Heilig, BSc, daniel.heilig@wu.ac.at

Dr. Christian Schober, christian.schober@wu.ac.at

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