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Social CHallenges and Innovation Platform

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - SCHIP (Social CHallenges and Innovation Platform)

Reporting period: 2018-06-15 to 2019-06-14

"Co-financed by the European Union (EU) under Grant Agreement No. 734906, Social Challenges and Innovation Platform (SCHIP) is a far-reaching European action aiming to create an online ecosystem encouraging the interaction between social innovators and SMEs for the co-development and take-up of sustainable and marketable innovations with clear social impact.

The SCHIP vision is to connect SMEs, that represents the 99% of all businesses across the EU, with the wide Social Innovation community, by providing a challenge award mechanism to:
• Give voice to communities bearing interests about hard-to-solve, high impact social problems: the so-called “challenge owners”.
• Incentivize more SMEs to pioneer innovation within the social sector through ground-breaking entrepreneurial ideas responding to concrete social needs that are formulated as clear challenges.
• Encourage contamination between social entrepreneurs/social innovators and SMEs by asking them to team up before proposing solutions to social challenges.
• Help the combination of solution providers and challenge owners to scale up by accessing key actors such as impact investors, multinationals, other stakeholders.

At kick-off in January 2017 the SCHIP consortium stated their commitment to make the European ‘go to’ platform for social innovation demand and supply to meet. This goal is to be achieved by engaging with existing European social innovation communities, support projects and initiatives and consolidating ‘loose linkages’ into a concrete and value added reality for Europe’s Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship sector.
Over the course 30 months, SCHIP aims to:
• Launch 3 #SoChange call for grants
• Support at least 27 Social Challenges across the EU
• Select and grant 81 innovative solutions that could solve those challenges
• Provide support to social entrepreneurs across Europe through a wide network of local nodes experienced in business acceleration and social entrepreneurship
• Organize 2 SI camps to gather the community and provide matchmaking opportunities for social entrepreneurs and impact investors.
"In order to achieve its goal of delivering value-added support for growth to Europe’s best social entrepreneurs, one of the first tasks undertaken in SCHIP was a pan-European mapping of local nodes within both the EBN and Impact Hub networks that could offer support services to entrepreneurs and at the same time engage with local stakeholders (being them both public and private authorities) to become “challenge owners” and launch on a number of high quality social challenges to solve .

At the end of the 30 months the SCHIP consortium:
• recruited 21 local nodes,
• launched 3 #SoChange calls for solutions,
• with 83 challenges open on the web platform,
• involving 48 EU cities from 16 EU countries,
• 498 solutions from 36 countries have been received through the first 2 calls,
• 81 grants have been assigned to selected beneficiaries after the selection process.

At the end of the 30 months the on-line platform:
• Reached 2000 inscribed users
• Created a community of 1600 active users online
• Gathered 900 social entrepreneurs on the platform
• Registered 370.000 unique views

During its 30 months SCHIP has run two international Social Innovation camp to gather beneficiaries under the three #SoChange calls, before the starting of the implementation period of their proposed solutions. Feedback at the end of month 30 indicates that the face-to-face networking, pitching and training opportunities provided at the camps are highly valued by participating entrepreneurs.

At the end of month 30, SCHIP consortium also successfully engaged with a private donor (EPIM, the European Programme for Migration and Integration) to cover all the expenses related to the launch of a 4th extra call for solutions, leveraging the opportunities offered through to its social entrepreneurs’ community.

The objective of this support is to fast-track social entrepreneurs’ access to new markets and accelerate their international growth. In order to measure to what extent this achieved partners each local node follows up regularly with their local entrepreneurs and challenge owners to capture data on the implementation of proposed solutions.
The results achieved during the 30 months of SCHIP demonstrate the potential for significant impact in achieving the project's overall objective to be the European ‘go to’ platform for social innovation demand and supply to meet, to support European stakeholders defining and prioritizing social and societal challenges, to encourage a broad participation of social innovators, social entrepreneurs and SMEs to identify, co-develop and test concrete solutions to these needs, and to finally make available a complementary funding mechanism focused on the translation of challenges into marketable solutions.

Final results after the implementation period of beneficiaries indicate that the nature of the support is yielding significant results for social entrepreneurs selected as beneficiaries within SCHIP activities companies.

We highlight a selection of these here:

Company A is an innovative solution provider developing an affordable and portable solar panel for any kind of apartment. With the support of SCHIP they will be able to pilot and deploy a first batch of solar panels into a city centre. Through their brand-new technology, this pilot could reach an astonishing impact, to make energy production into urban centres smarter, more flexible and affordable.

Company B has developed an innovative tool to help wannabe entrepreneurs turn ideas into companies, by being constantly mentored by professional business support organizations via remote. Support from SCHIP enabled them to finetune their software and organize a big live demo-event together with an established incubator to field test their tool with a large pool of wannabe entrepreneurs.

Company C is an integrated solution provider to simplify remote monitoring and interaction with elderly people in remote areas. Through SCHIP they have been selected to implement their solution in north-western Europe, with the aim to connect 200 houses with care-givers and allow real-time interaction. This pilot could clearly turn into a fast-track introduction to potential clients and distributors.

Company D is a social enterprise devoted to the production of “zero kilometre” vegetables and food into city outskirts, and to the on-line order and delivery of its products into city centre. Through SCHIP they had the opportunity to involve migrants into their production chain, teaching them how to become “farmers 2.0” and giving them the opportunity to become part of the farmers’ cooperative.
Infographic wi th the results of the first two calls for solutions