According to the EU Energy Poverty Observatory more than 50 million households in the European Union are struggling to attain adequate warmth, pay their utility bills on time and live in homes free of damp and mold. In the CEE region alone, the percentage of people unable to keep home adequately warm in 2016 ranged from 4,7% in Czech Republic to 41,3% in Bulgaria. On top of that, in 2017 the percentage of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the region was well above 20% in most of the countries, with higher figures in Romania (36%) and Bulgaria (39%).
The Social Innovation to Tackle Energy Poverty Solutions Accelerator is an initiative co-created by Ashoka and the Schneider Electric Foundation, under the aegis of Fondation de France, with Enel Romania as local partner.
The aim of the program is to identify and support young innovative ideas and mature projects working in the field of energy poverty in five European countries: Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. After two selection stages 15 finalists will be selected to join a 5-months acceleration program, which will help them improve their strategy and amplify their positive impact on society and on the environment.
After the final selection phase, one winner will be chosen for each country and will be awarded a prize of 3.500 euro.
From April 13th, 2019 until May 1st, 2019, each country will gather a Local Selection Jury (formed of Schneider Electric Representatives, including the Country President if possible, Ashoka representative, key experts, and other local partners of the project – maximum 5 people) to select the 5 best projects that will be sent for review to the European Selection Jury.
From May 2nd, 2019 until May 15th, 2019, a European Selection Jury (formed of Schneider Electric and Ashoka European Leadership teams, key experts and partners, Schneider Electric Sustainable Development Director and if possible, Schneider Electric EVP Europe, one former winner – maximum 8 people) will select the 15 best projects. Out of the 15 finalists selected, minimum 10 will be mature ideas and maximum 5 young ideas.
The project team will assess the finalists’ main needs and challenges. Based on the analysis, each finalist will be part of a triad which is made up of a local advisor / mentor (members of the Ashoka network) and a Schneider Electric Employee.
We are planning a 2 days learning experience to kick off the Impact Program. The purpose of this event is to support the finalists to acquire knowledge and tools regarding systems change, social financing, social impact reporting, communications and other relevant topics identified in the selection phases.
The project team, together with the advisory teams of consultants and mentors, will offer dedicated support to the selected social entrepreneurs for 5 months, for a total of around 300 hours of personalized and specialized mentoring sessions. On top of that, we will plan online sharing meeting among the finalists and thematic webinars delivered by partners of the project. The goal of this phase is to help the social entrepreneurs craft an effective and impactful sustainable strategy or scale up strategy.
On November 20th-21st we will have 2 days event in Brussels where the finalists meet again and have feedback sessions with experts on their new strategies. Furthermore, they will have the opportunity to pitch their consolidated strategies in front of the European Jury. The Jury will select the 5 winners (one winner per country).
Local Bulgarian Jury
Local Czech Jurors
Local Hungarian Jury
Local Romanian Jury
Network Partners are organizations that spread the word about the “Social Innovation to Tackle Energy Poverty” program through their networks so that we can find and select the most innovative social entrepreneurs.
Ambassadors are individuals with knowledge of and expertise in the energy field who help us map the local ecosystem and nominate the most innovative social entrepreneurs to apply to join the “Social Innovation to Tackle Energy Poverty” program.
Communication Partners are organizations that spread the word about the “Social Innovation to Tackle Energy Poverty” program through the media so that we can optimize the number of social entrepreneurs we reach.