Reception of applications for the Rosbank program for social entrepreneurs “START DIFFERENTLY” is opened

    28 May

Rosbank has started receiving applications for participation in the all-Russian contest program “START DIFFERENTLY” for social entrepreneurs and NPOs. The program is launched by Rosbank in cooperation with the Impact Hub Moscow community in 2018. This year, the program was supported by Rostelecom, which became a partner of the digital direction. The aim of the project is to help organizations that improve the lives of people with disabilities, to create a financially sustainable business model and to form a community of people united by the desire to change society for the better.

The prize fund of the program is 450 000 rubles, and the Grand Prix winner will go to the educational intensive course to exchange experience in Europe. Moreover, the participant who has successfully implemented digital tools in the work of his company will receive a special prize from Rostelecom.

Social entrepreneurs and NPOs with existing business projects aimed at helping people with disabilities, for example, those engaged in employment, socialization or additional education, can participate in the program. You can apply until July 13 via the official website of the program 

The selection of the finalists includes a technical review of the project, an expert evaluation and interviews, and then the expert jury will shortlist 12 projects that will participate in an intensive development program. The selection of finalists takes into account the social significance of the project, the effectiveness and innovation of the proposed solution, the prospects for financial stability and the potential of the team.

The training program for the authors of the best projects will begin in autumn with a two-day seminar in Moscow and will end with public pitch presentations in front of experts and jury members. 10 weeks of continuous online work on five educational blocks: social contribution of business, finance, product development, sales and promotion are between these two events. In November, the winners will be announced, who will receive a grant for business development (200 thousand rubles for the first place, 150 thousand rubles for the second and 100 thousand rubles for the third place).

"Helping people with disabilities, contributing to their full integration into the professional environment are really important goals that face our society. The successful launch of the "START DIFFERENTLY" program last year convinced us that we are moving in the right direction. In front of our eyes, the participants of the program took confident steps from the ideas to financially independent businesses that bring real help to people. A key feature of the program is an integrated approach to the development of projects and the ability to build an individual learning path for each participant. Helping to make social business sustainable is our ambitious goal, and it's nice to know that it has found a response among experts, the non-profit sector and our employees," Ilya Polyakov, CEO of Rosbank.

"The mission of Impact Hub Moscow is to support the creation of sustainable business models, and Rosbank's "START DIFFERENTLY" program fully fits into this direction. We are convinced with the value of expert assistance aimed at solving specific business problems of the participants, and we know for sure that in 10 weeks it is possible to find new sources of income and ways to optimize costs. According to the participants, this is much more important in the long term perspective than receiving grants. And most importantly, we see the progress of graduates after the completion of the program. We are waiting for new participants who are interested in making their social business more sustainable and scale their activities in the future," Ekaterina Khaletskaya, Сo-Founder and Director of Impact Hub Moscow.

In 2018, the program loudly announced itself – 154 applications from 69 cities of Russia were received from the participants. The most active were entrepreneurs from Moscow (16% of all applications), St. Petersburg (11%), Ufa (4%), Kazan (3%), Nizhny Novgorod (3%) and Tyumen (3%). Most of the applications were received from non-profit organizations - 53%, from commercial organizations and individual entrepreneurs received 17% of applications, respectively.

10 out of 11 finalists increased their income thanks to the program, 7 – became self-supporting, 4 – made a profit. The winner of the program was Nadezhda Samoilova from St. Petersburg with the children's inclusive tutor center "Light city".

The program "START DIFFERENTLY" has won various awards – among them the National Banking Award, FINAWARD, Retail Finance Award and «Change Management. Visionaries» in the nomination "Successful start".