Rosbank and Impact Hub Moscow announced the winners of the all-Russian program for social entrepreneurs and NGOs “START DIFFERENTLY”

    27 November

Rosbank and Impact Hub Moscow summed up the results of the all-Russian program “START DIFFERENTLY”. It has been organized jointly since 2018. 12 social entrepreneurs and NGOs presented their projects in the finals. They came from 11 cities of Russia, from Barnaul to Saint-Petersburg. All the finalists work with people with disabilities. They help them to get a job or educate and socialize impaired children and adults. During the two-month program, every participant improved their business model and learned how to run a business from mentors and experts. The jury chose the names of five winners after the presentation of the results of projects.

In the first part of the event, the finalists told about their projects and improvements they have made during their participation in the program.

According to the results of the jury voting, the Grand Prix received the project "Let's be friends" from Kazan, which creates TV programs in sign language. Tatiana Merzlyakova, a founder of the project, received the main prize of the program "START DIFFERENTLY" - an educational trip to Europe with an individually designed route with a visit to thematic social enterprises to exchange experiences and find opportunities for cooperation.

The first place was taken by the project "Charity Bag" from Barnaul, which makes eco-friendly bags by women who raise children with ICP. Jamila Semenenko, a project manager, received 200 thousand rubles for business development.

On the second place – Gulnara Sovkova from inclusive trampoline centers "Magic trampoline" (Tyumen) with a prize of 150 thousand rubles. The project deals with the neurorehabilitation  of children with disabilities.

The project «Chest» and its leader Olga Prizova took the third place with a prize of 100 thousand rubles from Moscow, the founder of the workshop, where people with mental disabilities receive the necessary social and psychological support, learn household skills and craft.

The winner in the digital nomination, which was partnered this year by PJSC Rostelecom, was inclusive workshops "Restart" from Orenburg, which launched an online store to sell their products during the program.

Ilya Polyakov, CEO of Rosbank: "Rosbank and Societe Generale group have been historically linked closely with entrepreneurship. It was for the growth and financing of business that a team of entrepreneurs created Societe Generale in 1864, so the innovative spirit is inside our DNA. We as a Bank strive to support the initiatives of those who want to change the world for the better. Social entrepreneurs do not become just like that; they are people who live their business, not indifferent to any particular problem, and social business is entrepreneurship in its highest form, when the project works not only for the sake of income, but also for the benefit of society as a whole. To help such companies achieve self-sufficiency and become profitable means to invest in our common future."

Ekaterina Khaletskaya, Co-founder and Director of Impact Hub Moscow: "Organizations working with people with disabilities and social entrepreneurs in General often lack business knowledge and skills to achieve financial sustainability. All the finalists of "Start Differently" project, who passed the acceleration program and presented their results, are already winners, because they have acquired this knowledge and skills. This capital will stay with them for a long time. Someone overcame themselves and began commercial activities, someone found the first major customer, someone found five, someone opened the second center and so on. We hope that in the near future the finalists will reach such a level of sustainability that they will be able to apply for impact investments to implement their large-scale plans, and Impact Hub will be happy to help them in this."

Lyubov Sherysheva, a business angel and impact investor, shared her experience and examples of impact investing in the business program of the event. Great response from the guests was aroused by the story about the case of the fundraising campaign #Dobroshrift, which was presented by Elena Kozhadey,  Director of the Communications and Advertising Department of Rosbank, Anastasia Prikazchikova, General Director of Fund "Gift to an angel", and Tatiana Grebenkina, Director on work with partners of Smetana creative agency.

At the end of the evening, Ksenia Bezuglova, founder of the foundation “Everything is possible”, Miss World-2013 among women on wheelchairs, spoke about her path in social entrepreneurship.

The all-Russian program "Start Diffrently" was launched by Rosbank in cooperation with the center for support of social entrepreneurs Impact Hub Moscow in 2018. The main goal of the project is to help organizations that improve the lives of people with disabilities to create financially sustainable business models. In 2019, 152 applications from 47 regions of Russia were received for 12 places in the program from those entrepreneurs who employ people with disabilities or create goods and services for them.