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The best women's social startups in Russia received almost 30 thousand euros

Ivan Zhuravkov
Impact Hub Moscow’s employees and coordinators of the 90 Days Challenge Incubator after the announcement of the program results
Photo: Impact Hub Moscow

The Impact Hub Moscow Сenter for Social Innovations and Entrepreneurship Support announced the winners of the 90 Days Challenge Incubation Program for business projects that help solve social and environmental issues. Eight projects from six regions won grants totaling 28,000 euros, and 13 social startups won prizes from the project’s partners. This year, the program was held online due to the coronavirus pandemic. The organizers reported this to 7x7.

The incubation program allowed aspiring entrepreneurs to work their way from coming out with a business idea to its full start-up within three months. 45 aspiring social businesswomen from 21 Russian cities — from Kaliningrad to Khabarovsk — have taken part in the program this year. The teams have participated in more than 40 webinars, coordinators with 13 curators, and consulted with Russian and foreign experts since the training’s start in July.

“This year, we have launched the 90 Days Challenge Program in the difficult conditions of the pandemic and conducted the entire training course online including the program’s final and the pitch session of projects. The incubator helped participants adapt their business models to the new reality and launch them despite economic uncertainty, and it shows the flexibility and adaptability of social business. The support of the European Union and other partners allowed us to increase the number and amount of prizes, as well as to offer graduates participation in Impact Hub’s community and opportunities for further expert and financial support," said Ekaterina Khaletskaya, the co-founder and director of Impact Hub Moscow.

Having evaluated project presentations and the results of three-month startup training, the jury and partners of the 90 Days Challenge Program selected the winners in four categories.

Eight projects won in the WE ACT Women's Social Entrepreneurship Category, the organizers are allocating 3.5 thousand euros for the implementation of each of them:

— the V Tishine (‘In Silence’) Inclusive Museum (Moscow) — hard-of-hearing people’s employment assistance;

— the Rozmarin (‘Rosemary’) Medical and Educational Center (Kazan’) — temporary stay group for physically disabled children, lecture course for mothers and individual recommendations for children;

— the ITGIRLS Coding School (Moscow) — coding courses for young women from regions;

— the ProZero Eco-Center (Novosibirsk) — improving eco-literacy in the region, recoverable resources collection and recycling;

— the Mirabilis Wooden Toy Factory (Tomsk Oblast) — production of wooden games to support mental health of elderly people;

— the Petrushki from Nevezhkino (‘puppets, Punchinellos’) Workshop (Saratov) — production of finger and glove puppets themed on Russian fairy tales, the employment assistance to women in rural areas;

— the Kakaya Raznitsa (‘What's the Difference’) Center for Inclusive Projects (Saint Petersburg) — social integration of children with autism;

— the Manifest Workshop (Saint Petersburg) — production of bags from used materials that are difficult to process.

The ITGIRLS Coding Courses won in the Internet for a Better World Category, its foundresses are to be awarded with a grant for training and networking in Russia or abroad.

The V Tishine Inclusive Museum became the best project in the Meaningful Creative Business Category of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, it is taking a workshop session on the topics chosen by its foundresses.

The Nyani Osobogo Naznacheniya (‘Special Purpose Nannies’) Project for the selection and training of nannies for families with special children (Moscow) won in the Boundless Inclusion Category. The winner is to be provided with on-request consultations from specialists of the Accenture Consulting Company.

The EY Audit and Consulting Company selected five social projects to participate in workshops and the Business Women Program. The Mirabilis Wooden Toy Workshop, the ITGIRLS Coding School, the Cups Cupsharing (renting reusable cups for takeaway drinks) Service (Moscow), the Golos i Ritm (‘Voice and Rhythm’) Center for Creative Rehabilitation and Health Improvement for People with Oncostatus (Saint Petersburg), and the Petrushki from Nevezhkino Workshop are taking part in them.

Social projects from St. Petersburg (the Dushevnye Veshchi (‘Soulful Things’) Workshop for people over 50 and the Golos i Ritm Rehabilitation Center) continue to cooperate with the Starshy Dobry Gorod (‘Senior Good City’) Project with support of the Center for the Non-Profit-Making Organizations Development in Saint Petersburg.

The Day Pyat’ (‘High Five’) School Online Platform for tutoring children from low-income families (Ulyanovsk) are to be awarded with an individual grant of 50 thousand rubles for development from impact investor and 90 Days Challenge’s jury member, philanthropist and entrepreneur Ilya Zibarev.

In 2020, the 90 Days Challenge Business Incubator is held at Impact Hub Moscow with the support of PAO Rostelecom, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, Accenture, the Our Future Foundation for Regional Social Programs, and EY in partnership with Youth Business Russia.

The WE ACT Women's Entrepreneurship Development Program in Russia is implemented jointly with IREX Europe and 7x7 with support of the European Union.

The Impact Hub Moscow Center was opened in 2014 to create and develop social entrepreneurship. In six years of working, the organization has helped more than 300 Russian social entrepreneurs, startups, and non-profit-making organizations implement sustainable business models for solving social and environmental issues. Impact Hub Moscow graduates have created more than 1,000 jobs and influenced 1 million people in Russia. The project is part of the international Impact Hub Network with centers in 100 cities around the world.


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