Among 565 applying organizations from 39 countries, Snowball Effect has been awarded as one of the three winners, together with SkillLab and Zekki!

“The three winners were deemed to have taken the most innovative approaches and shown the greatest potential in terms of developing the skills needed to support Europe’s green and digital transition.” as the jury explained.

What is the EU Social Innovation Competition (EUSIC)?

Launched in memory of social innovation pioneer Diogo Vasconcelos, the European Social Innovation Competition is a Competition run by the European Commission, with the support from the European Innovation Council across all EU Member States and Horizon Europe associated countries. Each year, three €50,000 prizes are awarded by the European Commission for the best socially innovative projects designed to change the world for the better.

Our main learnings from this competition?

The competition was a great opportunity to take a step back and dedicate time for strategic thinking. Taking this time was very precious and looking back, it was certainly the biggest and most valuable lesson of this competition to us. Indeed, the notion of time for startup founders is always tricky to handle: you want to go as fast as possible and you are burning to get things done.

But we learnt that the same way as we don’t expect a tree to give us fruits overnight, we shouldn’t expect our project to generate systemic impact in a couple of months either. It needs time to grow and we should accept that some moments will feel more like winter: cold and difficult but perfect to strategize and step back. Funnily enough, the competition’s Summer Academy (a 1-week training package included in the competition) felt like Winter to us, and the Awards Ceremony felt like Summer with a beautiful fruit to pick!

What have we achieved so far? Time for some retrospective!

Naval Ravikant said: “impatience in the action, patience in the results”

While we are learning to be patient with the results, we were for sure impatient in the actions we undertook from the start.

Since we dedicated ourselves to the project, we had an incredible adventure where:

  • 4 wonderful entrepreneurs assess the replication potential of solutions in Ukraine, Ireland, France and Austria

  • 17 proven solutions joined our portfolio and are ready to be replicated. Check them out!

  • +30 ambassadors joined us from across the world to help us map solutions worth replicating

  • 1000 people attended one of our online workshops on “replicating what works”, in close partnership with ecosystem partners and universities (Thank you IE, X - HEC, Neoma, ESADE, On Purpose, makeSense, EDHEC En Transition, Vienna Up for receiving us.)

We are forever grateful to be surrounded by these amazing people who put their trust in us!

Well, and what’s often less told but as much true is that we also:

  • Did endless interviews in 2019 to make sure we were tackling the right problem

  • Pivoted 4 times (if we only count the major ones!)

  • Created 3 different versions of curriculum before getting it right (perhaps some will remember the Light Formula, the Full Formula and the programme without a name?)

  • Made 10 different versions of website

  • Recorded ourselves too many times before having the right shot for our online course

  • And so many things people would consider as “failures”..! But what matters is to learn how to stand up again!

What does it represent to be one of the Winners of the EUSIC competition?

We are beyond honoured and happy to receive a Prize coming from such a high authority!

This prize came at the right moment because the entrepreneurial journey is not always easy: you sometimes feel like you are navigating in the dark and you don’t know if you’re being “stubborn and over-optimistic” or if you’re actually holding on to something great.

So this prize gave us the confirmation that it's not just us but a larger number of people who believe in the power of replicating what works. Because yes, there are amazing people doing outstanding work out there to improve people’s lives, building resilience for climate change, providing access to employment, and making our societies better. Especially when we look at the scale & complexity of our challenges today, there’s no time to waste reinventing the wheel! Instead, we should replicate these proven solutions!

What will this Prize help you achieve?

Bill Clinton said “Nearly every problem has been solved by someone, somewhere. The challenge of the 21st century is to find out what works and scale it up.”

It summarizes well our vision: we aim to enable 100 replications of proven social businesses by 2025 across Europe.

Thus, this Prize is the perfect support we need to keep on pursuing this vision:

  • A vision where success for social innovators goes along with empowering others to do the same elsewhere

  • And a vision where people don’t need to have THE idea of the century to become a social entrepreneur

To make this dream come true, we are working on exciting projects for 2022.

So let’s together create a snowball effect of positive changes! Join us now!