European Social Innovation Competition 2018 for Innovative ideas from young people in Europe (€150,000 award)

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Application Deadline: 27 April 2018 (12:00 noon Brussels time)

The 2018 European Social Innovation Competition, RE:THINK LOCAL, launched today at Station F in Paris. This year’s edition of the competition will award €150,000 to ideas that take a place-based approach to developing solutions that support young people to participate in the economy.

The European Social Innovation Competition, launched in memory of Diogo Vasconcelos, is a challenge prize run by the European Commission across EU member states and countries associated to Horizon 2020, now in its sixth edition. The competition is delivered by a consortium of partners led by Nesta and including Kennisland, Ashoka, European Network of Living Labs and Scholz & Friends.

What’s the challenge?

Youth unemployment is a persistent problem in the European Union. It currently stands at double the unemployment rate of the adult population. Increasing numbers of young people are also starting their working lives in short-term or casual jobs, often in the gig economy.

Long-term unemployment or underemployment is damaging for the future employability of young people and also creates knock-on negative impacts for society. Fresh thinking is required, which is why this year’s edition of the competition is looking for solutions that take a place-based approach.

The competition is looking for solutions that use local characteristics to create opportunities for young people to develop skills for the world of work, to begin long-term pathways towards stable employment, to start their own entrepreneurial initiatives and to improve the quality of life and financial security of young people in irregular work.


  • The competition will support selected entrants to develop their concepts and will provide €50,000 funding each to the three most promising projects to make their ideas a reality.
  • After the application deadline on 27 April 2018, 30 semi-finalists will be selected to receive business development support and attend a three-day mentoring academy in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

  • With the support of an individual mentor, each semi-finalist will develop a detailed business plan to outline how they will test and implement their solution.

  • Ten finalists will then be selected to pitch their idea at the awards ceremony in Brussels in November 2018, where the three prizes will be awarded.

Application Procedure:

  • All you need to enter the competition is an idea and the drive to take it further.
  • The entry form is only seven questions and is designed to help us pick out the most innovative ideas.



Paris, France : 20 March 2018
APPLICATION DEADLINE : 27 April 2018 (12:00 noon Brussels time)
MENTORING ACADEMY Cluj, Romania 16 – 18 July 2018
AWARDS CEREMONY Brussels, Belgium : 8 November 2018


For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the European Social Innovation Competition 2018

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