NEEST provides a portfolio with tailored financial support, business mentoring and strategic networking over a five-year period.
NESsT offers investment packages up to $150,000 in the form of grants, patient working capital loans and recoverable grants over a five-year period. We encourage co-investments and are proactive towards introducing you to our co-investment partners.
Our team also provides one-one-one business consulting and leverages our partner network for industry-specific expertise and engaged mentorship for you and your team. Over a five-year period, these services are valued at more than $100,000.
Social entrepreneurs with enterprises at the validate (i.e. sales exist but do not sustain the enterprise) and prepare-to-scale stages (i.e. sales sustain initial operations but not growth).
Social enterprises must also meet the following requirements:
Be based in Central and Eastern Europe or South America.
Use market‐based solutions to create dignified employment, placements or viable income generation opportunities for marginalized groups, while also addressing the many barriers that keep these communities from accessing the formal labor force.
Demonstrate a willingness to be active and engaged through the months of the selection process.
Get to know asperIT Foundation from Poland, who joined the NEEST portfolio in 2021!
Founded in 2015, asperIT Foundation empowers people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to access quality jobs in IT by providing them with technical education, psychological support, and soft-skills training. At the same time, the enterprise offers corporate training services to help companies hire and support employees with diverse neurocognitive functions.
In Poland, only 1% of people with ASD are employed. Autism is a developmental disorder that affects how people interact with others. Neurocognitive variations, just as variations in size and skin colour, are an essential part of humanity. These differences equip each person with a unique set of skills that have distinct professional applications. However, this diversity of mental functioning is not reflected in the labour force – people with varied neurocognitive abilities, including people who have dyslexia, ADHD, or ASD, face hiring discrimination and lack adequate support at work.
By providing tech and soft-skill training to aspiring professionals with ASD, the social enterprise is able to expand career paths for them while providing corporations with a neurodiverse talent pool. To date, asperIT has trained 80 people and has supported many of its students to find their first jobs in sustainable and high-growth industries such as tech. Most recently, the Foundation launched its own software testing company, asperIT.com and 10% of asperIT Foundation’s program graduates secured quality employment directly from the company.
This publication has been prepared within INDIGISE project. The content of this publication is the sole responsibility of the project coordinator and may not always reflect the views of the European Commission or the National Agency.