Establishment of INNOFUND in the Czech Republic
The INNOFUND endowment fund will provide support for the employment of disadvantaged groups on the labour market in the Czech Republic.
The Interreg SIV project, being implemented transnationally in eight central European countries, serves as an innovative approach to contribute to the improvement of the labour market situation of unemployed and underprivileged groups.
Implementation of Interreg SIV in the Czech Republic
Thanks to the SIV Social Impact Voucher project, the INNOFUND endowment fund was established in the Czech Republic, the aim of which is to reduce unemployment of target groups (especially disadvantaged groups) by supporting the start of their business or employment.
The main activity of the endowment fund is the acceptance of donations from private and public donors and the payment of contributions to beneficiaries in the form of vouchers. Other activities provided are educational activities and counselling, including the organization of events aimed at supporting social innovation.
A pilot call for the “Mini Voucher Program” is currently being prepared, which will be financed through the endowment fund. The Mini Voucher Program will focus on supporting the integration of disadvantaged people, for instance by offering support for starting a business, including the application of the BEC method, which acts as a non-traditional business incubator for new entrepreneurs where disadvantaged people have the opportunity to test their business ideas with the support of experts, while also benefiting from appropriate working conditions and a secure income (you can find more information about the BEC methodology here ). Moreover, the program is also supporting the creation of sustainable jobs by cooperating with employers for 3 up to 6 months. At the same time, it focuses on preparing job seekers for the labour market, either by increasing their qualifications or by offering professional advice. Additional innovative actions are also being implemented within the framework of the Mini Voucher Program. The announcement of this call is expected during September 2021 and this pilot action will last until the end of the SIV project.
In the Czech Republic, the voucher system was created as part of the integration of the principles of the SIV project. This general voucher system is distributed via the Pracuj-podnikej.cz website. This system is focused on the support of unemployed people, those interested in changing jobs and start-ups, but also on cooperation with employers and implementers of projects supporting job creation or business development.
This innovative voucher distribution system has a significant social impact on the integration of the unemployed into the open labour market. The voucher system connects companies looking for employees and disadvantaged people looking for employment in a very simple way.
Free and simple job vouchers allow employers and job seekers to get to know each other and test their ability to work together for 6 up to 12 months with the aim of permanent employment.
The voucher approach is also focused on supporting self-employment through the development of one´s own business. Vouchers thus make it possible to test business through the implementation of the BEC method - Business-Employee Cooperatives.
How does it work
The voucher system includes 5 sections.
The first section „WORK“ offers unemployed people through a voucher the opportunity to get a job with a monthly contribution of up to CZK 18 000 (EUR 710). The aim is that this financial support for the starting phase should lead to permanent employment.
The second section „BUSINESS“ allows aspiring entrepreneurs to test their business by implementing the BEC method through a voucher. Testing their business is an approach to verify in practice whether the sale of products or services will succeed on the market, with a guarantee of a monthly income for paid entrepreneurs of up to CZK 13 400 (EUR 528).
The third section „EMPLOY“ is matching employee seeking companies and job seeking disadvantaged people. The vouchers issued within this section enable job creation for a period of 6 up to 12 months.
The fourth section „COOPERATE“ focuses on the integration, promotion and acceleration of the recruitment of new clients in cooperating organizations, project implementers and employment agencies. SIV thus enables the publication of all projects supporting job creation or start-ups. It connects not only employers, but also NGOs and other labor market entities.
The fifth section „SIF - SOCIAL IMPACT FUND“ is designed to provide sustainable financing for the SIV system through private capital, crowdfunding and public finances.
Addressed target groups of voucher program:
- aspiring entrepreneurs,
- unemployed people (without further specification),
- women currently inactive on the labour market,
- long-term unemployed,
- socially disadvantaged people,
- single parents,
- parents on / after maternity / paternity leave,
- 50+ year old unemployed people,
- graduates of secondary vocational schools.
In general, the voucher program addresses people that want to start their business, find a job or change their situation on the labour market.
The SIV project thus makes a significant contribution to mitigating the serious effects of structural unemployment and provides disadvantaged people with the necessary skills to find a new job.
The system of the Social Impact Vouchers is currently being presented and implemented on the website www.pracuj-podnikej.cz.
More information about the INNOFUND endowment fund can be found on the website: www.innofund.cz.