United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

All-Russian educational competition program for NGOs and social entrepreneurs START DIFFERENTLY

Private sector

    The All-Russian competitive educational program of Rosbank for social entrepreneurs and non-profit organizations with elements of entrepreneurial activity called "START DIFFERENTLY" was launched in 2018 together with Impact HUB Moscow. The annual program is aimed at developing social projects that improve the lives of people with disabilities, creating financially sustainable business models, and forming a community of people united by the will to change their lives for the better. The program is focused on regional projects, where, as a rule, there is no system of support for social entrepreneurs.

    Implementation of the Project/Activity

    The selection of participants of the program is based on the application and the accomplishment of a three-stage selection: - technical selection based on basic criteria; - evaluation of projects by experts according to 4 criteria: the social significance of the problem, the efficiency of solving the problem, the potential for financial stability and self-sufficiency, the potential and motivation of the team. At this stage, a shortlist of projects is formed, which go to the next stage, the evaluation of projects to the jury members. The members of the jury make a decision based on the criteria mentioned above, and also take into account the innovation of the proposed solution. Further training of participants is carried out. The educational program runs for three months and consists of several elements: - introductory webinar; - two-day conference for participants; - remote education program; - the final conference, where projects present the results of their work in the program to the jury members and the expert community. All performances are evaluated by the jury, and the winners of the program are chosen. The educational program consists of different teaching methods, the accomplishment of which is controlled by a team of curators. They accompany the participants and help them on various issues. Each educational block is supplemented with individual thematic consultations, open webinars and pro bono master classes by volunteers-employees of the Societe Generale Group in Russia. They share their knowledge and experience in various fields with the participants of the program. Often, intelligent volunteers meet regularly with project managers for several months and become mentors on various issues. A large number of people, professionals from the social field and business work on the program: experts, mentors, jury members, managers from Rosbank and Impact Hub Moscow, pro bono volunteers. Based on previous years ' interviews with program participants, a study measuring the social impact of the program was prepared in March 2021.


    At the stage of attracting applications, we distribute information about the program in more than 40 regions annually, publish articles and reviews about inclusion. In 2020, a series of online dialogues with experts and insiders in the field of inclusion called "Different people" was held. All this contributes to the debunking of stereotypes and attitudes concerning people with disabilities, their integration into society, and the creation of an accessible and inclusive environment. Over three years, 34 finalists have successfully completed the program. 30 of them showed an increase in income during their studies in the program. 24 projects have reached self-sufficiency. After passing the program, the number of employed people with disabilities increased for all projects that employ people with disabilities. In 2020, the number of part-time employees decreased and the number of full-time employees remained the same. The amount of salaries paid to all permanent employees of social entrepreneurs during the reporting period increased by 80%. After the end of the program, the number of beneficiaries and the number of clients increased for all graduate projects. The average growth rate of the number of beneficiaries is 17%. The average growth rate of the number of clients is 60%. 40 pro bono volunteers-employees of Rosbank held 45 individual consultations and webinars, which influenced the solution of topical, point-based issues of project managers efficiently. According to the results of surveys of participants for three years of the program, 100% of NPS was obtained.

    Enabling factors and constraints

    Inclusion is one of the trends in Russia, which helps the program to be visible and popular. Social investments are also appearing in the country, social entrepreneurship is developing and becoming a trend, which involves attracting the number of applications to the program. What helps learning?: - the training modules in the program are made to improve all the main processes in the project; - each participant of the program has an individual mentor with experience in social entrepreneurship, as well as an information channel and constant support in the chat. - in 2020, the program introduced a course of psychological support for program participants. It helps with personal development and problem solving; - pro bono advice from the bank's employees helps to cope with current issues in various areas of business. In the process of selecting projects, there are evaluation difficulties associated with different levels of project development, its scale, as well as different levels of knowledge among managers. There are also difficulties associated with the time limit, since not all projects can devote enough time to training. Curators come to the rescue, who help you formulate goals and go to achieve them, planning your work schedule.

    Sustainability and replicability

    Within the attraction of applications to the program, we work with partners, regional NGOs, through which we have the opportunity to influence inclusion in the region as a whole. Also, graduates of the program make positive changes in their region, replicating their activities in the cities of their presence and in some projects throughout Russia. We will also consider other scaling options, for example, similar practices can be repeated in regions with low levels of economic and social inequality. This can be done successfully, as the program runs online. A special feature of the program is that after the end of the training, we stay in touch and continue to interact with projects. Curators and pro bono volunteers continue to advise graduates on pressing issues. Since its inception, the program has supported those who help people with disabilities, but in 2021 we plan to repeat our approach to inclusion in a broader sense.

    Other sources of information

    www.rosbankcares.ru – the website of START DIFFERENTLY program https://translyacii.musprokat.ru/nachniinache - link to the final pitch presentations of participants https://vc.ru/impacthubmoscow/192765-puteshestviya-na-palcah-kak-inklyu… - спецпроект с vc.ru special project with vc.ru https://vc.ru/impacthubmoscow/156707-predprinimateli-v-sfere-inklyuzii-… - спецпроект с vc.ru special project with vc.ru https://vc.ru/promo/132585-impacthub - спецпроект с vc.ru special project with vc.ru https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoiS5eV9IaE – ролик о программе a video about the program https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fD5CaoPBrYU« - ролик о программе a video about the program https://rosbankcares.ru/raznye - ссылка на серию онлайн диалогов «Разные люди» link to the series of online dialogues called “Different people”

    COVID-19 Impact

    In the context of the pandemic, we decided to increase the program budget in 2020 compared to 2019, and to increase the number of participants to 17 projects. Due to COVID19, the program was held entirely online. The program has not lost its efficiency, but on the contrary, there are many advantages. For example, the online format of the program allowed us to invite more experts to the program and expand the number of modules, add webinars and master classes. Following current trends, a new track called Digital was added to the program in 2020.

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    This initiative does not yet fulfil the SMART criteria.
    02 April 2018 (start date)
    27 November 2020 (date of completion)
    Other beneficiaries

    Beneficiaries: NGOs and social entrepreneurs, people with disabilities and their families Stakeholders: NGOs, social entrepreneurs and their employees and clients, local communities. Partners: BuySocial project, Rostelecom, EY

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    Russian Federation
    Russian Federation
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