The mosaic – creativity without limit!

The mosaic – creativity without limit!: The mosaic – creativity without limit!

Popesti Leordeni , RomaniaPopesti Leordeni
Project Stage:
Growth
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Social enterprise „Proiect Mozaic” started as an answer to the need of a group of people that lived for a long period in institutional system, some of them even with disabilities and rroma ethnic.To remain innovative on market, we want to develop ourselves by: 1.development of jobs,by new services and markets;2.the extension of our method. Today the factory is defined by 2 pillars: sustainable jobs for people in need and good products for client

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

„Proiect Mozaic” social enterprise started as an answer to the need of a group of young people, in vulnerable situations, who lived for a long period in institutional public system, some of them even with disabilities and rroma ethnics. We started from their desire to have a normal life and a REAL job in a context where there are little opportunities for them in the Romanian workforce market (as they have to face discrimination of all types).

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Our method is based on 3 pillars: a SELF that assumes the risk, a large-operative partnership and valuing the territorial resources. To remain innovative on market, as we are a real social-business, we intend to develop ourselves, by this project, by2 approaches: 1.development of jobs, by enlarging our activity to new markets through marketing and professional growth of employee (partnership with Menatwork, business actor and with NESsT, social business supporter); 2.the extension of our method, in partnership with Ministry of Labor and NGOs partners (“ACUMA” &“Il Carro”). In this project we want to endow our factory with a new machine (multiple automatic profiling machine with 2 heads) so that we can offer a complete service to our clients
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

With the support of partners, after 2 years of activity, the production is increasing by 45 % and the quality of the products has improved, being similar to that of the mosaic imported. The young employees had an extraordinary evolution, passing from the “assisted” to the full rights employee. A young employee, one day stated to he’s colleagues:“For me is for the first time when I have a job for such a long time, and this because you’ve all had trust in me”.In Romania we are the only social enterprise that makes a real production activity (factory type) and for the Ministry of Labor we are a good practice model, so many organizations and personalities came to visit us (ex. State secretary, delegation of EU Parliament, groups of NGOs)

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Our method shows that we have to be in a continuous improvement process, pay attention to feedback and market trends, in order to be competitive for customers’ requirements. By offering a complete and professional service we can encounter new clients, in Romania and at European level, main points for the growth of production and, from here, the possibility to develop long term jobs. We intend to diversify our products, including for example the artistic mosaic and to consolidate our position on the market. Also we consider important the collaboration with organizations from other countries, being an active European entity.
Sustainability

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

In Romania, many times the social and economic efforts had as results the opening of protected shelters, operating more as occupational therapy and putting emphasis on the person’s residual working abilities disregarding the utility or market potential of products resulted from this activity. . Instead our factory was based from the beginning on business collaboration and considered not only the beneficiaries’ needs but also real market needs. Proiect Mozaic came to live as a business model with real potential on the market, where employees are doing a creative product, mosaic. In Romania, we are one of the few organizations that work with young people with multiple social problems.
Team

Team

At present the management group is formed of 4 people: Administrator, part-time, main shareholder (95%); financial director, part time, volunteer, responsible for cash flow, payments and budget; PR responsible, part time, volunteer, responsible for projects and communication; HR, part time, volunteer, responsible for working program and personnel politics. The team includes also 2 engineers and 11 young people involved in production, part-time.
About the Lead Co-Creation Partners
Organization:
Menatwork Group
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LEAD SOCIAL-MISSION ORGANIZATION
Type of organization (e.g. NGO, association, not-for-profit, foundation, social enterprise)

Social enterprise

Total Number of Full-Time Employees
Lead Contact First Name

Simona

Lead Contact Last Name

Carobene

Title

Administrator

Country

Romania

Twitter URL
Facebook URL
LEAD CORPORATE PARTNER
Organization Name

Menatwork Group

Total Number of Full-Time Employees
Lead Contact First Name

Monica

Lead Contact Last Name

Grafu

Title

General Director

Country

Romania

Twitter URL
Facebook URL
Organization Website
Basic Info
Project Starting Year

2012

Primary European Country where this Project is creating social impact

, IF, Popesti Leordeni

Additional European countries where this Project is creating social impact
Select the category that best fits the type of your project:

New products & services: Entries in this category develop and offer essentials product and services that address needs currently unmet, Job Creation: Entries in this category create new jobs for people away from the labor market.

What awards or honors has the project received?
Project Summary
Co-Creation Model: Tell us about your main strategic partners and how the partnership truly create value. For each Partner please include its type (business/social/public), its name, a short description, its key motivation to participate in the co-creation project, and the key contributions it is making in the co-creation project. Please follow the format displayed below:

-Partner 1: Proiect Mosaic
-Type of partner [business/social/public]: social
-Short description sentence [Max 25 words/partner]: The social enterprises - Proiect Mosaic produces tiles of various sizes, colors and shapes, with superior quality, being equipped with the latest Italian machinery.
-Key motivation to participate in the co-creation project [Max 35 words/partner]: in order to develop and assure stable and sustainable jobs for young vulnerable people, it needs to invest in development of new products, services for new clients and markets.
-Key contributions in the co-creation project [Max 35 words/partner]: it will assure involvement of all available resources (dedicated professionals, existing equipment and know how, registered trade mark) and strong motivation in order to develop for addressing new markets.

-Partner 2: Menatwork Group
-Type of partners [business/social/public]:business
-Short description sentence [Max 25 words/partner]:an important manufacturer and provider of building materials;products for exterior and interior finish; ceramic tiles, flooring, adhesives; equipments for electrical installations; professional lightening systems.
-Key motivation to participate in the co-creation project [Max 35 words/partner]:our partner since the start-up ; it’s motivation - trust in the idea and desire of being part of an activity that brings “plus” (new products, quality) for clients and good visibility in socio-political environment.
-Key contributions in the co-creation project [Max 35 words/partner]:Contribution to commercial activity, market approach and know how transfer; by help for new clients and markets that assure growth of jobs, our partner is part of the main objective for social integration.

Partner 3: NESsT
-Type of partners [business/social/public]: social
-Short description sentence [Max 25 words/partner]: NESsT is a catalyst for social enterprises in emerging markets and worldwide. Since 1997, NESsT developed sustainable social enterprises to solve critical social problems
-Key motivation to participate in the co-creation project [Max 35 words/partner): since Proiect Mosaic is part of NESsT portfolio of social enterprises, it is directly involved in the support for development and strategic planning of marketing, thus being an organization that growths simultaneously.
-Key contributions in the co-creation project [Max 35 words/partner]:The partner will get involved in the counseling and support part for professionals working in the social enterprise, and also in the strategic marketing plan for our development (new products and new markets).

-Partner 4: ACUMA Association
-Type of partners [business/social/public]: social
-Short description sentence [Max 25 words/partner]: non-governmental association founded in 2010 by Romanian and Italian volunteers in order to help improving living conditions for children and families in difficult situation/marginalization.
-Key motivation to participate in the co-creation project [Max 35 words/partner]: is taking part directly to the “put in opera” of a method that proved results in what concerns offer of a “real job” to people that have no other chances to get it. They adapt their basic and current activities so that they can respond also to such a need.
-Key contributions in the co-creation project [Max 35 words/partner]: real support for enlarge the number of volunteers that help our activity and also direct involvement in the preparing for work process ( sustain of the young trainees).

Partner 5: Cooperative IL CARRO
-Type of partners [business/social/public]: social
-Short description sentence [Max 25 words/partner] :Italian social cooperative established in 1988 in Paullo - Milano, which deals with integration, work and welcoming. Over the years, the cooperative has developed several areas of activity, which could meet the needs of disadvantaged groups to which it is addressed.

-Key motivation to participate in the co-creation project [Max 35 words/partner]:Desire of conducting experience exchanges that can evolve towards long term partnerships. Willingness to share their methods; in this exchange they participate at an “operative friendship” were they have the opportunity to meet Romanian reality.
-Key contributions in the co-creation project [Max 35 words/partner]:collaboration for enlarging the number of volunteers, by different activities of promotion and fundraising conducted in Italy. Also collaboration and support by know how transfer related to organization and management of social enterprise.

-Partner 6: Ministry of Labor, Family, Social Protection and Elderly
-Type of partners [business/social/public] : public
-Short description sentence [Max 25 words/partner]: national governmental authority that coordinates the implementation of national strategies and politics regarding work, social protection, families and old people. At national level it is responsible for the social-economy area also (legislation and projects)
-Key motivation to participate in the co-creation project [Max 35 words/partner]: gets in contact directly with a model that is in a continuous improvement, having thus the possibility to develop strategies and politics that can be useful to other Romanian social enterprises (ex. Definition of financing programs and legislative provisions related to social economy).
-Key contributions in the co-creation project [Max 35 words/partner]: promotion at national level for our method, showing that “IT IS POSSIBLE” and facilitating contacts with different other NGO’s. Collaboration for development of public policies related to social enterprise specific activities.

Impact
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact. Please specify using qualitative and quantitative data (e.g. # of indirect and direct beneficiaries); help us understand how this solution truly makes a difference.

The method we applied will have an impact in social integration, in different communities, with similar realities, but were an initiator can replicate points of our method The awareness process, with the involvement of Ministry will make our method known to at least 20 organizations. Collaboration with the 2 NGO’s from Romania and Italy will double the actual number of volunteers (from 6 to 12). Volunteers are important for the professional growth of our employees, their motivation and also for the opening towards a European environment. Marketing, professional training and complete services to clients (in partnership with Menatwork and NESsT) will assure business development and consolidation and thus a long term impact for the young people. As for business-production, with this new equipment we’ll be able to make more models, raise the number of clients and production, in general.

Sustainability
Funding: How is your project financial supported? [select all that apply]

Individuals, Foundations, NGOs, Businesses, Customers.

Sustainability Plan: Has your project already reached financial sustainability? If not, what is this solutio’s plan to ensure financial sustainability? Do the main partners have enough stake to sustain the solution? If this project requires limited budget, how will other resources be secured to maintain or grow this work?

For sustainability, we consider strategic the development of complementary and various services, in parallel with the actions for sales growing. For this, starting with 2014 we’ll employ a sales agent and we’ll consolidate cooperation with other organizations for other services. According to the business plan we elaborate, after applying these measures, in 2017 we’ll be fully sustainable; meanwhile we assume factory financing (money and time).

Team
Founding Story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the Partners to get started and/or to see the potential for this to succeed.

The initiative was born from a meeting between people who say "I", founder, Simona and Luigi, a business man sensitive to social problems, and decided to risk in meeting the need of other people. We didn’t start from a plan, but from the reality where we live. Another important factor was the awareness that education to work is not an “assistance” action, but an investment for our society.
The “Aha” moment for the new services that we can offer to clients by using the profiling machine came in a meeting with a client that ordered 1400 m² of mosaic for the airport of Tadjkistan and he also needed the special mosaic-pieces for a complete work. It was the moment when, as our method keeps showing us, we had to take action and further improve and develop our social enterprise.

About the Co-Creation
Barriers: What main barriers may you have encountered to co-create during the creation and implementation of the project and how did you try to overcome them?

Being yet an experimental method for social and labor integration, the factory has to face different challenges, most of them related to the Romanian social-economic context, for example lack of specific legislation, non-recognition of “social enterprises” as legal entities and related to that the impossibility to manage specific action (fundraising, sponsorship, hosting volunteers). The knowledge at national and international level of our model, with the involvement of public authorities, will contribute to overcoming these challenges, and so, in accordance to the principle of subsidiarity, recognition of realities/ initiatives that arise at local level. Also one barrier is related to the fact that being, according to legislation, a commercial entity we have to face all the fiscal and financial requirement of the state, having no facilities for the social work that we do.

Governance: What is the type of the relationship between the partners? (e.g. joint venture, contractual relationship, joint project...)

The partners involved are the main stakeholders that can participate in a social business development. In this way we have a global vision (business, public institution, NGO’s) that is the main element for a territorial partnership. Our relation is based, for the moment on a non-formal agreement and previous partnership activities (wit Ministry of Labor and “Il Carro” NGO) and on formal agreement (commercial documents with Menatwork; counseling and support contract with NESsT; Collaboration contract with ACUMA NGO).

Interaction model: How is the project a transformative partnership? How is the interaction transforming the partnering organizations and their employees/ leadership in terms of creating a new vision, new management practices, new skills and new organizational structures? Please provide for concrete examples

Menatwork can, in our partnership, contribute to a social mission of great importance for the people we are working with; by help for new clients and markets that assure growth of jobs, our partner is part of the main objective for social integration of young people in difficulty.
The NGO’s partners (NESsT and Asociatia Acuma) are taking part directly to the “put in opera” of a method that proved results in what concerns offer of a “real job” to people that have no other chances to get it. They adapt their basic and current activities so that they can respond also to such a need. The Ministry of Labor gets in contact directly with a model that is in a continuous improvement, having thus the possibility to develop strategies and politics that can be useful to other Romanian social enterprises (ex. Definition of financing programs and legislative provisions related to social economy).

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