Better Incubation is a project by LIAISE

IN-CUBA Conference to discuss Disability and Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is rarely thought about for people with intellectual disability.

Even if there is an openness to supporting people’s ideas and ambitions, setting up and management may be seen as a heavy burden, and the necessary support to do so very difficult to find.

Sometimes, however, what is needed is just a change of perspective to expand the concept of enterprise to embrace something creative, personally fulfilling and validating that is attempted or undertaken, particularly if it requires boldness or courage. Then you need a group of visionary partners that are not afraid of breaking barriers and are willing to involve users and their families in a new adventure; one that develops an “incubator” methodology focussed on people with intellectual disability and based on the principles of co- production.

That was the starting point of IN-CUBA interreg project. Three years, and several focus groups later, they are ready to present the
results of this adventure together with the voiceof its protagonists .

The moment is particularly apposite as we have just seen the launch of the new European Disability Strategy , which will
provide a strong framework for all the EU initiatives in these fields in the next ten years.

We are therefore happy to invite you to the IN-CUBA Conference to discuss Disability and Entrepreneurship through the initiatives
carried out within this Project, present the results of this action, and foster exchanges between all the stakeholders involved: organisations from the social sector, incubators, educators, users, representatives of the public sector, and policy makers.

Check the full event agenda here


The IN-CUBA (Incubators for CO-productive Enterprises and Social Inclusion) Project wants to foster social inclusion by developing an incubation methodology based on co-production addressed to people with intellectual disability. Working on co-productive approaches has highlighted the capacity of users to become protagonists and have an active role, opening the doors to new possibilities and further developments. In fact, the scientific literature and several success stories confirm that, through the appropriate support, people with intellectual disability succeed in concretizing ideas through long-term projects, especially projects that lead to the creation of companies. This opens up new opportunities for the development of people’s employability and social inclusion. However, if at present national systems tend to promote entrepreneurship and innovation, these programmes are rarely accessible to people with intellectual disability and no measure is put in place to investigate the potential impact entrepreneurship can generate for them and their entourage.

An incubator is an organisation that helps new and start-up companies to develop by providing support services and enabling access to the resources they need. In the context of IN-CUBA however, we can define incubator as a support for the development of projects and ideas? a methodology based on co-production that supports the development of ideas and projects to transform them into enterprises (considered in its widest meaning).

IN-CUBA aims to support and assess new approaches to the access to entrepreneurship for people with intellectual disability reducing disparities and promoting inclusion. To these goals the action foresees to:

  • Develop a methodology based on co-production to incubate ideas, identify the ways and source of funding, and transform them in enterprises;
  • Enable users to be equal partners within the planning and development of a project, thus enhancing self-determination;
  • Provide opportunities for self-development and inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities so that they can be acknowledged as people that can contribute to the development of their community.
  • Testing the results in dedicated pilot actions aimed at the setting up of enterprises;
  • Evaluate the impacts of the entrepreneurial process on the quality of life of the users as well as the overall impacts of the project in terms of social inclusion  ;
  • Disseminate project experience and outcomes, also in view of enhancing social representation and promote the adaptation of methodologies at local level;
  • Promote the development, testing, and implementation of innovative practices in the field of training for professionalisation;
  • Promote activities that could better prepare professionals on equity, diversity and social inclusion in the training / learning environment.

To these goals, a very committed partnership is engaged in developing a 36 Months action to help addressing diversity and promote shared values, equality, non-discrimination and social inclusion through innovative and integrated approaches. The Project is coordinated by APEMH with the support of ARFIE and it involves 8 partners from 5 European countries.

The project is based on research and analysis and real testing, and all the foreseen activities are based on co-production and will see users as protagonists.

Discover more on

Better Incubation Communities of Practice | Rut Turró: On a Mission to Build an Inclusive Fashion Industry

How to make the field of entrepreneurship more inclusive to migrants and refugees, people with disability, seniors, women, youth? Together with members of the European Business & Innovation Centre Network (EBN), The European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA) and Caritas organizations, Impact Hub gathered experts and entrepreneurs from all 5 groups in a series of virtual working sessions – Communities of Practice – to debate, exchange, investigate, plan, prototype and evaluate the activities in the field of inclusive entrepreneurship.

In this framework, Impact Hub is interviewing the Better Incubation CoPs’ participants to share their stories and expertise. Time to meet Rut!

The first virtual session took place at the end of May 2021 and we got inspired to hear about what different entrepreneurs and experts are doing to build more inclusive entrepreneurship ecosystems. One of the participants is Rut Turró, she is, in her own words, a social entrepreneur in the fashion industry. She is also a woman entrepreneur and the founder of Moving Mood, which started as a clothing line for people with reduced mobility and turned into a research and consulting partner for the fashion industry on the topic of inclusive fashion.

We asked her why she became an entrepreneur, what impact she aims to make on the world – she also shared examples of impact in action.

Inclusive entrepreneurship Rut Turro founder of Moving Mood

Rut Turró, Founder of Moving Mood

Q: In preparing for our interview, I loved reading about how you want to give more power and opportunities to women, who carry the burden of day-to-day work but are under-recognised. I’m curious about your story as a woman entrepreneur, but first, what did you want to be growing up? 

A: I wanted to be like my mum, to take care of the house, the kids, etc. When I was seven years old, my family started a bakery in Barcelona. This was a turning point. Everything changed completely, with my parents working all day, every day, including weekends. My sister and I spent Monday to Friday with a babysitter. Saturday with parents and Sunday with grandparents. Suddenly, I did not want to be like my mum anymore. I wanted to be happy. I remember every year on my birthday I had the same wish: may everyone be happy.

Q: Your parents became entrepreneurs and it sounds like this wasn’t the path you wanted to pursue when you were young. Yet, you call yourself a social entrepreneur today. Why did you become an entrepreneur? 

A: Because I couldn’t find any job linked to social impact and fashion design. The only option was working in design for fair trade products at an NGO. Options were very limited and, usually, NGOs have many volunteers, not paid jobs. In the long run, this wasn’t a sustainable path. Also, the products were ‘hippie’ and it was not my style. I would buy them because of the philosophy behind, not because I liked them. So, I decided to start a project by myself. Bringing together social impact, fashion and design.

Q: It’s always interesting to hear how personal frustration leads to new businesses! Beyond your desire to design better fair trade products in the fashion industry, were there any insights that led to starting Moving Mood?

A: The initial idea was to develop a clothing line for people with reduced mobility. All adapted garments available around 2011-2014 were very poorly designed and not fashionable at all! I started under the name Fit and Sit, focused on clothing for people permanently seated. It did not work very well. I understood early on that people wanted to buy clothes from traditional brands, so, I changed my initial idea and began to sell a service and provide knowledge on inclusive fashion for designers and brands. We changed the brand name to Moving Mood, moving for a good mood. And we are focused on research, product development, consulting and education.

Inclusive entrepreneurship_Moving Mood

Q: Inspiring to hear! Now, let’s talk about impact. What impact are you already making on the fashion industry – and perhaps as a woman entrepreneur too – and what’s your impact ambition? 

A: Our impact is to include accessibility in design collections without the need to create a specifically adapted line, so all garments can be used by the whole of society, independently of their needs. We are training companies, design studios and students.

Our impact ambition is to build a more equal fashion industry, with more inclusive products and job opportunities. For example, we developed an adaptation for an industrial sewing machine, so it can be used by people with physical disabilities!

Q: An inclusive sewing machine, what a good example of impact in action! I’d love to learn a little more about your views on women’s entrepreneurship. Over the past years, you have collaborated with many entrepreneurial women – what have you learned from them? 

A: We are stronger together, we are better together. I constantly meet powerful women I admire. We connect easily, try to help each other and share contacts. I truly believe we empower each other. There’s often a shared feeling and understanding of the troubles we face or have faced in the past – and shared pride in having come to where we are today as entrepreneurs.

Q: I have to ask then, what advice do you have for female entrepreneurs? 

A: My advice for any entrepreneur is: do something that makes you vibrate from every pore of your skin.

Follow Rut and her inspiring work on LinkedInInstagramFacebook or Twitter.

Author of this post: Impact Hub 

Accelerating the SDGs – The role of Crowdfunding in Investing for Impact | EVPA report is out!

New research by EVPA explores how impact crowdfunding platforms achieve positive social change by financing social organisations or enterprises that advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Crowdfunding’s role in the impact sector has grown in recent years thanks to its unique way of raising funds to support social organisations and enterprises, attracting retail investors and philanthropists to social innovation and enabling them to participate as funders of societal solutions. The Covid-19 pandemic is likely to accelerate this growth, with increasing demand from social start-ups struggling to access financial resources and rising public interest in crowdfunding.

The report Accelerating the SDGs – The role of crowdfunding in investing for impact” focuses on impact crowdfunding platforms, i.e. investors for impact pooling and managing resources from individuals, as well as public and private sector agencies, to enable social purpose organisations to maximise their social impact, and taking a highly engaged approach to support their investees. Impact crowdfunding platforms can be either grant-based crowdfunding platforms or social investment crowdfunding platforms.

It highlights that crowdfunding platforms can amplify the impact they generate if they find ways to collaborate with other investors for impact, such as foundationsimpact funds or financial institutions, or with different types of impact crowdfunding platforms.

For example, foundations can help crowdfunding platforms reduce the risk of campaign failure by providing anchor investments (e.g. providing the first 20-30% of the investment to trigger a campaign), or through match-funding instruments whereby the foundation can match the contribution of the crowd. Crowdfunding platforms can also cooperate by e.g. sharing deal flow with impact funds or banks and financial institutions that support social organisations and enterprises with different repayable instruments, such as debt or equity.

Collaboration between impact crowdfunding platforms and other investors for impact brings key opportunities to the impact ecosystem. Crowdfunding platforms can detect trends, such as the type of supporters attracted, provide insight to policy makers and generate indicators which can help forecast the potential market traction of a product or service. Collecting and leveraging data, for instance by sharing due diligence reports or campaign KPIs, will avoid duplicating efforts and facilitate the development of partnerships.

Establishing long-term partnerships is crucial to enable collaboration, learning from each other and sharing tools and expertise. However, this requires aligned strategies, trust and a significant time and human resources commitment.

“Crowdfunding platforms play a key role in creating positive societal impact and can be a catalyst for new forms of collaboration with different impact players”, said Roberta Bosurgi, CEO of EVPA. “Other investors for impact must be part of this process, to leverage the opportunities that crowdfunding platforms bring and collectively contribute to a sustainable, fair and inclusive future.”

Michele Scataglini, CEO and Co-Founder of Fund4Impact added: “Enabling matchups between startups and funders in a hugely diverse impact agenda across the world requires a digital platform harnessing crowdfunding technology and impact metrics. This not only creates rich data on trends that are valuable to social investors, foundations and all tiers of government, but also teaches startups to intuitively engage in impact measurement from the very beginning, embedding impact measurement within the DNA of the company.”


EVPA will present the new research piece “Accelerating the SDGs – The role of Crowdfunding in Investing for Impact” during a webinar on June 10th. The objective of the E-Talk is to provide a brief introduction into the growing field of crowdfunding, and present selected use cases and examples to illustrate how investors for impact can work alongside crowdfunding platforms.

Source: EVPA website

How to make social entrepreneurship more inclusive? The “Inclusive Social Entrepreneurship Webinar” will explore the role of entrepreneurship in achieving inclusive labour markets and a human-centred economy

Building on the Better Incubation initiative and the collaboration between the Caritas Europa network and the Better Incubation project partners, Caritas Europa organises the ‘Inclusive Social Entrepreneurship Webinar’, within the theme of achieving inclusive labour markets and a human-centred economy.

Caritas Europa is indeed a key partner of Better Incubation: we can count on the valuable presence of Shannon Pfohman in our Advisory Board, and 5 Caritas members participating in our Communities of Practise.

For Caritas Europa, an inclusive labour market, which respects the rights and dignity of every worker, is an essential part of a human-centred economy and a key way to foster a more inclusive labour market is through the promotion of the social economy and social entrepreneurship. However, there is still little focus on how to make social entrepreneurship more inclusive and how to develop the entrepreneurial capacities of under-represented groups such as women, migrants/refugees, people with disabilities, youth and seniors, so that they can also pursue social entrepreneurship as a career choice and support their local community. For these groups to be able to access capital, benefit from business support, develop relevant strategic partnerships, and have a strong ecosystem around them, we, as actors involved in social entrepreneurship need to understand their needs and tailor our approach accordingly.

The objective of this webinar is fivefold:

  1. to have a discussion/exchange with strategic partners and EU policymakers on how to make social entrepreneurship more inclusive;
  2. to offer a platform for Caritas members to present their experiences with inclusive social entrepreneurship;
  3. to better understand how strategic partnerships can help drive social entrepreneurship for social inclusion;
  4. to enable new innovative strategic partnerships between Caritas’ members and other stakeholders able to support them;
  5. to better understand from European Commission representatives how EU policies can help advance inclusive social entrepreneurship and facilitate strategic partnerships at national and local level.

Check out the full event description and the programme here

Among speakers, there are also some participants of the Better Incubation Communities of Practises:

> Wingee Sampaio (Cartier Women’s Initiative) – EVPA member and Observer of Better Incubation CoP on Women
> Mariama Njie (Coventry University Social Enterprise CIC) – certified EU|BIC (EBN member) and member of the CoP on Migrants and Refugees

EU Prize for Women Innovators – Applications are open till the end of June

The opportunities created by novel technologies and disruptive innovations promise to deliver the fair and sustainable recovery Europe needs. But Europe risks missing out on these opportunities if half its population is overlooked as a source of innovation and creative talent.

The EU Prize for Women Innovators celebrates the women entrepreneurs behind game-changing innovations. In doing so, the EU seeks to raise awareness of the need for more women innovators, and create role models for women and girls everywhere.

The prize is awarded to the most talented women entrepreneurs from across the EU and countries associated to Horizon Europe, who have founded a successful company and brought innovation to the market. The prize is managed by the European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency, and the winners are chosen by an independent expert jury.

Three prizes of €100,000 each are awarded in the main category. A fourth prize of €50,000 is awarded to a promising ‘Rising Innovator’ aged 30 or younger.

Applications to the 2021 edition of the EU Prize for Women Innovators are now open.

The deadline for submissions is 17:00 (CET) on 30 June 2021.

All applications must be submitted via the Funding and Tenders Portal. Please read the Rules of Contest before applying.

Who can apply?

To apply, you must be:

  • a woman
  • established in an EU Member State (including overseas countries and territories) or a country associated to Horizon Europe
  • founder or co-founder of an active innovative company registered at least two years before the submission deadline.

In addition, those applying for the Rising Innovator category must be aged 30 or younger at the start of the call year.

More info can be found here

Source: EIC Funding Opportunities Website

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