Socifaction — Social Business Initiative

SOCIFACTION is a social business accelerator program for young passionate individuals with ideas how to solve social and environmental problems.

The program is designed in cycles, where teams and individuals submit their ideas that can solve a social issue and have the potential to become financially sustainable. Or in other words, to become a profitable social business. So far there have been 2 cycles and we have nearly 100 alumni from Latvia and Lithuania.

Our methodology is rooted in the understanding that entrepreneurship is best learnt through hands-on experiences and creative action, so a large part of the program is practical, with 3 months of support from experienced mentors.

The program is part of an ERASMUS+ project 'Making Good Deeds Profitable' and it is created in partnership between NGO Avilys (LT), Geri Norai(LT) , Red Ochre (UK), Not Perfect Riga (LV). 

Check out how we did in first cycle with 40 participants: 

Here is a peek at the fantastic time we had in Vilnius at the final stage of the 2nd cycle in November! This time we had nearly 60 participants. 

A huge THANKS goes to Kablys Culture Bar, indoor skate park and hostel in Vilnius who hosted us during both training cycles (they were also one of the participating teams in the 1st cycle!).
Another huge THANKS goes to Jamaika hostel who hosted us during the 3 events in Vilnius, too! 
And we also had a fantastic time with PIENS klubs and PIENS GATAVO, who fed and hosted us during our event in Riga in July!

3rd  SOCIFACTION cycle was meant to empower people with disabilities. Social business could be the solution for those people, help them to create their own workplace and even employ other disabled people. Through the development of social business they can also solve problems that rise whuke living with disability. Here are some moments from the event held at Europa city hotel in Lithuania.

Teams

The program has nearly 100 alumni from Latvia and Lithuania. These brave young entrepreneurs were selected from more than 300 different applications.  Their ideas range from innovations in sustainable fashion, recycling, food waste reduction to digital social innovations and building eco-communities. 

Here we are in the 1st cycle


Get to know these social entrepreneurs making their first steps in business! 

Our Alumni

  • Kapsulings

    Kapsulings

    Ance and Valters have created a capsule filled with tasty and healthy herbs and spices that one can use to make tasty hot milk drinks, coffee, add it to porridge, soups and other meals. The herb mixes are made according to the Ayurvedic healing tradition.
    Get to know them here (Latvian): http://kapsulings.lv

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    TWACH

    TWACH (this will also change) aim to make fashion more sustainable. They use second-hand clothes and materials to create designer clothes.

    some will say it’s clothing.
    some will say it's a thing.
    but in fact we are just TWACHing
    in other words - changing

    follow TWACH on FB: https://www.facebook.com/twach.clothing/timeline

    and Instagram: https://instagram.com/twach.clothing/

  • Lucavsala

    Lucavsala Eco-community

    Lucavsala eco-community are preserving and creating an urban garden in Riga, giving urban dwellers the opportunity to grow their own food and to enjoy nature. They host events, involve the locals and attract new activists to create a community which values nature, peace and organic food.

    Find out more here (Latvian): http://lucavsala.org

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    Adventure Spirit

    Adventure Spirit are an NGO with a rich experience in youth leadership training as well as fun outdoors events. They have joined Socifaction to develop their project Tree House creating wooden hotels on trees for outdoors adventure seekers.

  • Delve

    Delve

    Delve is a platform of digital curation and valuable information for young people. They feed the brain and inform about events in Latvia. They reflect on meaningful topics to stimulate the growth and understanding of the world, giving information relevant for both everyday and academic pursuits. 

  • Vkk ddr3

    Visual Culture Club

    Strong and active communities that are contributing the development of their town – that is the vision of social innovation accelerator "Thought. Done. Created" developed by Visual Culture Club NGO. It is an innovative youth training program for small and medium municipalities dealing with depopulation and aging of the society that engages local youth and helps to build the sense of community. Visit their website for the latest updates: www.vkklubs.org

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    Nezvērs

    Nezvērs are serving delicious, juicy, plant-based burgers to satiate your voracious, beastly appetite - fast & healthy!
    Seeing that a lot of the global climate challenges are created by intensive cattle farming, these entrepreneurs have created a cruelty-free and nature-friendly alternative you can't resist! 
    They participated in the 1st program and got our grand prize - experience trip to the UK!

  • She fix logo

    SHE FIX

    SHE FIX is an emerging lifestyle brand based on the principle of women empowerment through urban sports and creative activities.

    They host weekly events 'Dāmīšu saripošanās' where the active sports loving girls get together for the fun of skating, Inline, BMX, Longboarding and Rollerderby.

    Check out their Facebook page for the latest updates: www.facebook.com/www.shefix.eu

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    Līksnas 26

    These passionate activists are creating a culture hub in the notorious suburb or Riga Maskavas forštate, thus refreshing social and cultural atmosphere in the neighborhood. 

  • Sulu centrs

    Juice Center

    Sulu Centrs or Juice Center make fresh juices and smoothies and deliver them to your office or home. You can taste their healthy and refreshing juices in festivals and small events as well.
    They are currently working on their product development to create more variety in their offers. 
    Check out their facebook page for the latest updates: https://www.facebook.com/sulucentrs/?fref=ts

  • Vilina logo

    Vilina

    Handmade wool mittens & socks- created for you by the artisan you choose. 
    These passionate entrepreneurs are reviving the valued knitting tradition of Latvian grandmas and linking it to buyers in France and Netherlands (for now)
    Vilina team won the 2nd cycle grand prize - an experience trip to the UK. 

    Follow their latest updates on : https://www.facebook.com/VilinaKnitwear/timeline

  • B well logo 1

    B*Well

    These 3 enthusiastic friends came together sharing a common interest in self-growth and seeking a deeper and more authentic understanding of the self . 
    Their big idea is to create a retreat house where others would get the opportunity to experience coming closer to one's soul, relaxing and rejuvenating from the daily hassles, being close to nature.

  • Screen shot 2016 02 09 at 21 20 53

    Chu

    Three ladies Liga, Vlada and Kristine who are lucky enough to buy organic fair-trade rice in Latvia unfortunately face the situation that still it is a great challenge to buy healthy chewing gum that makes no long term damage to one’s health. Therefore the girls came up with their own solution –healthy, tasty, eco chewing gum.
    Chuˇ will be made of organic locally grown ingredients and based on bees' wax.

    Chuˇ
    - tasty to chew,
    - improves not harms your health,
    - when you are done with it, it decomposes,
    - and each chewer will get a little message
    - animation with a one-liner
    - printed on a wrapper.

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    Social taxi

    It's the unique service that helps people with movement disability travel wherever they want.  With specially adapted taxi they can reach work, hospital, university, various organisations, theatre, cinema or shop. This service is already available in four Lithuania and one Latvia town and leaded by Jonas Mulevičius. 

    Social taxi is not only transporting people – the drivers also help their clients to step out of home, carry bags, sit in and provide escort.  Attention is dedicated for the quality of this service: taxi drivers (and volunteers) are specially trained to provide first aid, to communicate, have other important skills.

  • Coolukis4

    Cool Ūkis

    It‘s the community that unites old farmers and young gree-minded urban residents. Young citizens have a wish to grow vegetables and herbs, learn more about gardening, they care about  the environment around them.  At the moment elderly people in the city‘s suburbs or smaller cities have an unused land, which they already can‘t take care of. They would like to talk, share their experience and give away some of the yield in exchange. The purpose of this social business is to bring people, who want to share farmlands and those, who want to grow their own vegetables together.  Such business should start in nearest spring, the idea is developed by Simona, Austė Černiauskaitė and Ieva Česnulaitytė.

  • Marina2 kirpta

    LECH LECHA

    The title means „go into yoursef“. This social enterprise aims to
    create „fashion with a viewpoint“. 

    Young fashion designer  Janina Zibireva ir creating handmade jewelery and  accessories together with vulnerable, socially excluded people at the social care (day) centres.  The new accesories are being made from old garments, other textile products.  LECH LECHA provides work for homeless, their products are made with an unique style and deep breath of the joy of life.

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    Gabus.lt

    Having bunch of experience in educational field Mantas
    Žalkauskas decided to create a crowfunding platform for schools. Why for schools only? Mantas says a school pupil sometimes lacks just a little push forward – for example, a musical instrument or a ticket to the important sports game to participate in – in order to develop his talent. While taking part in this project, schoolchildren learn to create an additional value for their school, class, learn new skills and creative exellences.

    The creators of the platform invite all socially responsible people to finance the initiatives of the youngsters, but also require the pupils to find a way to give investors something in return, maybe some result of the used possibility or a newly created product.

  • Inovatoriu slenis

    The valley of innovators

    It's a space for various camps, workshops, meetings of
    social innovators, surrounded by unspoiled nature. The area is founded at the former premises of a monastery and still being repaired. It's not only a place for team building, various social, cultural, educational projects, but also involve a local citizens (who are cooking for the guests, giving lectures about the bees and apiary). Residents of local community have a chance to earn a decent wage providing various services for guests visiting this valley and people who come use a co-working and training space in calm, nature surrounded environment.

  • Ka veikia vaikai

    What are the kids doing?

    In nowadays fast-moving world not every parent has a
    notion, what his son or daughter is doing now. That's why organisation „Mentor Lithuania“ have created a training course for parents „What are the kids doing?“. It's created for parents who want to prevent teenagers from getting into various addictions, such as drugs, alcohol and tobacco. The training course consist of facts, advises, tasks, test and video material.

  • Img 8627

    City is a LAB

    Today urban population is growing with exponential rates
    and cities are becoming more congested, not enjoyable to live in, thinks "City is a LAB" team– creators of this enterprise.  Renata, Goda, Dominykas, Agnė, Eglė and Gintarė are sure urban dwellers need to see an example on how to adapt in the city environment.

    Thus, project „Miesto Laboratorija“ ("City is a LAB") is an incubator for sustainable city ideas, eco friendly initiatives that could be easily adapted in the daily lifestyle of the urban resident.

    Team aims to build a self-sufficient house, which would serve as a community restaurant, an education center, where urban residents can come and learn to practise more green lifestyle.

  • Crrency komanda

    Crrency

    This platform aims to change the current monetary situation. Nowadays people in the society are feeling like strangers to each other. People cannot feel free because the banks  can easily influence their savings.

    „Crrency“ – a social business created by Eimantas Matulaitis, is the smart phone app, which enables people to form their own economical circles. Allows to create an area where people would swap products and services, decide on their own, how their country‘s currency should function.

    If such idea would be implemented, people would become more resistant to various economic crises, payments would be more clear.

  • Socialinis veiksmas

    Social action

    Three workers from an NGO "Socialinis veiksmas" offer an alternative team building service for business companies. Their employees can take part in specific volunteering projects, where they help an NGO to  solve a problem simply meet the NGO needs. Employees of big international enterprises often have skills and competences, which NGO‘s lack. Although it‘s a rare example that those two organizations meet, help each other and create an additional value – „Social action“ strive that such collaboration would be useful for both sides.

    This social business use skills of employees and make a volunteering an exceptional experience for them.

  • Namas medyje

    The treehouse project

    The idea of building small treehouses was born after Simonas Naudžius asked his friends whether using their skills they could build one. Evening discussion evolved into a social business.
    Their aim is to sell treehouses for families, for kids to play and feel the wilderness of childhood. Money coming from the sells would be used to build a treehouse park where kids from orphanage could play and feel the joy of having a free and joyful childhood.

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    Mom's radio

    Gintarė, Ieva, Laura, Dovilė and Monika already run a radio dedicated for mothers, but decided to create a few new products under this brand.

    They organise events, photoshoots for „newly baked“ mothers, started to create customized fairytales to promote reading for your children. Revenue from products and services are used to launch social initiatives for families.

    Team members think that a stereotype of a mother, closed with a newborn between four walls should be destroyed. They encourage women to dedicate some time for other activities, feel the common sense with other mothers and be inspired.

  • Komanda

    Initiatives of animal welfare

    The idea of this team, leaded by Beatričė Vaitiekūnaitė, transformed as they took part in „Socifaction“ project. At first team developed an idea of mobile animal clinic, which could enable to take care of stray cats and dogs, while providing paid veterinary services for the owners of cats and dogs.

    Hovewer it was soon realized that such project requires too many initial investment and it's payback is quite small.

    Team re-brainstormed their idea into „Murmarket“ – it was a shop selling accesories and clothes with animal drawings and prints. Good are wool-free, leather-free and the revenue flows to help animals in animal shelters.

    At the moment team have developed one more idea to produce coffins for animals.

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    Eldergarden

    It's a social business alternative for the retirement homes. Two young women Aurelija and Kristina had found out that adults, who bring their old parents to the retirement home, do this only because they lack time to take care of their older relatives through the workday.

    Eldergarden would be a stationary day center for old people, where they receive reabilitation and physical therapy.

    Attention, growing old actively, significant leisure – in the words of this business idea authors, these are they elements that create dignified retirement.

  • Ssd mopt 1

    First Aid

    The main idea of the „First Aid“ team is to teach school pupils essential skills that could save a stranger's or a friend's life someday. Those, who finish the course are named „young school paramedics“, equiped with medical tools and are approved to be able to provide first aid if anyone in school gets in trouble.

    In a while the paid first aid courses are organized and sold for employers of companies, driving schools etc.

    At the moment (about a year after a finnish of the first „Socifaction“ cycle) this team is carrying out the pilot project in 6 schools of Lithuania. They already prepared instructors to lead the paid first aid courses. Edvinas and Augustas says the biggest challenge now is time – because it takes long to teach kids those skills.

Mentors

What is social business

The main objective of a social business is to maximize social impact  and to improve people’s lives. At the same time - profit is more than welcome, because the more money the social business gets, the more it can invest in solving the issue and making the world amazing!

In a social business, the investors/owners can gradually get back the investment money, but cannot take any dividend beyond that point, investors do not profit from it. 
The company must cover all costs and make profit, just like usual businesses at the same time achieving the social objective, such as healthcare and housing for the poor, providing safe drinking water, introducing renewable energy, etc. in a business way

The success of a social business is measured in terms of the positive impact the business has made on people and the environment. These companies are financially sustainable and compete in the market just like all other businesses.

7 principles of Social Business

These principles were defined by Professor Muhammad Yunus, Nobel peace prize winner and the ‘father of social business’. 
This is the basis of social business that is also taught in Socifaction, however there are multiple hybrid forms that can also achieve social objectives



  1. Business objective will be to overcome poverty, or one or more problems (such as education, health, technology access, and environment) which threaten people and society; not profit maximization

  2. Financial and economic sustainability

  3. Investors get back their investment amount only. No dividend is given beyond investment money

  4. When investment amount is paid back, company profit stays with the company for expansion and improvement

  5. Environmentally conscious

  6. Workforce gets market wage with better working conditions

  7. ...do it with joy

Resources

Eager to know more about how to create a happier world with Social Business? 

Here are some useful links:

Grameen Creative Lab (Creation of Dr.Yunus and Hans Reitz) : http://www.grameencreativelab.com/our-company/vis…

Yunus Centre:
http://www.muhammadyunus.org/ 

Sociālās inovācijas centrs (LV):
http://socialinnovation.lv/LV/sociala-inovacija/s…

Social Entrepreneurs: Pioneering Social change
http://youtu.be/jk5LI_WcosQ

Current events

Social Business Festival

The Happy Happy Joy Joy social business festival 2015 took place in Riga on the 31st July, bringing together social business experts with bright young entrepreneurs and creatives. 

Check out the fantastic experts who joined last year: thehappyhappyjoyjoyfestival.com

Here is a glimpse of HHJJ 2015
(video made in collaboration with Baltic Youth Way)

Featuring :
* Michael Brohm (DE), the managing director of The Grameen Creative Lab,
* Phil Tulba (UK), director of Adrenaline Alley,
* Andzelika Rusteikiene (LT), co-founder of GeriNorai
* Fionn Dobbin (DE), co-founder of MAMMU,
* Zane Skuja (LV), project manager of SOCIFACTION in Latvia

We will keep you updated on the Happy Happy Joy Joy 2016, set to take place at the end of summer in Riga!

Workshops

We want to bring Social Business to all passionate young people who want to bring positive change to society and the environment. That's why we also hold small workshops in various locations.

Keep your eyes peeled and follow our latest news on our Facebook page for upcoming pop-up events!

Partners & Friends

This project is the result of a [perfecto!*] partnership between impactful NGOs from Lithuania - NVO AvilysGerinorai; a creative [and very successful] advertising agency Not Perfect Riga and Red Ochre-the experts of social change organizations in the UK.

SOCIFACTION social business initiative is an ERASMUS+ funded project called 'Making Good Deeds profitable' within the 'Strategic partnership in the youth field' branch.

Contact us

For general inquiries and the application process write to info@socifaction.com

Organized by