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€10,000 to Test a Social Venture in Naples, Italy

Posted by: Nick Leiber on August 11, 2011

Unsure how to spend this summer weekend? Brainstorm startup ideas to remedy dysfunction in Naples, Italy, the famous port city known for its vibrancy, history, and cuisine—as well as its lawlessness and litter.

A London nonprofit called Euclid Network is seeking individuals from around the globe to solve societal problems in Naples. The group wants entrepreneurs to move to the city this fall and create business ventures that will improve locals’ lives.

To find the best ideas for the six challenges it has already identified, Euclid is holding Naples 2.0, a competition soliciting proposals in English through this Monday, Aug. 15. The challenges range from converting a villa confiscated from the mafia into a business to improving operations at a textile recycling cooperative.

On Sept. 23, a jury that includes the U.S. consul general in Naples and a vice-president of the European Parliament will award six winners €10,000 each to get their ventures off the ground with local partners. By Jan., Euclid, which is funded in part by the European Commission, will assess participants’ progress to determine whether to continue supporting them. Wanda Halbert, a Euclid coordinator, says the group is still determining how to help with foreign participants’ costs related to visas, travel expenses, and lodging.

Euclid chose Naples because it wanted to put social innovators to work in a place where public institutions have proven “ineffective,” the group’s executive director, Filippo Addarii, explains in a video. “We want to do it not in a fancy, cool, hyper-tech, wealthy environment, but it in a place which is the symbol of state and market failures,” says Addarii. “I think that is the right place for social innovators, to show that they can provide solutions where the traditional remedies failed.”

Catch his complete explanation in the short video below.

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What's it like to run your own company today? Entrepreneurs face multiple hurdles new and old, from raising capital and managing employees to keeping up with technology and competing in a global marketplace. In this blog, the Small Business channel's John Tozzi and Nick Leiber discuss the news, trends, and ideas that matter to small business owners. Follow them on Twitter @newentrepreneur.

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