The social incubator Microninho, based in Lousã, has already helped 12 businesses to be born in the first year of activity of a multi-municipal project that ends in 2020 and whose goal is to create 36 companies.
“We started in October 2017 and we are 50% of our targets,” said Liana, the coordinator of the Microninho, Liliana Simões.
Supported by community funds, the project corresponds to a total investment of 414,000 euros and involves the municipalities of Lousã, Vila Nova de Poiares, Penela and Condeixa-a-Nova, where Microninho has offices open in the district of Coimbra.
Founder of the Association of Social and Cultural Development of the Five Places (ADSCCL), sociologist Liliana Simões explained that the intervention in the four counties already comprises 120 beneficiaries, half of the 240 that constitute the final objective.
A third of the 36 deals planned in the Microninho plans “are being supported and incubated,” he said.
In addition to having reached 120 direct beneficiaries, the project already has 80 indirect beneficiaries, since the work began about a year ago.
Another 204 people were signalled and 56 were participants who did not advance “for the creation of business or integration in the labour market.
In September 2017, at the signing of cooperation and partnership agreements between ADSCCL and the other entities involved, the coordinator of the Microninho said she hoped that “more than 140 people” could return to the labour market by 2020.
The project aims to “combat unemployment and social exclusion” in the municipalities involved and should include 240 direct beneficiaries and their families.
However, 38 of the 69 people who are candidates for job search are already employed, according to Liliana Simões.
In all, during the first year of the project’s implementation, 106 “autonomization plans” were developed for the candidates, who join with the families in the social innovation initiative.
Microninho was the result of ADSCCL’s partnership with the four municipalities (which account for 30% of the social investment of the project), the University of Coimbra, Portugal Inovação Social (PIS) and the Development Association of Ceira and Dueça (Dueceira). headquarters in Lousã.
The municipalities are “social investors” of the incubator, having financed the project with 31 thousand euros each, the remaining amount being allocated under an application to the European Social Fund (ESF) through PIS.
With a team of five professionals, Microninho is an incubator that provides a free service in the area of “social innovation for sustainable local development”.
In addition to promoting the employability and social inclusion, the project aims to “stimulate local development, creating a positive impact in the regions where it operates and can incubate projects physically or at a distance,” according to ADSCCL.
The idea of the creation of Microninho, which in a first phase only intervened in the municipality of Lousã, was born in 2011, within the ambit of the master’s degree in Social Intervention and Entrepreneurship that the sociologist Liliana Simões concluded at the University of Coimbra.