Social & Business Co-Creation: Call for the most innovative Social & Business co-creation projects in Europe!

Ready for a challenge? This might be the one for you!

Ashoka, the Zermatt Summit Foundation, Fondation Guilé, DPD and Boehringer Ingelheim launched an online collaborative competition, Social & Business Co-Creation: collaboration for impact to source, highlight and catalyze innovative Co-Creation projects in Europe led by social-mission organizations (e.g. NGO, association, not-for-profit, foundation, social enterprise), traditional businesses and public institutions.

These projects will illustrate new forms of interaction between social and business to create shared social and economic value at scale. Competition entries can cover a wide range of solutions: from innovative job creation schemes, to the development of new products and services to address essential needs of underserved populations or “last mile” solutions to make these accessible to all. At the core of each project should be the potential to create a more inclusive and human economy, change organizational structures and enable professionals at all levels to become engaged changemakers who turn problems into opportunities.

All social-mission organizations, businesses and public institutions who work together to create change in Europe can apply. The competition deadline is April 10, 2014. The winners will receive coaching and €40,000 in prizes, and will be featured in prominent media. The prizes will be awarded at the Zermatt Summit on June 27th, 2014.

To enter now, please go to: ENTER THIS COMPETITION


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Turning a part-time job into a business - Interview with the co-founder of Le Cico

In a seminar called “InnovAction Lab”(, three Italian girls - Monica, Giulia and Valentina met each. They worked together on the start-up project of the course. Inspired by their own experience and ambition to make something big, they decided to turn their idea into a real business. With the help of “Luiss Enlabs” start-ups incubator (, they launched Le Cicogne, a company and web portal that matches demands and supplies of babysitting service in Italy.

Below is our interview with Monica, the co-founder of Le Cicogne. (

What drove you (and your co-founders) to start Le Cicogne?

Passion and CARPE DIEM.

Le Cicogne is a web portal that matches demand and supply of services such as babysitting, baby&teen shuttle services, baby&teen tutoring and baby party.

I was the first user of my own service. At that time, I was a student looking for flexible babysitting jobs. It was very difficult to find jobs that can fit my schedule. The only way seems to be receiving as many job offers as I can so I have the chance to choose the most suitable one. Obviously this wasn't possible – there won’t be so many parents contacting me if they didn’t hear from another parent that I am available to work. I discovered that the easiest way to look for a babysitter is by word of mouth.

Thanks to a family I was working for I created a new service: the “baby-taxi”, a shuttle service that picks up children from, for example, their sport lesson, and brings them home. It is more than just a “taxi service”, it is a “sitting service” with the car. My responsibilities include making sure the child sits properly, helping them dress after their lesson and having fun with them in the meantime. The job is flexible and only took me three hours per week. So I decided to look for other parents to offer the same service. The parents I already knew introduced me to other families. I started to receive so many calls that I could no longer afford all the work. So I started to share it with my friends. Later we launched a web portal to introduce our business Le Cicogne and facilitate the demands and supplies of the services.

There is more than one reason why my co-founders and I started Le Cicogne. To put them all together, I would say it is the need of a flexible job, of money, of letting people know about my service, and the desire to prove ourselves.

What was the biggest challenge you experienced in the journey of Le Cicogne and how did you overcome it?

I think there is no thing as big as the present and the future that we are living in right now with Le Cicogne. What I mean is that if I look back, I see things way more easier than they are right now, which I think is good. Because it means that we are going in the right way. We are becoming a real company with real difficulties and obstacles.

Some big challenges I have: one, Italian bureaucracy, setting up a company in Italy always means a lot of time, money and legal difficulties. Second, how to transform a start-up into a solid company.

Is there anything that you would have done otherwise?

No. If I could go back in time right now, I would do everything in a different way, but with the knowledge I have now, otherwise I would probably have made the same choices and mistakes.

What is your vision for Le Cicogne in the next three years?

We hope to receive an offer from FB as the one they did to Whatsapp!No, just joking, I see it becoming stronger, a solid company that gets bigger day by day. For sure I see Le Cicogne on the whole Italian territory. 

What advice do you have for young tech entrepreneurs?

I will tell them: START.

Don't look back on what has already past. Look forward. I did it and it is amazing! You won't repeat the same mistake twice; you will realize what you love and how you want it.


2013_05_08-11_23_12 9

Brains behind Le Cicogne

Monica is 25 years old and she is from Rome.
Giulia is 24. She studied Management.
Valentina is 27 and she has a degree in IT.






Author: CYFI Innovations Team

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Unlocking Creativity through Playing - Interview with Matteo di Pascale

This week we would like to present you our interview with Matteo di Pascale, a young Italian writer, designer and artist. He is the creator of Intùiti Creative Cards. Introduced as “a deck of cards for Creativity” and “serious game”, Intùiti aims to provide people with an effective tool for brainstorming and to spur creative thinking.

What drove you to create Intùiti?

Matteo di Pascale

Passion. I designed Intùiti because I thought there was a gap in the way creativity is dealt. At the university they teach it as mechanical methods – brainstorming, mid maps, etc. – which are widely used in agencies. And I've always believed that creativity is something more than a simple equation. That's why I put my efforts in an unconventional tool such as Intùiti. Then, after having realized that it was a very difficult product to place, I tried to raise the funds for a first production through the platform The result was very satisfying: I got the resources to produce the paper version of Intùiti and to develop the Intùiti app for both iOS and Android.

What was the biggest challenge you experienced in the journey of Intùiti? How did you overcome it?

The biggest challenge is always not to give up. This journey started almost 3 years ago and it's easy to think: «Ok, this is not working. Let's just move on». I've been on the edge of resignation several times, and it's all a matter of finding the energy to keep going. You just have to believe in what you are doing and continue working: a good idea is not enough; you have to sweat really hard.

Is there anything that you would have done otherwise with Intùiti?

You learn from your mistakes, so they are pretty useful. I only have some regrets for what regards the level of stress: sometimes I think I could have handled myself better.

What is your vision for Intùiti in the next three years?

Intùit should be produced by a publisher, possibly for both the Italian and the international market, and communicated in two different ways: for tarot lovers, as a new vision of the classical cards, and for creatives, as a peculiar tool for inspiration.

What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs?

Be sincere with yourself. If you don't like your product, change it or drop it. Imagine to be working on that for the next 5 years: if you love it, it would be an amazing adventure (also if it's not successful); otherwise you are just wasting your energy.



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Failing My Way to Success

Barclay Okari Sharing His Entrepreneurship Story

Experiencing instabilities earlier on in my life made me aware of my environment at a young age and drove the desire in me in wanting to be self-reliant. Being young and exposed to entrepreneurial adults around me, I fell in love with entrepreneurship and knew that I had found my calling.

At the age of 11, I was working at a cereal grain store recording and supervising sales. I started saving money to build up capital for a business I had in mind. I saved for three years and started my first internet company SkypeScience, a video sharing website for science ideas, at the age of 15.

Read more at YouthTech 


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Bankaroo – A Virtual Banking App developed by an 11 year old

Danielle wanted to build a website and a mobile application that will help parents teach kids about the value of money, as well as help them manage their allowance, gift and chores money.

This was the inception of the bankaroo idea.

She came up with bankaroo (, a free service that is a virtual bank for kids money, where they can save up for goals, use money for different things while their parents can add allowance, chore and gift money into their virtual account. The real money stays in the parents’ wallets, but the virtual representation of it is very real.

Read more

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goHenry – Helping teens learn how to budget and gain money confidence

Budgeting can be difficult enough for all of us, but it is a skill best learned young. If our children find their pocket money not stretching as far as they’d like, do they know how to manage it? What’s more, with a higher and higher percentage of all teens’ spending happening online, how do parents empower their children to learn great money skills in a totally different spending environment to the one in which they grew up? Let alone providing them with a safe spending solution to use online and in shops.

That’s where goHenry comes in. goHenry is the simple, safe and fun way for young people to learn about managing money in the modern world. The solution includes a cash card for children with parental controls combined with apps that focus on helping children earn, save and spend responsibly whilst making it really easy for parents to manage their children’s pocket money and allowances.

This is how goHenry works: there’s an account for the parent and a linked account for each child, all managed online or through the goHenry iOS and Android apps. Each child gets their very own goHenry card but it’s not a credit or debit card, it’s a Cash Card with rules and spending limits set by the parent. With easy-to-use, graphical educational formats, children can always see how much they have to spend, and more importantly, how their earning and saving relates to their spending – many parents are noticing that because of this their children are turning from super-spenders to savvy-savers. Parents set automatic weekly pocket money payments and tasks to help their children earn extra, make one-off instant money transfers, block the card without a phone call, decide how much can be spent and where the card can be used, and receive real-time notifications on their children’s transactions. Children can set wish lists, create savings goals and get real time balances on their transactions. The goHenry card can be used anywhere Visa is accepted, but only within the rules set by the parent. And because only the money on the card can be spent, there’s no danger of debt or overdraft.

Parents love goHenry because it makes managing their children’s pocket money really easy and turns family money management into a very positive experience. And for their children they are giving them independence and freedom to manage their own money, but under their guidance whilst helping them develop good money habits for life. Many parents are finding that because it allows their children to learn about money by doing it for themselves they are learning really practical money lessons and developing the right kind of money habits.

As children go back to school at the start of 2014 it’s a great time to consider teaching them how to create and stick to a monthly budget and put some aside for a rainy day.

Here are our top tips to help them if they’re feeling the pinch, all of which are really easy to implement using goHenry’s unique solution:

1. Know how much they have
Get your teen to tally up how much pocket money they have. This will give them an idea of the amount of money that they have to work with for the month. This can be done easily using goHenry, as all their saving and spending data is displayed in a really simple and visual way. Remind your teen that they should only account for money they are certain to receive. Counting on money that may or may not come in is a risky strategy and one they should avoid.

2. Calculate ‘fixed’ costs
What are their fixed costs for the month? Anything along the lines of lunches and travel expenses are a fixed cost. Make sure teens account for these expenses first, before spending on less important items like fast food and cinema tickets.

3. Review their spending
Have your teen look back on what they spent their money on during the previous month. Reviewing spending can be a great aid to seeing where their money is going. Work with your teen to show them patterns in their spending. This way they can better understand their finances in order to create a solid budget they can stick to for the next month.

4. Making changes & Impulse spending
Did you notice any habits that are causing them to break their budget? If so, it’s time to make some changes. Help your teen to get into the habit of making short and long-term savings goals before they go shopping to reduce impulse spending. Also encourage them to shop around before buying. They can research the best deals and compare prices online. Have them also think about areas they could cut back on in order to save more each month.

goHenry is perfect for parents with children from 8 upwards. Try goHenry today. Visit to get started.
NB – goHenry is currently only available to residents of the UK. Contributed by: goHenry

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Young People Offer Innovative Strategies to Promote Financial Inclusion

While many of us are simply worrying about the challenges ahead, young people are already developing innovative ways to solve them.  Whether it’s spiraling unemployment, air and water pollution, or lack of financial services, this younger generation uses their entrepreneurial mindsets, creative imaginations, and aptitude for technology to promote new strategies for change.

Making sure that those at the bottom of the economic ladder have the resources they need to improve their lives – and even climb out of poverty — is currently the goal of 26-year-old Taufan Putra.  He quit his comfortable job at IBM to devote his time providing affordable financial services to low-income families living in remote rural areas of Indonesia – most of whom live on less than $2 a day. So far, through his organization Amartha Microfinance, he has provided average loans of US$100 to over 3,000 women across the country to help them support their families. “I strongly believe that consistent, systematic and collaborative efforts of all stakeholders will bring poverty alleviation programs to a new level, where we can uplift people out of poverty through empowerment instead of charity” says Putra. In Guatemala, Ruth Degola follows this same mantra. In 2004, at the age of 21, she and Benita Singh co-founded Mercado Global, an organization that links indigenous artisans in rural Guatemalan communities to sales opportunities abroad. The artists have increased their income three-fold through the production of hand-made high-fashion purses and accessories and are now able to send their children to school and enjoy greater financial stability. Said Degola at a recent Clinton Global Initiative interview: “These women are fighters. They are amazing artisans. All they needed was a market.”


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3 Ways Technology is Disrupting Education


The technology industry is one of the most dynamic, adaptive and diverse markets one can think of in this current age. To think almost a 100 years ago we were just getting accustomed to Nikola Tesla’s invention of using Electricity to enhance the home, to now, having a computer with almost the same processing power as the human brain is simply astounding. From that time until now, we can clearly see Moore’s Law in full effect, and it won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Theorists predict that within the next 50 years technology will be advancing at such a high pace that it will be next to impossible to keep up with it’s progress, ‘The Singularity’.

Based on the trends and the tendencies of the market currently it is said that we’re stepping into the ‘Age of the Quantified Self’, many persons will be using wearable tech devices, like the Nike Fuel band, more frequently to get detailed information about their bodies in order to help them make better decisions in regards to their health. This era is propelled by ‘The Internet of Things’, where everyday items around the home, workplace, in stores, etc, will be able to give detailed information about the duties they perform.

The Education Industry is not exempt from this type of disruption, and it has gone under several rounds of technological advancement. In this blog I’ll expound on the current state of the Education Industry, ways it will thrive and how technology based learning will change the industry.

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JobsInNigeria – A Job Search Engine in Nigeria

How do you find your job?

The most likely answers one can expect from many of us are: recruitment agency, Internet, newspaper, recommendation from someone, job fair, etc. The fact is, even in developed economies where information seems easily accessible, one can often struggles to find information of available and suitable jobs.

How about in developing continents such as Africa? The region’s rapidly growing economy is creating jobs for many. It is estimated that Africa will create over 54 million “new, stable wage-paying” jobs over the next decade, according to McKinsey Global Institute[1]. However, it remains a great challenge for a majority of workforce in Africa to access job information due to the underdevelopment of facilities around the labor market. Internet is still costly for a majority of population. People living in remote areas face significant barriers to seek any job information and related career support.

Olufuwa Tayo and Dele Bakare, two young Nigerians launched JobsInNigeria in 2012, a job search engine aiming to help job seekers in Nigeria access job information and apply for jobs. One year since its launch, the platform has reached 150,000 users and continues to grow.

Read more


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Ummeli – Youth Workforce Development Mobile Platform

Two years since it launched, Ummeli is about to reach 250 000 users, turning it into the leading workforce development mobile platform in Africa.

The Nguni word for mediator, Ummeli began as a mobile community for young Africans who are classified as NEET – Not in Employment, Education or Training. Youth lack the funds, resources and networks necessary to successfully apply for suitable opportunities that would allow them to learn, gain skills and experience to become more competitive in the job market.

Read more at the YouthTech blog.

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Youth employment: how mobile services are facilitating job opportunities for young people in Europe

Recognizing youth unemployment as a global challenge, the Mobile for Employment team took a trip to the GSMA Brussels office to discuss issues in the European context as part of the GSMA Mobile Meetings Series.

Read more at the YouthTech blog.


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Game on! Gamification in banking – why and how?

Game on! In the blog post we would like to guide you through the idea of gamification and introduce IND Group’s Gamification concept.

Wikipedia defines gamification as “the use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts to engage users in solving problems”. To clearly understand gamification, let’s dig deeper into the topic by examining the parts of the sentence

Read more at the YouthTech blog

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Africa’s mobile youth drive change

The sight of teenagers selling mushrooms using mobile phones is becoming a familiar one in rural Namibia. Namibia Polytechnic faculty member Maurice Nkusi, designer of a cell phone–based curriculum, told the TechDailyNews that most of these children have never even used a computer. But the rapidity with which they master new technology reflects the era in which they are living.

This is the first generation to have direct access to high technology. Cell phones today are nearly ubiquitous in African society. Teenagers and young adults are obsessed by them, carrying them around everywhere.

Read more at the YouthTech blog

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Virtual Piggy: Youth Empowered, Parent Approved

Kids and teens today have grown up with the internet as a constant presence. When they’re online they want to socialize, share . . . and shop. The problem is, they don’t have a safe way to make purchases while keeping their parents in control.

This is where Virtual Piggy comes in.  Virtual Piggy allows kids and teens to safely shop online with the money they earn, in addition to managing their money and saving up for items they want. This is all done within the limits parents set.

Read more on the YouthTech blog 

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Building Bridges

Three Coins is trying to further youth financial literacy education by combining the trends of gaming, smart phones and new media with applied research in the field of behavioural economy. To do this, we’re developing a ‘non-educational’ mobile adventure game that trains financial literacy. 

Read more on the YouthTech blog

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Pesacard: A Smartcard to Boost Financial Empowerment of Children in Kenya

In Kenya, 75% of the country’s 40 million citizens own a mobile phone and a similar percentage of that sector uses mobile money services, particularly M-PESA. Behind the scenes, the key player driving financial inclusion is not a bank but the leading mobile phone service provider – Safaricom.

Read more at the Youth Tech Blog

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The Swedes believe – 13 year olds should have a debit card

Earlier this year, Point Group, a Sweden-based managed services group, wrapped up a survey that aimed to determine how old Swedes believe children should be before they should be given their own debit card.The results (spoiler in the title!) might surprise many Westerners. Read more at YouthTech

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Mobile Merchant Payments offers the Biggest Opportunity for Financial Inclusion among Youth-Owned Enterprises in Africa

Income-generating micro and small enterprises (MSEs) are one of the main instruments of economic empowerment for millions of young entrepreneurs in Africa. Micro-enterprises also provide employment opportunities to millions of youth across the continent

Read more at YouthTech 

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Innovations in Mobile Money – bKash

Remember the days when you had to go to the bank to transfer money or deposit a check? All the hassle of getting in your car, driving to the bank, waiting in line and filling out forms now seems like an antiquated routine. Now imagine the closest bank being 50 kilometers away and your transportation an overcrowded and unsafe bus, prone to onboard theft and unreliability. Chances are you wouldn’t keep your money in the bank, despite the security and perks it may offer—you’d rather take the risk of stashing your cash at home.

Millions living in rural Bangladesh—and billions around the world—face this dilemma. This was the impetus for the creation of bKash Limited, a mobile money service by BRAC Bank, a socially responsible financial institution founded by the nation’s anti-poverty giant BRAC.

Read more at YouthTech

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Youth, Mobile and Employment

Millions of youth in developing countries are out of employment, with some unemployment rates reaching up to 27%, for example in North Africa. The high rates of unemployment exclude underserved youth from productive social and economic life and keep them stuck in the cycle of poverty. Research has shown that some of the main reasons for youth unemployment include lack of appropriate skills and experience, communication barriers, lack of knowledge of jobs available, and inability to travel to work.

These challenges can be addressed via mobile technology, which is prevalent in developing countries and in the hands of youth. Research conducted by the GSMA in 2012 in Ghana, India, Morocco and Uganda found that 85% of youths had access to their own mobile phone and 92% had access to a household mobile phone.

Read More at YouthTech

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