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“Inclusivity Lab” project


The EU funded “Inclusivity Lab” project was developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that has triggered the most severe recession in nearly a century and is causing enormous damage to people’s health, jobs and well-being all over the world. In Russia the crisis continues to disproportionately affect vulnerable groups and exacerbating gender and regional inequalities, making the achievement of SDGs more critical and urgent.

Brief description: 

COVID-19 compromises the health status of the majority of people with disabilities and the elderly and social isolation hampers their mental well-being. Domestic violence reports more than doubled amidst the COVID-19 lockdown. Hundreds of thousands of migrants are trapped in Russia's quarantine lockdown, lacking jobs, livelihoods, and free access to healthcare. Civil society organisations (CSOs) working with vulnerable groups report on the increased number of demands from their beneficiaries, while their capacities to provide support have been significantly undermined by the restriction measures related to the spread of the COVID-19 and decreased funding.

“Inclusivity Lab” project will contribute to the CSOs adoptive immune response to shocks and crises in the future and will help them to adjust to the post-COVID environment with minimum losses. They will reinforce the skills and competences in social entrepreneurship and explore the potential of new digital technologies to reach out to their beneficiaries, work remotely and/or online and adapt to the new post-pandemic situation. With the help of acceleration and incubation programmes, tailored to their needs, financial and expert support, they will be able to use social entrepreneurship and new technologies for continued, increased and innovative provision of socio-economic services to vulnerable populations.

Through wide-spread media campaigns and partnerships we will improve understanding of social entrepreneurship by the Russian civil society as a tool to achieve financial sustainability, as well as mobilize support of public and private actors. We will build a public space where Russian counterparts continue to support implementation on the new legislation on social entrepreneurship and to encourage income-generating activities by CSOs.

Key activities and projected results:

The project activities are split into three interconnected work packages /WP1/ following the logic of social business development from ideas /WP1/ to sustainable growth /WP2/. WP1 and WP2 will allow graduates of the incubator and accelerator to communicate with each other and with the project teams with the help of an online platform, to pitch ideas to potential investors and media in Russia and in the EU, and to ensure a broader public and government support for social entrepreneurship during public events. WP3 is connected to WP1 and WP2, increasing the communication and visibility and allowing to reach and involve broader audience during the events.

WP1– Incubation: A 6-months incubation program for grassroots and CSOs in the target regions, a series of offline and online training sessions, counselling, mentorship and networking. The incubation program will be based on the outcome of mapping and needs assessment of grassroots and CSOs in three target regions /Samara oblast, Novosibirsk oblast, and Primorskiy Krai/, where the Incubator RIT has a strong expert base and enjoys the support of the local public and private actors. Small grants and expert support will be given to the selected grassroots and CSOs in the target regions.

WP2 – Acceleration:  Small grants and targeted expert support will be provided to the former graduates of IHM’ incubation and acceleration programmes. A 3-months 2-track acceleration program will be launched for experienced CSOs and social entrepreneurs (SEs) working with PWDs and experienced SEs and CSOs working with other vulnerable groups. Small impact grants and mentorship support will be distributed to the selected graduates of the accelerator.

WP3 – Cooperation and awareness raising: We will launch the Impact Day as an awareness raising and knowledge dissemination activity aimed at promoting impact entrepreneurship and presenting projects by the graduates of the capacity-building programs to potential investors, supporters and peers. Travel grants will be distributed to exchange best practices to the graduates of the acceleration programme.

Duration: 01/04/2021 – 30/09/2023 (30 months)

Total Project Budget:  € 647,457

EU Contribution: € 575,457

Location/s: Russiа, Samara oblast, Novosibirsk oblast, and Primorskiy Krai

Implementing Partners: Impact Hub Moscow and JSC Incubator "Rehabilitation Industry Technologies"

See also