Arise NOW aims to create incubators for social entrepreneurship, helping young and also more experienced people to set up their own businesses and become successful drivers of social change. Starting with Luxembourg and Vienna, we would like to offer start-ups 6-months incubation phases providing participants with infrastructure, seed capital, mentoring, access to investors and opportunities for mutual support among start-ups.
A one-year transnational youth initiative allowed us to give shape to our idea, at the Maison de l’Europe in Luxembourg City and the Vienna Impact Hub (Austria). Around twenty highly motivated young people, resident in Europe and with origins in a number of countries including Bangladesh, China, Hungary, Romania, Austria, Luxembourg, the US, Belgium and France, contributed to the beginnings of the Arise NOW Social Incubator Project with their ideas and energy. Our activities included two international events in Vienna and Luxembourg, over 30 local coordination meetings, interviews with experts and special guests including José Manuel Barroso, as well as video and website productions (www.arise-now.org). A grant of 8.000 € allowed our dynamic team to start fostering youth entrepreneurship with a particular focus on sustainability and social inclusion. At this moment, after the end of the transnational youth initiative, we keep developing a portfolio of innovative social business ideas as well as strategies to promote social change involving the educational and sharing economy sectors. At the same time, we are planning to establish partnerships with the public and private sectors in order to offer risk-sharing modules for young entrepreneurs. Given that the level of risk appetite of young people in many European countries is low compared to countries outside Europe, a risk-sharing module shall allow young entrepreneurs to secure their monthly wages during the first years of their businesses by releasing their profits into a mutual fund.