The National Foundation of Civil Society (NFCS) and SEB Estonia presented the special prize for social enterprise to Mobiilsed Töötoad (Mobile Workshops in English), a company which will raise young people’s career awareness and competitiveness in the technology and engineering sector.
The strength of Mobiilsed Töötoad lied in articulating a relevant issue and working out a profitable and scalable business model to accompany their suggested solution. The planned workshops will allow young people to try their hand at tools used in the metal and timber industries, learning new techniques and skills.
“In the technology and engineering sectors, there is a huge unmet demand for a qualified workforce – this makes it all the more important to show young people from an early age what kind of exciting opportunities await in the sector,” said Agu Laius, Managing Director of the National Foundation of Civil Society.
According to Laius, business solutions for social issues are currently in need for better growth opportunities both when it comes to mentorship and funding. “Only by being based on a functional business model can solutions dealing with social issues make sure they are independent and sustainable. Just like venture capital firms who give start-ups a headstart for growth, the state should take the lead in building social enterprises until they start bearing fruit themselves,” he argued.
The Head of Innovation at SEB Group Mart Maasik suggests that private companies are contributing to the development of social enterprises. “We do not play a central role here – but any enterprise that has a long-term strategy would want to operate in a society that is as efficient and cohesive as possible. This year’s special prize serves as a good example that even a social enterprise can have an audience of paying customers. By inspiring young people to develop their skills accordingly, Mobiilsed Töötoad are not only solving a social issue but creating a long-term benefit for employers in the timber and metal sectors,” he said.
The winner of Brainhunt’s season in 2017 was TempID. The programme is available to re-watch here.