village of social innovation
Image by Cerdeira Village

Known for its iconic schist buildings, the Portuguse town of Cerdeira will be transformed into a “Village of Social Innovation” from July 4-5.

Over two days, Portugal Inovação Social will occupy the schist village of Cerdeira in the Serra da Lousã, transforming it into an interactive and sharing space, where on each street participants can discover the most emblematic social innovation projects currently being developed in Portugal.

The aim is for people to get to know the companies and social entrepreneurs that are actively helping to improve the way we live and to join discussions on ideas, experiences, and best practices while drawing on inspiration from success stories.

The Village of Social Innovation (Aldeia da Inovação Social) is a project promoted by Portugal Inovação Social, a national public initiative whose mission is to promote innovation and social entrepreneurship in the country through the mobilization of funds from the European Union, within the Portugal 2020 framework.

As an official partner and the only bank supporting the event, Caixa Económica Montepio Geral (CEMG) aims to position itself alongside the community of impact entrepreneurs to help find solutions and improve the way communities live.

village of social innovation
Fernando Amaro

“Being the only partner bank of the ecosystem of entrepreneurship and social innovation, social investor and promoter of social impact projects, CEMG wants to be present in the first Village of Social Innovation,” said Fernando Amaro, director of the Economia Social e do Setor Público at CEMG, in a tatement to the press.

“In supporting this project, CEMG is also supporting the creation of value in society, enhancing economic development and addressing social challenges in an innovative way,” he added.

Some of the topics to be discussed this week at the Village of Social innovation include:

  • Incubation and acceleration of responses to social challenges
  • Financing social innovation in Portugal
  • The importance of social impact titles

There will also be thematic workshops and presentations on social entrepreneurship projects, among which will be some of the winners of social entrepreneurship contests, such as AidHound, winner of the first edition of Montepio SocialTech promoted by CEMG.

Portugal Inovação Social manages four financing instruments that complement and accompany the life cycle of the projects:

  • Capacity Building for Social Investment
  • Impact Partnerships
  • Social Impact Titles
  • Social Innovation Fund

From the perspective of the organizers, social innovation refers to the result of experimenting with new ideas, creative and entrepreneurial, to mitigate or try to solve social problems. Social entrepreneurship refers to the process of implementing innovative ideas and developing coordinated activities often aimed at a social and economic goal.

The Cerdeira Village Creative Center and Accomodation has been using its stunning location and architecture to attract artists and tourists to hold workshops, arts and crafts fairs, and creative experiences.