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Three Croatian companies selected for international competition for the best business idea with social impact

Three companies from Croatia – Ascalia, MIRET and STEMI – have been selected to participate in the international competition for the best business idea with social impact, which will be held in March 2021 in Budapest.

The competition, organised as part of the Finance4SocialChange project, will bring together the top 30 social enterprises from Bulgaria, Moldova, Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Ukraine and Romania to compete in the semifinals in November 2020. The top four companies will have the opportunity to participate in the finals and win prizes to support their business, provided by UniCredit.

The socially-owned companies participating in the tender were selected according to strict criteria defined by the German Agency for the Financing of Socially-Owned Enterprises (FASE), which assessed the social and environmental aspects of business ideas, as well as the effectiveness of business solutions in solving social or environmental problems. sustainability of social enterprises to operate in the market.

In the previous phases of the project Finance4SocialChange, Ascalia, MIRET, STEMI and other social enterprises participated in a combined learning experience through the Academy of Social Impact Investment Design, mentoring sessions and mentoring workshops dedicated to preparing and developing business plans for the final competition. The Finance4SocialChange project is supported by the EU through the cross-border Interreg Danube program. It brings together partners from 12 countries in the Danube region who seek to develop practical solutions and a more effective regulatory framework for socially influential investment.

About the Croatian projects:

Ascalia enables factories to save energy and production resources, which not only raises production efficiency but also reduces the impact of factories on the environment. The solution is based on AI and IoT technologies adapted for factories that have strict safety requirements, while their machines are not necessarily up-to-date. Ascalia facilitates modernisation without the need for large capital investments. www.ascalia.io

Marin and Dejan from Ascalia

Marin and Dejan from Ascalia

MIRET is an innovative ecological brand and company for the development of natural materials with a focus on sustainable solutions that are not harmful to the environment. At the beginning of 2020, MIRET launched its second generation of eco sneakers made of 97% natural materials. The company has invested 5 years in the development, testing and production of one of the most environmentally friendly footwear lines in the world and is constantly developing products that care for man and nature. www.miret.hr



STEMI is a company whose mission is to attract young people to the world of science, technology and innovation, the so-called. STEM area. They believe this is the only way people will make significant progress in achieving the 17 Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through its products, technological adventures, STEMI transforms young people from consumers of technology into creators and inspires them to entrepreneurship and the creation of new technologies, and helps schools turn their classrooms into innovation laboratories. www.stemi.education


UniCredit is the main partner of the project and supports the competition in social entrepreneurship with a total of 30,000 EUR. UniCredit is among the pioneers in the field of socially influenced banking and is strongly committed to building a fairer and more inclusive society by promoting business initiatives with positive outcomes wherever the bank operates. In addition to the financial award, contest participants have the opportunity to network with investors, UniCredit Social Impact Banking experts and relevant business partners from across the region, but also receive mentorship from local experts, partners of the competition.

The national partner in Croatia is the ACT Group, a community of change creators and an entrepreneurial support organisation that has been strengthening the ecosystem of the impact economy in Croatia and the region of Central and Eastern Europe for 17 years. Through such structured and customer-friendly support programs focused on education, networking and financial support, the ACT Group enables the rapid growth of companies with a positive social impact.

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