The European Social
Innovation Podcast

Great connections during

our Digital Academy

What is the European Social Innovation Competition?

Launched in memory of social innovation pioneer Diogo Vasconcelos, the European Social Innovation Competition is a challenge prize run by the European Commission across all EU Member States and Horizon 2020 Associated Countries. Now in its 8th year, the Competition acts as a beacon for social innovators in Europe, employing a proven methodology for supporting early-stage ideas and facilitating a network of radical innovators shaping society for the better. Each year the Competition is based around a different issue facing Europe. This year, the focus is:

Reimagine Fashion

Meet the teams making fashion more sustainable

The Finalists of the 2020 European Social Innovation Competition: Reimagine Fashion have been announced. The 10 projects represent exciting ideas for changing behaviours around sustainable fashion from across Europe.

Competition Journey (click & scroll to the right)


Entry period (January to March 2020)

  • 20th January: 2020 edition of the Competition launched online.
  • 12th February: Launch event takes place in Valencia, Spain, bringing together innovators, entrepreneurs and policy makers for an afternoon of networking and talks on social innovation and sustainable fashion.
  • 4th March: Entry period closed. All ideas for European Social Innovation Competition had to be submitted online by 12:00 CEST.


First phase of the competition (April - July 2020)

  • Early May: 30 Semi-Finalists are announced.
  • May – August: The Semi-Finalists receive a comprehensive online package of support from experienced social innovators to further the development of their ideas. This includes the Competition’s social innovation academy, a multi-day training event that connects Semi-Finalists to a wider community of European social innovators through a series of dedicated presentations and workshops. This year the academy will take place online, offering the same programme in a collaborative and digital format. Semi-Finalists will also be paired with a local coach for one-to-one mentoring and gain access to an online pool of experts for tailored advice on specific aspects of launching a social venture.


Second phase of the competition (July - Sep 2020)

  • 20th August: Semi-Finalists submit their Development Plans, outlining how they will successfully launch and scale their idea.
  • September: 10 Finalists are announced. Finalists receive further remote training, including webinars from international experts and continued support from their coach. They are also given an opportunity to raise awareness of their project by pitching it live on stage during the Awards Ceremony.


Award Stage & Award Ceremony (Autumn 2020)

  • Late Autumn: The Awards Ceremony takes place where three winners – each receiving a 50,000 Euro cash prize – are announced.


Third phase of the competition (2021)

  • Spring 2021: The Impact Prize is launched. All 2020 Semi-Finalists, Finalists and Winners are eligible to enter.
  • August 2021: Deadline for the completion of Impact Reports, which are used to determine the winner of the Impact Prize
  • October 2021: The Impact Prize will be awarded to the eligible project that has achieved the most significant social impact in the past year, as outlined in their Impact Report. The winning project will receive a 50,000 Euro cash prize