Some examples of social innovations that are successfully scaling up through BENISI

BENISI has assumed the following four different paths:

  1. Diffusion of knowledge: Scaling up by using the experiences, knowledge and know-how of a successful social innovation applied to a new context and a new team.
  2. Capacity building: Social innovations thar require support for the development of the suitable business model and business plan in order to tap into finance or get the necessary link to the public authority to develop a PPP. This path would typically concern social enterprises that want to grow bigger in the same country.
  3. Joint venturing and franchising: Social innovations for which ongoing local adaptation is necessary, but which could benefit from ongoing close partnerships with existing successful implementations of the social innovation. In this path, social innovations need to explore options for developing legal agreements to govern different degrees of cooperation and explore methods for adapting franchising models found in the private sector to social-mission driven enterprises and organisations.
  4. Creation of new sites: Social innovations which are already successful in a particular country but would like to scale up into other countries or develop similar initiatives in other countries.

To date, it appears following scaling trajectories are most popular: capacity building, branching, dissemination of knowledge and affiliation.

Hereafter some of the examples of social innovation BENISI is working with. If you want to learn more about them, please contact us.

Mamie et moi

The Mamie et moi initiative, which translates as “Grandma and I”, was created in 2013 to allow retired ladies to gain some extra income on top of their pension by using their knitting talents to create sustainable retro children’s clothing that is sold online.

The grannies can practice their favourite hobby on a freelance basis in a pleasant environment (such as their home or in an organised knitting café set up by the Mamie et Moi initiative) and according to their own availability. This allows them to earn up to 200 € extra per month. Mamie et moi thus combines a social/economic need of the elderly with a fashion niche. To make the social model work, no public aid is demanded because it's also a business model.

Through BENISI, Mamie et moi has been able to find a network where they can share their knowledge and experiences. They have also been introduced to a similar Dutch initiative, a designer, social impact researchers. On top of that, Mamie et moi has gained more exposure thanks to BENISI’s communication tools.

For more information, visit

Charity Stars

Charity Stars is the first celebrities’ auction platform for the charity sector in Europe. Celebrities pair up with charities, and offer either personal memorabilia or their personal time to the highest bidders. The money raised then goes directly to the selected charity or not-for-profit organisation. Incubated at Impact Hub Milan (FabriQ). When scaling to London, helped them get an Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs grant through Euclid Network (SIAN member) by connecting them with Impact Hub King's Cross members StickyBoard, whom they will be collaborating with. Worked with them in Milan to strengthen their business model and help it make it more international in scope. Connected them to various potential partners and collaborators, including WWF here in the UK, as well as Young Philanthropy Network - through them to Deloitte and other potential supporters.

Go to for more information.

Elos Foundation

Elos use plays as a way of creating impact in the community through the construction of a collective dream project - which may be a community square, a playground, a garden or other physical venue that has meaning within a local community. A 'reverse innovation', Elos draws on learning and social techniques from Brazil to encourage south-north collaboration and social cohesion both globally and locally. Elos' initiatives include the Oasis Game, which addresses social exclusion in neighbourhoods as well the lack of the confidence to participate in the change of one's own environment.  Through the BENISI project, Elos has received hand-on guidance through Impact Hub Amsterdam and the BENISI network in: businiss development and organisational capacity-building, marketing, promotion of its activities, and contacts in other locations. It's primary challenge is longer-term and trans-national funding commitments that allow them to build on one-off neighbourhood initiatives for more sustained impact and to support its growing network of community facilitators in neighbourhoods across Europe. 

Visit for more information.