CRAIOVA, Romania - The Ford Resource and Engagement Centre in Craiova has been recognised at the Automotive Industry Awards Gala hosted by The Diplomat, receiving a CSR award, the third such accolade for the centre since it was inaugurated in October 2018.
The centre, the first of its kind in Europe, acts as a social incubator hub to enable students from the University of Craiova to design and launch innovative and sustainable social enterprises – businesses with a social purpose – to drive economic progress and make a positive impact on their community.
To date, 19 social enterprises are being supported by the Ford Resource and Engagement Centre with each student team having access to office facilities at the centre, a seed grant to launch their social business, design thinking training delivered by the Henry Ford Entrepreneurial Academy, ongoing coaching and mentoring through Educol and help and support from several facilities within the University and Ford volunteers.
The social enterprises address a number of areas including recycling and upcycling, education programs offering STEM, afterschool, blended learning and digital literacy support, mobility services, rehabilitation and well-being programs, plant development and food provision.
Debbie Chennells, Ford Fund manager, commented “Skills development and equipping the next generation for the future world of work is something I am extremely passionate about. Research by the McKinsey Global Institute has looked at how digital and AI technologies are transforming the workplace and the foundational, high-level cognitive, interpersonal, self-leadership and digital skills young people will need, to be able to adapt and succeed. The aim of the Centre in Romania is to nurture these skills while at the same time supporting the local community. This award recognises the hard work of all the students and the way they give back to those in need.”