Social Incubator (IRIS)
To foster regional development through social innovation, the Institute has launched IRIS, the first Regional Social Innovation Incubator in partnership with Portus Park and with the support of EMPIS (Estrutura de Missão Portugal Inovação Social) and other partners.
Based in Northern Portugal, this European pilot project helps local social entrepreneurs to start-up, test and grow their business by offering them all the necessary conditions for accessing knowledge, networks of partnerships and social investors. Every year IRIS organises a Social Innovation Meet Up, set to take stock of its yearly achievements namely on (i) an education programme, (ii) a community programme, and (iii) an incubation programme.
IRIS provides social entrepreneurs with intensive support enabling them to take advantage of investment opportunities and networks. It also provides synergies and complementarities with the growing community of social entrepreneurs supported by the Institute through the Social Innovation Tournament.
It also hosts events such as roundtables on “Financing social enterprises in Portugal: main challenges” or training seminars.
On 12 June 2020, IRIS became a non-profit association. The change of structure will enable IRIS to further develop its impact mission, ensure the continuity of this successful European pilot project and continue the work carried out in support of impact initiatives and the creation of an ecosystem for social innovation in the north of Portugal.