Can a Social Venture Contest Make “Bella Napoli” Even More “Bella?”

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August 11, 2011; Source: BusinessWeek | As someone who spent some of her formative years in Naples, Italy, this particular story is more than mildly intriguing. The U.K.-based Euclid Network is running a competition to identify six individuals, from anywhere in the world, who are willing to move to Naples to run business ventures that will improve the lives of local people. Euclid has already identified the local projects that the six will be charged to address and it is worth a peek on their site. The network will award each of the winning candidates 10,000 euros ($14,206) to get started and promises other funding if the projects get traction.

BusinessWeek’s Nick Leiber reports,

“Euclid chose Naples because it wanted to put social innovators to work in a place where public institutions have proven ‘ineffective,’ the group’s executive director, Filippo Addarii, explains in a video. ‘We want to do it not in a fancy, cool, hyper-tech, wealthy environment, but it in a place which is the symbol of state and market failures,’ says Addarii. ‘I think that is the right place for social innovators, to show that they can provide solutions where the traditional remedies failed.’”

Naples, the most beautiful city in the world, sits on a bay across from slumbering Vesuvius and is, of course, known for living out loud. OUT LOUD! (And maybe I have been away too long but why does this just make me giggle?) This is definitely an effort to be watched.—Ruth McCambridge