Changemaker grant for 4 projects in Romania

Changemaker grant for 4 projects in Romania

Changemaker – 22nd October to 2nd November 2012 – NO SUCCESS – Received €0,00
Grants are given to 4 highest voted projects, each €10,000.

Count On Us! – Human Resource Rental Service benefiting companies, vulnerable people and NGOs.

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Encourage and facilitate self development among vulnerable people through immediate actions and programs that lead to their socio-economic independence.

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

In Romania the socio-economic consequences of the current economic crisis has caused three major problems: (1) The disappearance of economic agents in the market. (2) The worsening of social-professional and economical problems concerning disadvantaged youth and vulnerable people. (3) The financial difficulties encountered by NGOs when continuing to provide services for their beneficiaries. Due to the lack of job opportunities homeless youth are forced to work on the black market in order to survive. The black market is not a viable solution for homeless people because it does not offer financial security or social insurance. It is not a solution for companies or NGO-s either because they risk of jeopardizing their own existence.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

By creating a social-economical agency, which responds to the temporary needs of the companies, we can support vulnurable people in finding their way back into the labour market, becoming contributing members of society, while partially sustaining the service expenditures of the NGO. The Human Resource Rental Service (HRRS) is an agency which aims to solve both economic and social issues. This temporary employment agency is a solution which provides vulnerable people with access to the labour market in order to improve both their financial situation and their quality of life. This agency also represents an income generated activity for NGO’s, that provide services for disadvantaged groups, who also need to sustain their daily costs. In addition, this agency is a permissive instrument for those ecomonic agents who are interested in new trends within the employment market, based on their effectiveness but also their commitment to fulfilling their goals for social responsibility.

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

This agency creates jobs for vulnerable people: opportunities to plan a better future for their careers; learn how to respond to challenges; learn how to manage their own income, create a secure environment for themselves and become responsible and well respected citizens. It improves their self esteem and bring stability into their lives. This is a transitional point for them from a socially dependent background, to becoming part of the ‘big labor market’, that can offer a future within their independence. If they do not succeed in this transitional stage they still have the opportunity to go back to the AMURT Romania Life Skills Training Programme located in Domnesti. Here they benefit from entrepreneurship courses as per the model of Street Kids International (UK): learn how to start a small business and be “self-employed”. This solution offers the company quick access to a preselected and qualified workforce, covering a temporary employment need, sparing the time and money of the companies in finding the right person and offering guaranteed quality work. The quality of the employees’ work is guaranteed in two ways: 1) Recrute vulnerable people who have already attended the Life Skills Training Programme at the AMURT Center or the Work Skills Training programmes sustained by AMURT’s Partners 2) Qualification providers will evaluate and give certified diplomas to people in vulnerable situations, based on their performance/acheivment. This solution offers the NGO an income which will cover basic costs for service users, to sustain them on their way to independence.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

In Romania there are 212 employment or human resource counseling agencies: 79 in Bucharest; 5 in sector 6, which has the 2nd largest number of agencies. Our agency is in sector 6. No agency has taken the innovative approach of creating a ‘social plus’ agency that covers major social and economic issues. Our unique advantage is that we have three areas of focus: – Companies quick access to preselected and qualified workforce – Job opportunities and career guidance as well as the possibility of creating a self-sustaining environment for vulnerable people. – NGOs sustainability. Should other agencies decide to engage in with a similar target group, our project would actively encourage and support those efforts. The more agencies working toward the same goal, more job opportunities.

Founding Story

When we started the project in 2009, other NGOs working with homeless youth told us about the difficulties with this target group. They said that only 2 or 3 youths out of 10 will succeed. With our successful training in Life Skills, which is provided for in our friendly center together with the youths joy and inspiration when they receive their certified vocational skill diplomas, 8 out of 10 suceeded. But life skills and vocational skills are NOT enough. 50% of the youth find themselves back on the streets again. If jobs are not available, then the ovious solution is that the NGOs themselves will have to provide. The question is, HOW? Six months ago when our project manager visited Strasbourg (France), she heard about a successful human leasing agency for disadvantage people. This information itself was an immediate idea as the best and most suitable solution in creating jobs for homeless youth, taking in consideration their background and psychology.

Please describe the goal of your initiative; outline what you are trying to achieve

There is a dual goal: to develop among NGOs a model of social economy which provides access to the labor market and improves the financial situation for vulnerable groups, as well as to create an accesible employment tool for economic agents that focus on financial efficiency, social responsibility and solidarity.

  • Increasing employment opportunities for the target group by training them in social entrepreneurship and providing vocational qualifications required in the current job market.
  • Creating jobs for the target group by establishing an innovative socio-economic model: a temporary employment agency.
  • Promoting the economic activity of the agency and ensuring its financial sustainability through publicity campaigns and partnerships with the private and public sector.

Which barrier(s) to financial inclusion does your solution seek to address? (select all applicable)

Physical and other accessibility obstacles that prevent communities from reaching financial services, The lack of affordable financial products tailored to the needs of underserved and excluded communities,, Other (Please describe below).

If you selected ‘other’ above, please specify which other barriers to financial inclusion you solution seeks to address:
Increasing the credibility as “reliable workers” among economic agents who have already had negative experiences with homeless.

For which underserved or excluded communities will your solution create access to valuable, affordable, secure and comprehensive financial services?

This initiative is proposed for homeless youth (aged between 18-26 ), vulnerable people (aged between 2 7-35) and the unemployed, from rural areas surrounding Bucharest, who will be identified by our organization in the local community or refered to us by AMURT’s collaborators.

Could your solution work in other geographies or regions? If so, where?

The Human Resource Rental Service (HRRS) is a model which can be used by all the NGO’s in Bucharest that deal with the same target group, as well as NGO’s throughout Romania, which provide social services and vocational/life skills training for homeless youth or vulnerable people.

This solution is also a way of stopping the migration of the population from poor rural areas to the capital, cities or towns. This initiative is a local solution for local problems.

There is a strong possibility that this solution can be replicated in other countries that encounter the same problems with vulnerable groups.

If your solution is dramatically successful, how will things be different in 10 years?

In 10 years this solution will drastically reduce the number of people dependent on social services (‘hoppers” from one social service to another).

It wil significantly reduce the rate of unemploymet, increase the variety of craftsman and skills available, be a strong financial support for the NGO who develops this kind of income generating activity (at least 5 % from annual NGO budget will be covered by the agency).

It will also create a functioning network of HRR services developed by NGO’s in Romania, be a platform for social community, a tool for temporary employment used by all big companies for casual jobs as well as for SMEs which have a organizational culture based on efficiency and effectiveness.

What will have had to have changed to make this happen?

We have to accelerate the process of growth, in terms of the number of clients (companies) and the number of employees (qualified homeless youth&vulnerable people), in accordance with the dynamics of the labour market. Obtaining accreditation for the agency to become a certified qualification and entrepreneurship provider, having a long term marketing & communication strategy as well as annual action plans and operating standards procedures will become essential.

What has been the impact of your solution to date?

In our annual report for 2011 our Life and Vocational Skills training programme had 21 recipients, 13 recipients for the independent living skills programme, 12 acquired knowledge about community resources, 6 managed their financial resources efficiently, 11 developed personal skills, 13 have improved self-image, 10 are able to develop lasting personal relationships, 13 acquired minimal knowledge of the legal system and can work with them, 4 have formed artistic expression, 10 have achieved career planning skills, to identify a job and how to keep.

Impact on the community: youth became a useful and active resource for the local community, real potential employees – a contributing member of society.

What is your projected impact over the next five years?

Within the next five years, AMURT Romania will create a model for a complete social and professional integration programme. We are committed to helping homeless youth and those young people leaving the care system to acquire life, vocational, and entrepreneurial skills, secure jobs and resources to become self-sufficient in the basic necessities needed for sustaining an independent lifestyle.

The agency creates a variety of jobs, not only in one area but in many areas according to market demands.

There is no minimum or maximum number of people that may be employed by leasing. From the experiences, there is usually no drop but steady increase in number of requests from companies thereby ensuring the availability of jobs for the vulnerable people.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?


  • The costs of leasing can be higher than the salary of the job.
  • The unwillingness of companies to hire people who have an unstable personality.
  • Companies will have to justify, to the authorities ,that this is a temporary activity.
  • Attitude and lack of loyalty.

Plan to overcome barriers:

  • A marketing manager working on behalf of the agency will persuade the companies that this type of service is more efficient in the long term.
  • The agency will offer the guarantee that the activity of the company will be properly fulfilled.
  • For companies who work on a project it becomes easy to justify. Natuarlly, projects means temporary work and temporary activity.
  • A social worker from AMURT and a psychologist will act as a mediator between them and the company.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Completed business plan of the agency.


Task 1
Feasibility study of the job market – supply and demand, the interests and trends of the market.

Task 2
Sustaining courses for certified qualified persons.

Task 3
Obtaining approvals from public institutions for establishing the agency.


Task 1
Strategic partnership with online recruitment agencies.

Task 2
Promotional champagnes to arise the awareness of this new style of service.

Task 3
Public institutions to hire the services thereby supporting the people in need.

Tell us about your partnerships

  • APEL Association providing certified vocational skill trainings and referrals for companies.
  • Parada Foundation ans Samu Social Association selecting and providing vulnerable people.
  • Concordia Foundation providing certified professionals
  • Streets Kids International (UK and Canada) – providing “know how” in social entrepreneurship

Are you currently targeting other specific populations, locations, or markets for your innovation? If so, where and why?

Not at the moment. But since we are dealing with vulnerable groups and low income, the agency would consider including pensioners with a small pension, as a future development. Although they are already qualified, according to the labour law, they can only be employed part-time.

What type of operating environment and internal organizational factors make your innovation successful?

This innovation has a great chance of success because of; our organizational culture based on efficiency and performance, our skilled staff who create a youthful and friendly working environment and the enthusiasm of both personnel and volunteers involved in designing this new approach for the social-economic field.

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren’t specified within the list

Read more

Please follow and like us: