6zero1 first incubator for social entrepreneurs in Luxembourg!

6zero1, the pioneer of social enterprises in Luxembourg helping entrepreneurs launch social enterprises of their own, has been a part of the quickly changing landscape of social impact companies in Luxembourg over the past few years.

 

In 2010 the government created the social solidarity department and established the first action plan to discuss the law and legal framework around the sector, and in 2016 a vote was taken towards having a law and incubator to support social enterprises which were the two main goals of the Minister. Six European ministers gather, plus the Tunisian minister, to create the Declaration de Luxembourg to promote the social economy.

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The social economy in every country is closely linked to national economy, some countries where co-operatives important and some not so important. A monitoring committee for the mutual recognition of certain social values such as reinvestment was erected to oversee what each country defines as a social economy and social enterprise to find common ground. In Luxembourg you can become a social enterprise from first day, whereas in France it can take up to three years. Luxembourg collaborates and has a lot of contact with Bulgaria, as the Bulgarians want to build a platform for entrepreneurship and know that Luxembourg has an existing platform to be used as a best practice exchange.

 

The “Societal Impact Company” status, or SIS, is an accreditation in Luxembourg given to companies who have agreed to reinvest some or all of their profit into the economy. In 2016, 6zero1 decided to publish a guide covering all questions and answers regarding the law to be used as an easy tool for those wishing to become a SIS. Assisting social entrepreneurs who have projects intended to become a SIS has been the main goal of 6zero1 since the beginning; they help define a future company’s social purpose, impact and business model and have shifted from an incubation program of 12 months with fixed training dates to an individual program. 22 entrepreneurs with diverse profiles anywhere from engineering, banking and insurance have passed through 6zero1’s program.

 

The program offered by 6zero1 underwent a considerable change in that its aim became focused on support, rather than classes, starting with an assessment procedure of soft skills followed by individual coaching to give a platform for business modeling using the compano tool for a business’s impact. Furthermore, another significant change is that the program fee was dropped to just 300 euro, and entrepreneurs are selected through an open call and can register at their own convenience.

 

On average, 6zero1 supports seven projects per year from individuals of all ages and skill, however, those accepted are beyond the ideation phase (which usually happens at Nyuko) and are ready to consolidate a business plan to become a company.

 

The benefits for a company to go social include a tax exemption, except VTA, of up to a 100% fiscal exemption if all profits are reinvested into the Luxembourg economy, a company can however receive donations. One of the main barriers for companies, especially startups and individual entrepreneurs is that their accounts will be to be properly audited, which means money for an auditor must be accounted for in the business plan. 6zero1 is currently working on solution to get auditors at a lower cost. At the moment a lot of services are ASBL, but not official social enterprises. Another factor hindering the take-off of social entrepreneurship in Luxembourg come down to priorities, they government has emphasized space mining and other talents over the social economy, although many are hopeful for greater inclusion in this sector due to the Ministry of Social and Solidarity of the economy was created two years ago. The first transnational cluster for the social economy was installed by the Ministry for the greater region, and Germany has showed interest in joining.

 

6zero1has expressed that Luxembourg is not a country of entrepreneurship, nor are they pushing for SIS, and most people reaching out for 6zero1 and Nyuko help are not Luxembourgish, but those from abroad. It can be said that the entrepreneur spirit in Luxembourg is rather low perhaps because it is not part of the education curriculum. 6zero1 hopes to collaborate more closely with Nyuko because people tend to go to my-guichet.lu to get info about SIS and either think it is too difficult to obtain or are afraid of the auditing costs, and with greater communication with Nyuko, 6zero1 will be able to direct entrepreneurs wanting to become a SIS through a process which is much simpler than many think!

 

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