>>> CRAF Craiova is the fourth center of its kind worldwide, after those in the US and South Africa
By Jerom Bolt Ford Romania will open in Craiova in partnership with local authorities, starting with September, the first incubator of innovative projects in Europe that will be made available to students in the locality.
Named the Ford Resource and Engagement Center (CRAF), the incubator is part of Ford Motor Company Fund's Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic division of the Ford Motor Company, and will focus on social entrepreneurship.
'CRAF Craiova is a collaboration with the Educational Association SV Oltenia (EDUCOL), a local nonprofit organization that aims to maximize training, development and employment opportunities for young people, and the Craiova City Hall, which provides the building. Backed by an over $ 1 million investment offered by the Ford Motor Company Fund in partnership with GlobalGiving, the new CRAF will act as a social entrepreneur incubator, where students and graduates of the University of Craiova can create and develop innovative projects to lead to social and economic progress. The aim is to have a positive impact on the growth of jobs, economic potential and the quality of life of the inhabitants of the Oltenia region, "said Ford Romania in a press release.
CRAF Craiova is the world's fourth-largest center and will bring together local nonprofit partners, Ford volunteers, mentors and educational leaders to provide employment and community programs, helping local people to develop new skills and strengthen community values .
The Students will be invited to submit their proposals for social entrepreneurship by the beginning of September, the first winning teams to be announced in October at the inauguration ceremony. Each team will receive a start-up grant and will have access to the CRAF facilities.
The first CRAF was set up in Detroit in 2013, and since then the Ford Fund has opened another center in South Africa and another in Detroit, plans to expand in Asia with the launch of a Bangkok center, early 2019.
"Combining the expertise and enthusiasm of US social initiatives and the very fertile entrepreneurial landscape in Romania, we hope to encourage more and more young people to become active and responsible members of their local community, trying to make a difference and be a part of a global network. We are grateful and honored to work with Ford Motor Company, "said EDUCOL president Professor Leonardo-Geo Manescu, according to the communiqué.
The Ford Fund operates globally through strategic investments focused on community building, improving education and promoting preventive leadership as part of the 'Operation Better World' initiative.