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Supporting inclusive recovery in Central & Eastern Europe

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In January, we opened the call for applications for the Impact Challenge for Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).

Thankfully, the region is in a different place now than it was then. As vaccine rollout progresses across Europe, people are thinking about how to reopen businesses and develop careers. But there’s still a long journey ahead, particularly when it comes to building a sustainable, inclusive economic recovery for the region.

We need to make sure no one is left behind as we build back the economy. To help, today we’re announcing 13 brilliant organizations across Central and Eastern Europe that will receive funding to support their work on digital inclusion across the region.

Together with our partner INCO and our panel of experts, we’ve selected ambitious and wide-ranging projects from organizations working in each of the 11 countries of the CEE region that put digital innovation and inclusion at the heart of economic recovery. Each organization will receive between €50,000-€250,000 in funding from and mentoring from Google to help make their project proposals a reality. You can read more about the projects here.  

Supporting these incredible organizations is just one way that we plan to help Central and Eastern European economies on their path to a digital-led recovery. Last year alone, through our Grow with Google programs, we helped 250,000 people in the region grow their digital skills or transition to a digital-focused career — and we look forward to doing even more in the coming months.

  • Organizations: Listen Up Foundation (Bulgaria), Tuk-Tam (Bulgaria), Green Energy Cooperative (Croatia) and Lean Startup (Czechia)
    Organizations: Listen Up Foundation (Bulgaria), Tuk-Tam (Bulgaria), Green Energy Cooperative (Croatia) and Lean Startup (Czechia)

  • Organizations: Startup Wise Guys (Estonia), Marker’s Red Box (Hungary), Riga TechGirls (Latvia) and Lithuanian Gay League (Lithuania)

    Organizations: Startup Wise Guys (Estonia), Marker’s Red Box (Hungary), Riga TechGirls (Latvia) and Lithuanian Gay League (Lithuania)

  • Organizations: Fundacja Studio M6 (Poland), Digital Nation (Romania), Touch & Speech (Slovakia) and AmCham Slovenia (Slovenia)

    Organizations: Fundacja Studio M6 (Poland), Digital Nation (Romania), Touch & Speech (Slovakia) and AmCham Slovenia (Slovenia)

  • Organization: University of Primorska, Faculty Tourism Studies (Slovenia)

    Organization: University of Primorska, Faculty Tourism Studies (Slovenia)

  • Listen Up Foundation (Bulgaria) is helping infants, children and adults who are deaf and hard of hearing achieve equality through improved educational systems and empowerment practices.

  • Tuk-Tam (Bulgaria) provides a network of social, educational and career opportunities to disadvantaged students, connecting them with Bulgarians living around the world who serve as role models. 

  • Green Energy Cooperative (Croatia) is building an application to educate 10,000 people on photovoltaic panels and prepare them for green jobs in Croatia.

  • Lean Startup (Czechia) is setting up a program to help create equal opportunities for rural startup founders.

  • Startup Wise Guys Foundation (Estonia) is creating a social and digital startup incubation program to create 1000+ jobs in 11 countries in CEE.

  • Maker’s Red Box (Hungary) is providing hands-on digital skills learning methodologies for children from disadvantaged families and in foster care.

  • Riga TechGirls (Latvia) is promoting digital skills among female artists, healthcare professionals and teachers.

  • Lithuanian Gay League (Lithuania) promotes an inclusive social environment for all within the LGBTQ+ community through education and support. The organization offers digital marketing and programming courses to a diverse group of underprivileged individuals.

  • Fundacja Studio M6 (Poland) is rehabilitating disadvantaged areas in Poland through joint housing and employment support via an internet-based platform. 

  • Digital Nation (Romania) is creating a job matchmaking program that connects young people with digital skills in need of employment with small and medium-sized businesses that need hands-on expertise to grow their business.

  • Touch&Speech n.o. (Slovakia) is developing a more effective approach to navigating touch smartphones for people who are blind — regardless of their digital skills or access to assistive services.

  • AmCham (Slovenia) is creating a program to raise the profile of the teaching profession, recognise teachers’ work and support peer-to-peer skills development.

  • University of Primorska, Faculty of Tourism Studies - Turistica (Slovenia) is designing a platform to support local entrepreneurs and enhance rural tourism.

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