Reinserting marginalised groups into work through fashion

AuthorDirectorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (European Commission)
© MOMA Photographers, 2017
Women working in Cooperativa Quid
Reinserting marginalised groups into
work through fashion
Progetto Quid
Problem addressed
Labour market access is particularly dif‌f‌icult for disadvantaged
groups – such as victims of violence and human traf‌f‌icking,
ex-of‌fenders, migrants or people with disabilities. The gap in
employment rates between disadvantaged groups and the
adult population in Italy is reported to be the third largest in
the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
(OECD). Failure to secure stable, rewarding and dignif‌ied
employment can exacerbate material and psycho-social
disadvantage, contributing to a cycle of exclusion.
Innovative solution
Progetto Quid is a fashion company established in 2013 as
a social enterprise in Verona, Italy, that employs vulnerable
individuals who face signif‌icant employment barriers. The
enterprise collaborates with other social service projects to
support its benef‌iciaries in a range of areas. Through the
project Liberamente, employees can access services such
as psychological assistance and support when navigating
bureaucracy. These services are provided by a psychologist
and a welfare of‌f‌icer and are available at the Progetto Quid
premises once or twice a week.
The holistic support means that employees are provided
with a safe environment, a sense of belonging to a
community rather than being isolated and marginalised,
and opportunities to increase control over their own lives.
The skills learnt – digital and fashion skills – are in high
demand, increasing their employability.
The social enterprise combines its social impact focus
with a successful market strategy. Unlike other such
organisations, Progetto Quid has an entrepreneurial focus
that has enabled it to satisfy consumers and stakeholders
with its high-quality, stylish products and has thus become
f‌inancially sustainable.

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