People with disabilities constitute the world’s largest minority. Fostering social and labour inclusion of people with disabilities, while promoting inclusive and sustainable businesses is the final goal of Disability Hub Europe (D-Hub) – a project led by the Fundación ONCE and co-funded by the European Social Fund. CSR Europe is the latest partner to join this collaborative platform. On 21st March 2019, CSR Europe will also co-organise the Launch event of the D-Hub.
The Largest Minority
People with disabilities constitute more than one billion of the world’s population. In Europe, over 80 million of persons experience some form of disability. Yet, to a great extent, they still remain excluded in our societies, often remaining an untapped source of diversity, talent and innovation by companies. They, and their families, also represent a large number of consumers, generating new business opportunities. It is important, therefore, that more businesses recognize their impact on these people’s rights through their operations, products, services and business relationships.
Objectives of the D-Hub
"Many companies are already developing strategies that include disability as an opportunity for added value, thereby strengthening responsible or sustainable competitiveness and demonstrating that social investment can go hand-in-hand with cost-effectiveness," says Carla Bonino, Head of Unit, CSR and Sustainability, Fundación ONCE.
"Fundación ONCE has had an alliance with the European Social Fund for more than 18 years that has allowed us to triple the impact of our actions, reaching more than 300.000 people with disabilities through our ESF programmes, and giving us the opportunity to develop initiatives such as Disability Hub Europe, a transnational, multi-stakeholder, innovative and collaborative project," adds Maria Tussy, European Programmes Director at Fundacion ONCE.
D-Hub broad objectives are:
- To foster best practices exchange and mutual learning, giving a space of visibility at EU level to reference companies and organizations.
- To generate and share knowledge, instruments, analysis, and methodologies.
- To improve the disability dimension in relevant sustainability, CSR, Diversity, Human Rights and related political and business agendas.
- To enhance the disability perspective in the social entrepreneurship ecosystem and in social innovation
Stefan Crets, Executive Director, CSR Europe says: "We are very happy to become engaged as a DHub partner. Through our contribution to this collaborative initiative, we hopefully will support expanding and disseminating at EU level the potential of the binomial Disability and Sustainability."
D-Hub Launch Event
The launch event of the D-HUB will take place on the 21st of March at the European Parliament. This event will gather speakers and participants from different horizons (companies, European Institutions, civil society organisations, academics) with the aim of presenting and discussing what D-HUB has to offer and how multi-stakeholder alliances can foster social and labor inclusion of people with disabilities in Europe while promoting inclusive and sustainable businesses.
About Disability Hub Europe: Disability Hub Europe (DHub), currently under construction, is a multi-stakeholder engagement initiative aimed at building a reference space/platform (“hub”) for best practice exchange, dissemination, mutual learning and raising awareness on the binomial Disability and Sustainability. Aligned with the Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals, the final goal of DHub is to foster social and labour inclusion of people with disabilities in Europe while promoting inclusive and sustainable businesses. DHub is led by Fundación ONCE and co-funded by the European Social Fund.
About CSR Europe: CSR Europe is the leading European business network for Corporate Social Responsibility. Through our network of 40 corporate members and 41 National CSR organisations, we gather over 10,000 companies, and act as a united platform for those businesses looking to enhance sustainable growth and positively contribute to society. In our mission to bring the sustainability agenda forward, we at CSR Europe go beyond European borders and cooperate with CSR organisations in other regions across the world. CSR Europe is the European hub incubating multi-stakeholder initiatives that tackle the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
- European Disability Forum
- The ILO Global Business and Development Network
- CSR Europe
- Global Reporting Initiative
- Fundación ONCE, leader entity
Disability Hub Europe will also count with a handful of Collaborating Entities such as Forética and European Foundation Centre (already on board) and a Community of Business Practitionners (currently engaging).