Target group: drug users
Activity: product sales, commercial


“It is crucial to find consensus between the needs of the target group and a business idea that is successful on the market, thus harmonising the social and economical points of view in the project activities.”


Project officially started in its current location and form in the year 2000. From 1993 to 2000 it was developing as part of a therapeutic community from which it later separated. The idea came from some people working in Sdružení Podané Ruce (SPR), who as believers have connections and experience in religious spheres. They expected that the production of wooden icons could contribute to SPR's fund-raising. Over time the project has developed its business attitude into the WIP it is today. The project aims at the SPR target group, namely people with a history of drug abuse, who have undergone or are currently undergoing some kind of treatment and have evident motivation to change. This target group includes long-term unemployed people, people with health disabilities and people coming out of prison – all of them with a history of drug abuse.

The aim of the project is social integration of marginalised people, training of their work skills and improvement of their employability, while offering access to legal income. EIKON contributes to the employability of former drug users. This is done by involving participants in the production of icons and the overall functioning of the workshop, while teaching clients how to act professionally and self-reflect.

Eikón's applicants go through an entrance interview and assessment. If successful a temporary employment contract is concluded. After that follows an entrance training which takes a maximum of 3 days. New people gets to know every working procedure available in the workshop. Work in the workshop itself is mostly collective, people change their particular working position as needed due to current workshop production and one´s abilities. Two occupational possibilities are available: (medium-term – more than 6 months, nowadays involves 3 persons) and short-term (150 working hours/year, usually 2 months). During their occupation in the workshop clients are encouraged to look for a job on the regular market. Work at the workshop consists of production of religious wooden icons and various souvenirs.


The most important result is contribution to the employment of the target group. About 20 people a year are offered a job in the workshop. On average, about half of the workshop employees move on to regular employment.

The project is evaluated by the income from sales and the interest of the target group in employment in the workshop. While Czech policy does not provide for a solid structure to safeguard the financing of WIPs, the project has three major financial contributors, namely: Česká Spořitelna Foundation (Česká spořitelna is one of the largest Czech banks), Southmoravian Region and Brno City. Besides, the project runs for 40% on its own income, so EIKON also has a lot of commercial partners, such as religious supplies retailers.

An essential part is the so called “social capital”: enthusiastic, experienced and skilled employees with the right ideas.

More information



Target group: mental health problems
Activity: low threshold, commercial

Pradelna u Mandeliku

“I try to make a friendly atmosphere, we usually talk while we are working. During normal conversation I try to motivate them, commend them for good work. Sometimes I give them an important task and then they see if it´s too difficult for them or it´s suprisingly easy, but everything is without pushing and pressure. It´s just a nice place to work at. Come to visit us and you´ll see.”


Pradelna u Mandeliku is a WIP of Fokus Praha in Prague, Czech Republic. Fokus Praha is a civil association with more than 20 years history of providing professional mental health care within the area of Prague and Central Bohemia. Its mission is to support people with mental health problems in their efforts to manage their lives and find opportunities for self-fulfillment in the community.

Pradelna u Mandeliku is a small launderette with mangle which has a long tradition. In september 2011 the organisation Fokus Praha took it over and opened it as a social business. Pradelna u Mandeliku employs people who have experienced mental illness of any age, gender or education level. At the workplace they do anything related to laundry, they put it in a washing-machine, in a dryer, then sprinkle the washed linen with water, and mangle or iron it. Through the work activities the employees are resocialised. They get used to go to work every day again, to get along with other people, to rebuild selfesteem, and step by step get back to normal life. All the people in the team are very tolerant and supportive to each other.


The key result of the WIP are that they employ people who need to be employed not only for the wage they get, but also for the social contact, realise their abilities and boost their self esteem. Through their employment their general condition (mental and physical) gets better. All the participants get to develop their social skills, and if necessary they also learn to do the ironing.

Those who leave, soon usually get another part time job, because full-time is too much, but they opened two years ago and at the time of writing it seemed like some of their employees were getting closer to moving on to regular full-time employment. Of the seven ex-employees they have, two of them have a full-time job as security guard, but the other five did not have permanent jobs.

Since the government is not intending on reducing/changing the financing of companies such as Pradelna u Mandeliku it seems like the project will keep running indefinitely. The launderette customers are very satisfied and they are getting more and more regular customers. In August 2013, four more employees joined the team and working hours were extended untill 6 p.m. That was a big step, and it helped with the increase of sales, which was a prerequisite for keeping the company.

More information





Target group: mental health problems
Activity: low-threshold + food & drinks

Café Práh

'Many clients need to primarily strengthen their self-confidence, basic social and work skills and their relations with relatives, in order to develop professionally. It is important to talk with a client about his or her life in a broad context'

The organisation

Social therapy workshop Café Práh was founded by Práh, a non-profit organisation that provides social services to people with psychosis and/or affective diseases in Brno and surroundings. Práh's social services touch upon all areas of life, such as housing, career and leisure.

Social therapy workshop Café Práh helps and supports to obtain social and practical work experiences and habits for people with psychotic and/or affective disorders, most commonly paranoid schizophrenia and manic depression. In addition to practical work experience, we practice group support activities such as a job club, a psycho-educational group, social skills training, and cooperation with family, psychiatrists, health care and addiction services for clients who have dual diagnosis. Café Prah also fights stigmatization because the café's customers encounter people with mental disabilities. In their “Training Café” they organise many cultural events (e.g. author readings, theatre performances, concerts, opening, etc.).

Social-therapy workshop Café Práh offers 4 training positions: Waiter/waitress, cook, cleaner or salesman/ saleswoman. At the time of writing the café had 37 participants, and there are always more candidates than there is capacity at the workplace, so there is a waiting list.

The café was founded in 2005. Right from the start the goal of this project has been to help and support participants in developing their work and social skills, and to help them (re)enter the labour market. However, they do not only focus on work reintegration, but also on the participants quality of life. They support their clients in improving their self-reliance so they will be stimulated in their recovery process.


Over the years Café Práh has proven to be successful in various ways. More than 1/3 of their participants has been able to return to the open labour market, the average number of hospital visits of our participants has decreased by about 80%, and they have managed to increase their sales revenue over the past years. For the 2/3 of participants that do not move on to regular employment the work at Café Práh also contributes significantly to their life, since it helps them to work on their abilities during their therapeutic recovery, and strengthens their self-esteem, confidence and psychological condition.

All participants work with a vocational rehabilitation plan in which they work on short-term and long-term goals. The skills they work on vary from person to person, but the most common skills are: increasing the workload and work hours that people can take, regarding their stamina and concentration; communication and other social skills, particularly in relation to self-confidence; coping with stress and developing self-managed care strategies to stabilize their mental illness. In doing so they do not only work with various specialists, but also with the close relatives of the clients.

More information

Website: or

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



TG: mental health problems
Activity: training, food & drinks, integrated services

Out of the Erratic Circle


Out of the Erratic Circle is a project of Fokus Labe in the Czech Republich, which opens the doors to the jobmarket for people with mental health problems or other diabilities, in an attractive combination of education, work rehabilitation, diagnostics and training in a gastronomic centre. All of these steps aim to support people in getting a job and achieving special qualifications (work in the kitchen, café, catering, fresh food shops).

Twelve new working places (in sheltered gastronomy workshops within the Fokus Labe organization), and a new gastronomic traning center meeting technical conditions for cooking, preparing of cold and warm culinary fresh products, and a new type of professional education for disabled people are all part of the project. The participants are prepared for culinary and catering activities, and work in the café and the fresh food store.

The project has been financed for 85% out of the European Social Fund and 15% by National Public Sources for a period of 24 months, starting in March 2013 and ending in February 2015. During this period the following aims were set out: preparation of disabled people for the labour market through several step-by-step methods (education, social, psychologic and other support, diagnosis, work placement), the development of the new gastronomic training center, the creation of 12 workplaces withing the Fokus Labe organisation and preparation of dignified work places for people with mental health problems.


The three major results of this project are the 12 new work places at Fokus Labe (paid with contracts), the gastronomic training center and the newly developed special educational course programme. Thus, during the project 45 participants receive special education and training, and 12 participants end up with a job, due to the job positions they created. All participants will gain an enhanced understanding and professional skills regarding culinary, catering, café and/or sales work. All participants have sessions with professional staff (social workers, course leaders, etc.), they invite a successful peer to serve as an inspirational example, they offer the opportunity to gain practical examples, they assist in the participant's work plan and all is interwoven with other psycho-social or pscyhological support.

Although this project was still running at the time of writing and most results as well as the project's sustainability could not be reported on, Fokus Labe has a lot of experience in offering similar services in a sustainable manner. On a social economy basis they have developed many kinds of jobs that they have managed to make a structural part of their organisation. While taking part in a continuous process they are growing continuously, with this project forming just part of their services on offer.

More information


E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Target Group:
Activity: Training, individually tailored

GLE o.p.s.

If you decide to design the project specialised in supporting people in setting up a business you must have:

  • An experienced expert team
  • Contact with local businesses in order to get an inspiring example and a lot of mentors for the participants
  • Working cooperation with the local labour offices in order to get into contact with the certain members from disadvantaged groups (50+ individuals)
  • Enough time for the project activities
  • Well defined monitoring indicators, and be very cautious about the number of entrepreneurs who start during the project

The organisation

“Master of her own time” is a project run by GLE o.p.s. in Prague. GLE has a lot of experience on the field of work with disadvantaged groups such as immigrants, long term unemployed, parents, women on parental leave, and individuals over 50. They have been gathering experience since their foundation in London in 2007, and later they transferred the know-how and best practice from London to the Czech Republic. The project target women returning to work after parental leave, long-term unemployed women, and women over 50.

Czech women are generally in an unequal position on the labour market. The group of women after parental leave is specifically disadvantaged as there is a lack of affordable childcare facilities for the families. The fact that it is not exception that woman with two children are out of work for six years is alarming and needs to be solved. Entrepreneurship and support to establishing an independent business is a possible solution.

The main aim is to support the target group in their labour market integration.


At the beginning of the transfer of the project from London to Prague, it was set out to support 120 women through the project, and help 12 women set up their own business. Although the project had not yet been completed at the time of writing, GLE had already supported a total of 140 women and 10 women had started their own business, with the expectancy that two more would do so in the coming months. All in all, the project offers long-term work with the participants and a response to current needs giving them enough time for any further steps, individual care, and an experienced expert team.

The project is under very strict administrative control. The project is mentioned in: monitoring reports, annual reports, administrative documents, and articles in the local media and on the website.

More information



TG: homeless people
Activity: peer involvement, commercial


Discover Prague in a Different Way!

The organisation

Pragulic aims to create unique placements for people who are experienced in being homeless by engaging them in natural activities, through which they can contribute to society, and thus regain meaning and dignity. Their mission is to challenge the stereotypes associated with homelessness by enabling people to experience the world from a homeless person's perspective. Their ultimate goal is to rebrand homelessness by means of a market-driven social business. It is run as a social enterprise, aiming to be financially sustainable using its own revenues.

They currently employ nine homeless people as tourist guides in the streets of Prague as they believe that no one knows this part of the city better than people who spend there most of their time. The main activity is: city tours - guiding a group of tourists through the city, showing interesting places, and sharing life stories and facts about homelessness. However, they also offer other experiential services such as teambuilding activities, city games for groups or a 24-hour homelessness experience, where a guide accompanies a customer and helps him survive on the street. The project started in August 2012 with four employees, and five more were hired in the second round of recruitment.


The main results of Pragulic are the changed societal perception on homelessness, as well as contributing to an improved life condition and self-esteem of the participants. Besides building up self-esteem the participants are stimulated to develop various skills: they receive tourist guide training, improve their communication, organisational and language skills as well as financial management coaching. Moreover, specific trainings are possible upon request.

After the training all employees are paid, so the placement is considered to be a regular job. On the job participants are stimulated to develop professionally through feedback from customers. All participants attend regular meetings, cultural meetings and various events; through the contact with people and the possibility to express themselves they are stimulated in their personal growth. Besides, the earnings and benefits are a good incentive for the work, and stimulate a sense of worthiness.

All in all it is a good example of an innovative approach towards employment of disadvantaged groups, and it is a successful and well known project in Prague. In the future the project will continue to grow and develop in various ways: Increasing their reputation, growth in number of customers, extension of their services, and possible international expansion.


More information:


E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



TG: people with mental health problems
Activities: individually tailored, training


We have three recommendations for those who wish to get involved in WIPs: Use person centered planning, follow the EUSE strategy, and prepare to become a long-term partner to employers.

The organisation

Rytmus offers supported employment in Prague, the Czech Republic. The have done so since 1995. At that time no one provided systematic support to people with mental disabilities in the employment field on the open labour market. Rytmus focuses on people with health disadvantages, mainly people with learning difficulties who want to work in the open labour market, and who need long term support in the development of their skills in order to get and retain a job.

Despite plenty of job offers in Prague, there is a lack of job offers for people with disabilities. At the same time, Prague has many potential jobs in the so-called hidden market. Prague has many large firms and businesses, in which it is possible to create job opportunities by “carving” a new job position. It also helps that Czech state policy has a quota system; Therefore large firms have an obligation to employ people with disabilities.

The aim is to link the needs and demands of employers with choices of job candidates, and thus achieve the creation of a stable employment relationship between the employee and the employer.

The objectives of the Supported Employment Agency are to assist in:

  • Acquisition and development of social and working skills.
  • Obtaining and retaining a job in a mainstream environment and achieving a maximum degree of independence.
  • Strengthening the enforcement of rights and active involvement in civic society.

Activities are carried out by experienced job coaches. Job coaches work with people with learning difficulties on one side, and with employers on the other. A.o. the job coaches assist in: vocational profiling, job finding, and on/off job support, such as guidance in social skills, employer support, and assistance in practical problems outside work. There are also other activities aimed at job seekers such as Job clubs, Social Skills Training. PC Skills Training etc. All is done based on the methods of supported employment in accordance with EUSE methodology.


Through the activities of the SE Agency they achieve improvement of the situation of the target group in the area of employment. Annually, about 60 people participate in their activities, 20-30 people gain experience in employment in the open labour market. Every year they support about 50 employers.

They publish an annual report each year, it is publicly accessible on their websites (in Czech only). They also use Facebook and press releases, and organize seminars, such as those for NGOs on how to work with employers, and how to work with the community around the person, or seminars on CSR about how to work with people with with learning difficulties and the benefits for employers.

More information




TG: (ex) offenders, people with mental health problems
Activities: commercial, integrated services, product sales

Semitam s.r.o.

“We offer the opportunity to learn the value of work and be proud of it. This means living a life where you can care for yourself through an honest wage.”

The Organisation

Semitam offers work as a cleaner or serving, bookbinding or in a sewing workshop, in the Czech Republic. The project is for people with disabilities, for people returning from prison and youth at risk of social pathologies and returning from inpatient treatment.

Semitam was founded in October 2011. In the beginning there were four people in the project, but at the time of writing (2014) the WIP had 16 participants.

The essence is to offer work to people who have great difficulty finding a job without the support from Semitam. People released from prison or youth with pathological tendencies without any previous work experience are offered the opportunity to earn a living through work. For people with physical disabilities the opportunity to work again is to be useful and to take part in the community.

The project is financed by Semitam's own earnings, supported by the Bureau of Labour from April 2012, as well as European funds and the state budget. The latter's funding (for the project Social Business – The Path to Responsibility and Solidarity) will be finished in March 2014.


Semitam has created and maintained a social business as a separate and independent economic entity. They offer jobs and psychosocial support to people with social or physical disabilities and they offer quality cleaning services or original handmade products. In the meantime, employees develop communication skills, learn teamwork, self-reliance and responsibility. While stimulating skill development Semitam tries to make some of their participants - especially those returning from prison – move on to other more permanent employment. Over the years, the company has managed to reintegrate a few participants, who found another job and housing.

Semitam's staff supports and motivates participants through regular contacts, both in groups and individual. Twice a year the whole team meets at a common event, such as a Christmas party. The company also employs a psychologist who is always available for all participants. All in all Semitam offers comprehensive care to people with criminal records.

More information


E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.