Approved projects

Increase Valorisation Sociale

Acronym: Increase
Duration: 10/2017 - 04/2019 (39 months)
Total budget: € 10,006,355
ERDF: € 6,904,385


Project Increase will develop a new cross-border training programme to help social housing residents set up their own micro-businesses or achieve other forms of employment. The project will aim to help train 6,000 participants, creating up to 1,100 new businesses and helping a further 2,000 people into employment.

Typically, social housing residents face higher than average unemployment with 53% of residents in the UK unemployed or economically inactive, compared with the 30% national average. In target areas of France this figure is 39.5% against a national average of 36%.

Project Increase will aim to tackle this problem by working closely with housing associations in 38 neighbourhoods in France and the UK to deliver one-to-one training sessions for residents. It is the first large-scale micro-enterprise training programme tailored specifically for social housing residents and communities. Participants will learn all the necessary skills to launch their own businesses, including how to trial and market test business ideas and how to manage their finances through micro-loans.

Once the project has ended, Increase will continue to support participants and other housing association residents by creating a number of community ambassador roles in each of the 38 neighbourhoods. These ambassadors will provide on-going support to micro-entrepreneurs and continue to engage future participants, ensuring the long lasting legacy of the project.


  • An innovative integrated 6 step service delivery pathway for those furthest from the jobs market in social housing neighbourhoods
  • A new training scheme developed to train ambassadors to engage, support and create community network groups.
  • A new training scheme developed to train local stakeholders in the advantages of micro-enterprise and how they can support further development.

Lead Partner:

Name of the organisation: Optivo
Country: England
Location: Kent

Project Partner 2:

Name of the organisation: Radian Housing
Country: England
Location: Hampshire

Project Partner 3:

Name of the organisation: Le Comptoir de l'Innovation
Country: France
Location: Calvados

Project Partner 4:

Name of the organisation: NEOTOA
Country: France
Location: Ile et Villaine

Project Partner 5:

Name of the organisation: Archipel Habitat : Office Public de l'habitat de Rennes Métropole
Country: France
Location: Ile et Villaine

Project Partner 6:

Name of the organisation: Maison de l'Emploi, de L'Insertion et de la Formation du Bassin d'Emploi de Rennes
Country: France
Location: Ile et Villaine

Project Partner 7:

Name of the organisation: University of East Anglia
Country: England
Location: Norfolk

Project Partner 8:

Name of the organisation: Enterprise Cube
Country: England
Location: Norfolk

Project Partner 9:

Name of the organisation: Société Anonyme d'habitations à Loyer Modère Logement et Gestion Immobilière Pour La Région Parisienne-Loire
Country: France
Location: Seine-Maritime

Project Partner 10:

Name of the organisation: Clarion Housing Group
Country: England
Location: Norfolk

Project Partner 11:

Name of the organisation: Pas-de-Calais habitat
Country: France
Location: Pas de Calais