The Close to You Foundation is a non-governmental organisation and a work integration social enterprise, established in February 2002 by Holt International Children’s Service USA, whose mission is the integration of people with disabilities or other vulnerable groups. Its national headquarters is in Iasi and it is registered as a Romanian foundation, independent from state authorities, not conditioned by certain ideologies, doctrines or religions.
The Close to You Foundation established in time 3 social businesses, being declared the 2016 Social Entrepreneur of the Year within the international competition EYEntrepreneur Of The Year.
ADV Romania is one of the biggest social enterprises from Romania, built around the one-stop-shop principle, according to which a disadvantaged individual or someone having lived in a placement center can access a package of services addressing several issues: social and psychological services, educational services, professional orientation, qualification, employment and assistance at the workplace.
In time, ADV Romania created 7 products for an integrated approach in the field of social economy:
● 2004 – The Youth Club – day center for children and young people from under privileged categories, including with disabilities. We teach them independent living skills in order to destroy the circle of poverty, continuously investing in education – a priceless possession of any individual!
● 2008 – UtilDeco – work integration social enterprise, having created in time more than 150 workplaces, of which more than half have been for people with disabilities and from other groups at risk. We offer archiving and document storage services, we produce protective and work equipment, printing services and work protection and safety services.
● 2016 – JobDirect – social enterprise and the first Agency for Placement and Assistance at the Workplace addressing people with disabilities. We offer services of evaluation, testing, counseling, professional capacity building, mediation and placement on the labor market, job – coaching for maintaining the workplace.
● 2017 – WISE.travel – social enterprise in the field of tourism – tour operator. Supports NGOs and social businesses by developing communities!
● 2018 –ADV Academy – we invest in education, research, public policies and social innovation in the field of social economy! The activities take place in Romania, the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and the European Union.
● 2019 – The Social Enterprises Accelerator – grant administrator for 42 social enterprises established and developed in Romania, 5 in the Republic of Moldova and 3 in Ukraine! We multiply social enterprises and generate social and economic impact for the individual, the environment and the community!
● 2021 – together with our partners, we are preparing to launch AFIN, the first Romanian non-banking instrument addressing Romanian social enterprises!
ADV Romania’s story is written by people and represents their dream of creating a better world! Come close to us! Let’s build together, let’s be the change we want to see in the people around!
What we do every day, practically defines our future!
The Close to You Foundation has developed over 85 projects/programmes in the last 19 years (30 mil Euro+), financed by international bodies, local authorities and from its own funds. The programmes of the foundation carried out at the local, national and regional level and at the cross-border/transnational level, are in the domain of social services and social economy, innovative services targeting the inclusion and employment of vulnerable groups, particularly young people. In parallel, the lobby and advocacy component for the NGO sector has been developed by the promotion and defense of the rights of direct beneficiaries – people from vulnerable groups and a development assistance component - granted to NGOs from the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Nigeria.
The Close to You Foundation is also the initiator of FONSS - Federation of Non-Governmental Organisations for Social Services, founded in August 2014. The presidency of the first mandate was held by Close to You Foundation, through its legal representative, Angela Achitei.
As of July 2015, Close to You Foundation is member of the Monitoring Committee of the Regional Operational Programme 2015-2020 - North-Eastern ADR, and since April 2016, a member of the Anti-Poverty National Coalition.
Close to You Foundation is accredited by ANC for: Trainer, Bookbinder, Common skills - digital skills, Social Economy Entrepreneur, Social enterprise manager, Project manager, Registrar and Archivist.
Close to You Foundation is certified according to ISO 9001 - quality management, ISO 14001 - environment management, SR OHSAS - standard on health and occupational security management system and SR ISO/CEI 27001 – information security management system.
Close to You Foundation is investing in the community, being one of the initiators of the concept of social economy and of the Law on Social Economy, adopted in July 2015. For the development of the sector, the foundation periodically organises training courses for entrepreneurs and social economy managers, study visits, national fairs and ensures counseling and coaching for the development of social enterprises.