Introducing the Bernheim Foundation
The Bernheim Foundation (in French “La Fondation Bernheim”), based in Belgium, was created in 1974 by Emile Bernheim, who established L’Innovation department store in Brussels. He believed that the money earned during one’s professional life should go back to society, as society is where money had originated in the first place. Emile Bernheim died in 1985 and the foundation became operational in 1998. Since the beginning it has funded actions that contribute, according to Bernheim’s own will, to “building a society that is human-like, in which the individual keeps its share both in terms of the benefits it can derive from the life of society and the responsibilities it bears, and that he/she must be helped to assume“.
France De Kinder, director of Bernheim Foundation, explains a mission of the organisation and its programme areas:
The Bernheim Foundation focuses on the Brussels Region and its youth (12-25) by supporting financially performing projects that work on stimulating entrepreneurship, acquiring empowering skills, developing citizenship to enable young people from all cultural and social backgrounds to create their own project and be an actor of their lives. Most of the funded programmes have been initiated by social entrepreneurs that have addressed these major issues in many innovative ways. We are convinced that there are new economical approaches to target social and societal aims.
So many projects
For 15 years, the Foundation successfully supported more than 100 innovative projects, predominantly focused on young people. These were carried out by universities, institutions and associations, mainly based in Brussels, in a total amount of nearly 22 million Euros.
You can learn more about Bernheim Foundation, its history, mission and activities here.
Bernheim Foundation’s support
In line with the vision of its humanist and visionary founder, the sponsorship of the #6EMESconf by the Bernheim Foundation aligns well with the organization’s interests and objectives. France De Kinder sheds a light on their principal motivations to support the EMES conference:
The Bernheim foundation sees in the EMES network and its 6th Conference a unique opportunity to bring together experts and enable them to share not only best practices but think together about new methods to improve human well-being. By giving our financial support, we allow young researchers from all over the world to come together in Belgium, be part of a community and debate on the role social enterprises can play in creating sustainable societies.
More concretely, the Foundation is the sponsor of the PhD Best Paper Award, and has also provided funds to subsidize accommodation for PhD students on the University campus. That enabled us to support many PhD students with their costs related to the participation at the conference.
We thank the Bernheim Foundation for joining us and being a part of this rewarding event!