08 February, 2019

SPEAK, a successful Portuguese social innovation and entrepreneurship project which has the support of the Vasco Vieira de Almeida Foundation, is a language and cultural programme designed to bring people together through the sharing of different languages and cultures between immigrant and local communities, thus breaking down barriers and promoting multilingualism and greater equality. In this way, SPEAK has helped democratize language learning and helped integrate migrants and refugees in Portugal. Through its platform, participants can teach and learn new languages while also establishing new friendships and discovering other cultures. The project’s success in the nine Portuguese cities where it operates has allowed SPEAK to expand its model to other cities in Europe, and it now has more than 18,000 members from 156 countries.

SPEAK was recognised for its quality and innovation by the Financial Times, which listed it as one of the 100 most innovative technological projects in Europe, in a highly competitive ranking, and also by the European Investment Bank Institute, which ranked it as the second best social innovation project in Europe in its 2018 edition of the Social Innovation Tournament. Finally, in January 2019, SPEAK was voted the national winner of Chivas Venture 2019, having been selected to represent Portugal in the international competition awarding projects that “ally profit with a positive impact on society”.

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