Specialisterne

A social enterprise that provides employment to people with autism or Asperger syndrome for their ability to effectively perform repetitive tasks that require a lot of concentration. The model harnesses their special characteristics and talents and uses them as a competitive advantage to provide businesses with high quality services that range from software management to data testing and logistics.

Denmark
Impact indicators

Outputs:

  • More than 1,000 individuals with autism have been trained and employed by Specialisterne and its partner companies in 5 continents.

 

Impacts:

  • Every Danish Crown invested in employment at Specialisterne yields 2.2 times more return in garnered taxes and pension contributions.

  • 89% of participants claimed that their job has a positive impact on their independence, and 78% stated that it improved their mental and physical well-being.

Entrepreneur

Thorkil Sonne.
This Works Summit by Ashoka (2016). Associated with the United Nations Department of Public Information (2015). Social Entrepreneur Award, Schwab Foundation (2012).

In 2013, the company started operating in Spain and the Specialisterne team participated in the Momentum Project programme of ESADE and BBVA.

In 2014, headquarters were opened in Madrid and the company received the recognition 'Impulsors de la innovació social' by the Barcelona City Council. 

From Spain, Specialisterne has worked on expanding into Brazil and has conducted preliminary feasibility studies in Mexico and Andorra, and is currently doing one in Portugal.

In 2014, Specialisterne Spain had 10 consultants as staff. In 2015, it employed 20 consultants and had 36 candidates in training processes. It works for large IT consultancy firms (including Sogeti, Everis, Avnet), as well as financial institutions and large companies (e.g. Agbar), computer security companies (Safelayer) and others specialised in big data (Innoquant). 4 training courses are held every year in Barcelona and Madrid. In 2015, the first training course was held in Sao Paulo, with 8 candidates.

The initiative was presented in Athens, Lisbon (2017) and Stockholm (2018) within the framework of the Accelerating Change for Social Inclusion (ACSI) project to explore its local implementation.