Passwerk takes on the legal form of a ‘coöperatieve vennootschap met beperkte aansprakelijkheid met sociaal oogmerk’ (cvba met sociaal oogmerk) (a Cooperative Company with Limited Liability with a social purpose).
Because the business operates with a social purpose, only a limited dividend is available to be paid out to shareholders, if so decided. The bulk of any profits made are largely re-invested into the further development and continuity of Passwerk and the accomplishment of the organisation’s social purpose.
Passwerk’s social purpose is set out under the organisation’s articles of association, where the stated object is defined as the promotion of job opportunities and self-employed entrepreneurship for the disadvantaged target groups. The articles of association go on to specify that Passwerk is looking to accomplish its social and societal role by providing a number of social benefits for the shareholders and the employees, which amongst other things include:
- the general improvement of their social law status;
- the development, boosting and attracting of new employment projects;
- the promotion of the employment of less gifted, underprivileged and/or low-skilled people;
- the activation of at-risk groups with a view to advancing to the regular economic circuit;
- counteracting unemployment by enabling people to acquire knowledge and to (subsequently) integrate them into the regular labour market;
- the promotion of the integration of people into working life, to coach them whilst in work and to provide continued social support for these people;
- to provide professional coaching and co-ordinate activities that create jobs;
- to promote safety awareness and to improve health and safety in the workplace;
- to conduct research into and to devise ways and means for worker participation and co-determination of employees within businesses.
In addition to the above, and subsidiarily thereto, the organisation’s object is to provide goods and services at affordable rates and prices, to mediate in goods and services needed by or useful to the shareholders and employees by operating like a cooperative society, including, but not confined to:
- services in the area of administrative assistance (filling out tax returns, budget coaching, paperflow, unemployment benefits), financial services (assistance with banking affairs, support when applying for loans, budget planning), insurance (advice and referrals), legal assistance and legal advice, child care;
- offering discounts, obtained by concluding agreements and entering into economic interest groups in connection with joint purchases.
The listing above strictly serves as a series of examples and is in no way intended to be exhaustive.
Apportionment of profits – submitting applications
In June of each year, Passwerk’s General Meeting decides how the profits are to be apportioned. Every social-profit organisation or person looking to set up a project of meaningful social added value which is in keeping with the aims of the apportionment of profits at Passwerk, can submit an application for financial support from Passwerk for their project.
Applications must be submitted before 30 April and can be sent in by e-mail care of email@example.com. There are no rules as to the format in which you submit your application, but it must be compiled in such a way that it is clear what the project’s aims are, how these are to be achieved (e.g. please clearly specify the project stages), what resources are needed and what resources are already available. The application must be clearly legible and intelligible to parties who are not involved in the project.
Undertaking by the project applicant
By submitting his application, the project applicant consents to:
- come and present the project to Passwerk’s Board of Directors and/or the General Meeting in response to an invitation to that effect;
- compile an article for our Passmap that sets out the nature of the project, immediately after financial support has been awarded (only if Passwerk decides to award financial support);
- compile an article for our Passmap that sets out how the project has evolved, one year after financial support was awarded (only if Passwerk decides to award financial support);
- having the project included on our website (incl. the amount of Passwerk’s financial support).
Filing applications for financial support with the “ICT community for ASD” fund
Prior to 2012, certain projects that submitted an application were financially supported directly and exclusively by Passwerk. At Passwerk's instigation, in 2012 the “ICT community for ASD” fund was set up under the King Baudouin Foundation. The stated object of the Fund is to support projects in Belgium that seek to improve the living conditions, job opportunities and self-employment possibilities of vulnerable groups and, as a matter of priority, to promote opportunities for people with autism and associated disabilities, as well as provide financial support for projects that raise awareness of these issues.
The Fund is looking to support practice-focused projects that are aimed at the integration of people with an autistic spectrum disorder in society.
For 2014, the topics of ’living accommodation’ and ’leisure time’ are at the top of the agenda, with projects focusing on innovative accommodation or leisure activities that are specifically adapted for people with an autism spectrum disorder taking precedence.
However, as long as social integration of the vulnerable group is the point of departure, the Fund is able to operate in various areas such as projects around the prevention and the diagnosis of, as well as interventions in, cases of autistic spectrum disorder.
As from May 2014, schemes can use the candidate file specially created for this purpose (available for download from the King Baudouin Foundation's website) to apply for financial support. Applications must be submitted to the King Baudouin Foundation before 3 October 2014. Around the middle of November 2014, the projects will be selected that will be awarded a financial grant.
Amounts previously awarded as part of the apportionment of Passwerk profits
Apportionment of profits 2012: total amount 50,000 euros
Passwerk is the founder of this fund, which was set up under the auspices of the Koning Boudewijnstichting [King Boudewijn Foundation] and hopes to collect money from the ICT community to support initiatives that can offer social and personal added value to people who are among the disadvantaged, preferably people with autism. The intention is to support both projects focussing on work, homes and living conditions and on awareness-raising projects.
On the occasion of the 5th anniversary, the members of our current and previous advisory committees as well as our commercial network were invited to express their thanks. Some fifty guests attended this festive evening at Le Plaza Hotel in Brussels, where one of the guest speakers was Theo Peeters, who came to explain autism from the inside. The evening was concluded with a walking diner.
With her Master's thesis entitled "Autisme van bovenaf of binnenuit - architectuur aan de hand van getuigenissen van (jong)volwassenen met ASS" (Autism seen from above or from the inside - architecture based on testimonials from (young) adults with ASS), Marijke Kinnaer won the prize awarded by Passwerk. A jury consisting of a number of KULeuven university professors and representatives from the Flemish Autism Association and Passwerk chose this Master's thesis as the winning entry out of the three submissions. The thesis is very accessible, contains very usable information on potential architectural focus areas in the context of autism, provides a shaded and balanced picture of autism, is inspiring and offers major added value for the ASS community, also by virtue of the fact that it brings the people with ASS themselves with their specific accommodation requirements and wishes into focus again.
Passwerk is engineering a mobile application with added value for people with an autism spectrum disorder. The aim is to make an Android, IOS as well as Windows version of the application available in 2014 free of charge.
Apportionment of profits 2011: total amount 50,000 euros
Amount: 50,000 euros
Passwerk is the founder of this fund, which was set up under the auspices of the Koning Boudewijnstichting [King Boudewijn Foundation] and hopes to collect money from the ICT community to support initiatives that can offer social and personal added value to people who are among the disadvantaged, preferably people with autism. The intention is to support both projects focussing on work, homes and living conditions and on awareness-raising projects. This year, Passwerk deposited €50,000 and plans to make further deposits in the future.
Apportionment of profits 2010: total amount 50,000 euros
Amount: 12,500 euros
Project: Autism and work
The project sets out from expertise in the field and is keen to disseminate this expertise in the area of work to fellow ASD sufferers and those directly involved (parents and family members) on the one hand, and to employees and colleagues on the other hand. In doing so, the project is in keeping with initiatives such as Passwerk that also look to tap into the specific skills of people with autism. However, we wish to operate on a more broad-based level by charting the talents and strengths of people with autism and by raising awareness for this topic. By doing so, we are keen to create leverage in society at large, bringing a more truthful view of talents, skills, limitations, needs for adjustment and support in the area of work for people with an autism spectrum disorder. In addition, the wider scope of attention for people with an autism spectrum disorder as fully-fledged participants in the workplace is also conducive to continued destigmatisation.
Amount: 12,500 euros
The provision of care involves a great deal more than just performing care duties oneself. It also involves planning and organising, gathering information, selecting caregivers and aligning their contributions, making decisions, financial and administrative management, personal priorities and time management...
The very same type of management skills that are found in the world of trade and industry. With this project we are looking to transpose management and communication principles to the family situation and the way this interacts with the professional setting. In a practical sense, a purposive management training course and a specific management workbook will be devised and we will examine to what extent this could contribute to the welfare and coping skills of parents of young children with a disability or chronic illness.
Amount: 5,000 euros
Project: Design and furnishing of coaches’ office
Katrinahof is cramped for space, leaving the coaches to share an office with other members of the organisation’s staff. Especially for people with an autism spectrum disorder this raises the threshold, as they are afraid to just walk into an office with a lot of people. With Passwerk’s support, Katrinahof is looking to set up an office at a different location.
Amount: 5,000 euros
Project: Transportation for job coaches and accompanying workers
In performing its duties, De Hoeve primarily faces problems in transporting job coaches and accompanying workers. Using public transport is a challenge in its own right. Often parents or other volunteers need to be called upon to get people to the workplace. Transport budgets are limited and are often recovered from other activities run by the organisation. The allowance awarded by Passwerk will go towards this kind of transport outlay.
Amount: 12,500 euros
The general aim of De Ploeg Rematch is to provide support for people with a work disability on their way to re-integrating into the regular labour market. Setting out from their specific qualities and in deference to their abilities, coaching is provided for clients and their friends and families with a view to sustainable jobs tailored to their abilities on the regular labour market.
Amount: 2,500 euros
Project: Autism Specs
The Autism Specs project is looking to devise the following test set-up: a pair of glasses (specs), with autism parameters that can be set and adjusted, enabling someone who does not have autism to see the world in real time on the basis of the parameters that have been configured as though he had autism. The test set-up is being developed in collaboration with students from the HAN and ReqCare (Clark Nowack). Internally, professional expertise and knowledge derived from first-hand experience are used to determine the parameters. The test set-up will be tested at the Dr Leo Kannerhuis and in an actual work setting for a set period of time, the latter in collaboration with Passwerk Belgium, which immediately saw the potential for applications and the added value within the work integration programmes for people with autism.
Apportionment of profits 2009: total amount: 30,000 euros
Amount: 30,000 euros
The amount we have been granted will enable us to use software giving us a better idea of the quality and the production process at Ergasia. This will give the not-for-profit organisation a better picture of the adjustments necessary to operate to more profitable standards and to ensure its continued existence. This has also given Ergasia the opportunity to work together with an organisation that provides support in compiling and executing a marketing plan. Efforts are also set to be brought to bear to put in place powerful, customer-led communication tools and to improve Ergasia’s website, folders, sales map, contacts through networking, etc. The search for new potential customers will be supported by way of a telemarketing campaign and scheduled company visits.