Dynamo Camp

One of the most important Italian social enterprises. With its paid staff, the company is able to ensure consistency and professionalism in caring for thousands of children with serious or chronic illnesses. And also organizes training and events for companies

Enzo Manes

Enzo Manes

If there is any social enterprise in Italy worthy of the title -one that embodies the new climate of entrepreneurial concern for the needs of the weakest and those who are most in need, and that shows regard for the environment and the common good- then Dynamo Camp is the one. A mature start-up that will celebrate its tenth anniversary next year, it represents the fruition of a long-held dream for Enzo Manes.

He is the self-made entrepreneur who made the headlines many years ago after he acquired a controlling stake in Kme, the former Orlando group, a European leader in non-ferrous metals. Dynamo is a children-centric project. In 2015 alone it freely provided recreational therapy programs for 1,687 sick children at its camp in Limestre, amid the Pistoia Apennines, as well as for 2,500 children in hospitals and care homes that it collaborates with in several cities in Italy. 

Dynamo has an extremely interesting case history. After all, it isn’t easy to place this group within the immense galaxy of voluntary work. That’s because 174 people work at the camp, either permanently or seasonally, and all are paid. This provides the guarantee of consistent and professional care. Funding comes from many sources. The Dynamo Foundation, at the top of it all, survives partly through self-financing, availing itself of several income streams: The activities of Dynamo Academy meet the demand for training in social economy while developing programs and events for the training of businesses, students and local bodies; Prodynamo, a business venture in its start-up phase, sells Dynamo-branded goods (foodstuffs and clothing); and the Dynamo Cafè model is food-based. All profits go to the Dynamo Foundation’s social projects.

The lion’s share of financing comes from donations, which amounted to 4.38 million euros in 2014. Thus, 43% of donors were individuals, 39% were companies, 14% were foundations and associations, and 4% were in the public sector. When combining businesses and individuals it amounts to 3,500 people, and within that group were 205 “ambassadors” who organised 135 fund-raising initiatives over the past 12 months, all over Italy, involving more than 10,000 people. As a result,

Dynamo Camp has been able to welcome more than 7,000 children since 2007, not to mention the more than 9,000 who have participated in activities outside the camp. The camp’s activities are principally aimed at children with serious or chronic illnesses, namely haematological cancers, diabetes, rare diseases, serious neurological disorders and debilitating motor diseases. For such children, Dynamo represents one of the very few opportunities to have fun, and of course it provides crucial support for their families.

Each year the camp puts on an open weekend and welcomes 7,000 people from all over Italy. They come to see this enterprise for themselves, and thus Dynamo Camp builds its reputation and notoriety. Moreover, a new project called Social Valley seeks to convey this model of cultural approach and experience beyond the camp, into the area where Dynamo is located. That project will spread the word about this Italian embodiment of the venture philanthropy model, which is altogether extraordinary.