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European Expert in Social Innovation Incubation
Start date: Sep 1, 2015, End date: Aug 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Specific aim of the project is to spread and promote in Europe a new professional curriculum, namely the European Expert in Social Innovation incubation (ESII). Social innovation processes rely on the inventiveness of citizens, civil society organisations, local communities, businesses and public servants and services. They are an opportunity both for the public sector and for the markets, so that the products and services better satisfy individual but also collective aspirations. But this inventiveness needs to be directed and guided towards market-relevant initiatives, to become social businesses, i.e. enterprises with a positive social impact. Who ca offer this guidance and facilitation service? The European ESII, a professional in virtual incubation, that provides expert consulting and tailored workshops to help social entrepreneurs and innovators build the skills, strategies and networks they need to succeed. In different contexts in Europe, there are some consultants dealing with social innovation incubation, although a common training path is missing and the profession of ESII is not recognized. This hinders the transparency of competences and creates barriers in the mobility of individuals within the European labour market. In addition, the lack of a recognised profession in this field, means a shortage of competent and qualified experts able to unleash the potential of emerging ideas and initiatives, allowing the creation of social changes and social businesses. Organisations working as consultants, training providers, incubators for traditional business, should get prepared to also support social entrepreneurship and scale up social innovation initiatives, in light of the primary role that social business plays in the economy and in society. Hence, in order to favour mutual recognition and transparency of competences, the project will develop: 1. The ECVET competence profile of the European ESII 2. The curriculum of a training course for ESII 3. A procedure for the recognition of competences 4. Guidelines for the accreditation of organizations carrying out training addressed to ESII 5. A comprehensive training course to become ESII, accessible online as Open Educational Resource The direct target group includes all existing incubators, chambers of commerce, consultants and business support service providers, as well as students in business and economics, that will benefit from a free training course to help them acquire skills and competences recognised at European level for the experts in social innovation incubation. Indirect target groups are all the stakeholders that may exploit the outcomes for training activities and internal staff professional development: VET providers, universities, local authorities, traditional businesses (that may be interested in creating links and synergies with social enterprises). The direct target groups and organisations will be involved in various phases of project activities: the initial in depth-research to design and implement the ECVET profile, the training delivery and pilot test activities, the events and dissemination activities. It is intended to directly involve at least 300 people and 20 organisations per country, for a total of 1500 beneficiaries. Thanks to dissemination and exploitation activities, the consortium aims to reach about 5000 people in Europe, counting also on the European networks the partners belong to, such as the European Business Network, which has a direct interest in exploiting the results within its members (more than 150 business innovation centres). The main tangible results will be: 1. the implementation of the ECVET system to the field of social innovation incubation, a growing sector in Europe lacking a common framework for transparency of competences. 2. An innovative learning environment to train ESIIs, through an interactive platform offering educational materials and simulation tools The expected result is to favour the acquisition of new competences in terms of social innovation incubation and facilitation by the actors offering support to business and local development. Locally, this will result in the creation of additional new local enterprises. Regionally, the project will provide new opportunities for economic growth as the partners’ networks of business support services acquire the new knowledge and skills delivered through the project to help social enterprises evolve and grow. On a national, European and international level the project will influence policy and help to shape the future of social entrepreneurship. The impact is translated into new businesses thereby reducing systemic unemployment, which results in new employment opportunities for the long term benefit of citizens. As for systemic impact, the project intends to give a boost to social innovation in Europe, in order to contribute to Europe 2020 objective of making the European economy intelligent, sustainable and inclusive.

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