Research in Social Enterprises: A Greek-Italian pr.. (RISE GRIT)
Research in Social Enterprises: A Greek-Italian project on measuring social impact and identifying financial/funding needs of social enterprises
Start date: Jun 1, 2014,
End date: May 31, 2016
The RiSE GRIT project aims to shed light on the potential of civil society, as it is self-organised in the sphere of social economy and more specifically of social enterprises (SEs) to organize and channel citizens’ ability into innovative problem-solving procedures to tackle key societal concerns. The main argument of the project is that in order to fully harness the contribution of SEs to societal wellbeing, inclusion and smart economic growth, their rationale and roles need to be better understood and subsequently translated into effective policies that are able to exploit their competitive advantages vis-à-vis public and for-profit enterprises. The RiSE GRIT research project builds on the rich Italian experience and evolves in the following three dimensions: a) a conceptual one that focuses on approaching SEs as a “system” integrated in a socio-economic context; b) an horizontal, explicit focus on SEs access to finance and social impact assessment as key-areas for their support and further development and; c) a spatial/geographical one that focuses on regions/areas that although in need have not yet developed a sufficient number of initiatives and the model needs to be further supported (e.g., rural vs. urban settings and/or Greece and other areas in crisis). In that framework RiSE GRIT aims to add to the on-going academic debate to develop a theory for SEs; addresses pressing needs of SEs and policy-makers in developing a comprehensive framework for the analysis of funding/financing of SEs and in defining the critical parameters of a meaningful impact assessment of SEs performance and, hence, the direct and indirect impact assessment of public spending on the field; and invests in activities and deliverables that will improve understanding, increase visibility, raise public awareness of SEs, and reinforce the inherent links of those mission-driven entrepreneurial initiatives to the model of the social-market economy pursued under the Europe 2020 strategy.
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