Social Enterprise Skills for Business Advisers
Start date: Sep 1, 2015,
End date: Aug 31, 2018
Social economy and entrepreneurship has developed in the recent years as an answer to major social needs that have been exacerbated through the economic crisis. Social enterprises contribute to social innovation, the creation of new business models and the exploitation of unused resources. However, the supporting structures for social economy, such as advisory services, are still underdeveloped in the EU, slowing down the potential growth of this sector. For this reason the SESBA project (Social Enterprise Skills for Business Advisers) aims at developing a training methodology and a consulting toolkit that will enable business advisers to expand their competencies in order to provide tailored services to social entrepreneurs. Thus the profile of business advisors will become even more market relevant and tools will be provided for the development of solid support structures in social economy.
The activities and related outcomes of the project include:
- Extensive research that will depict the status of social entrepreneurship in the EU; relevant policies, structures and advisory services
- Field research addressed at business advisers and social entrepreneurs in order to depict the qualifications needed for the effective provision of advisory services in social economy
- The transfer of good practices from the social field to the business advisory for the development of new consulting techniques
- The development of a comprehensive business advisors’ training program that corresponds both to the established needs and to academic standards
- The development of a training portal that will host the learning content and material
- Pilot training in the new consulting techniques
- Assessment of the new consulting techniques in real conditions
- Awareness raising among policy makers, stakeholders and all those involved in business advising, about the necessity of new consulting techniques for the provision of adequate services in the field of social economy.
The method that will be used in the project can be summarized as: Combination of academic research, research at national level and field research among stakeholders for clear need identification. Identified needs will be addressed through the development of training material and consulting techniques, building on best practices. Defining desired learning outcomes and designing an assessment methodology ensures objective achievement. Pilot training and application allows for testing and improving the project products. The development of an electronic platform increases flexibility and accessibility.
All those active in business advising and social economy will be invited to participate either in the research activities or in the events and training activities presenting the project products. The events will be of interest also to persons considering starting a social enterprise. All stakeholders of social economy will be invited to participate, such as policy makers, chambers, entrepreneurial networks, training entities, social economy organizations etc. An estimated total of 210 business advisors and advisories, social partners and social entrepreneurs will be addressed through research. An estimated total of 664 persons will participate in the multiplier events foreseen by the project.
Business advisors will be offered the opportunity to enhance their professional outlook and make their services adaptive to special circumstances and needs in social economy. Awareness of the role of business advisors in the development of social economy will increase. The dismantling of barriers and the improvement of access to social economy through better support services is expected to encourage initiatives in social entrepreneurship, generating social value and positive economic impact may be successful. At a national level, the project products will complement existing services to social entrepreneurs.
Overall, SESBA is expected to provide a milestone in the up-skilling of business advisors in terms of training tools and systematization of insight, knowledge and experience so far. Thus the project will be an important contribution to the investment in human resources in support of the social economy sector.
Get Access to the 1st Network for European Cooperation