Social Entrepreneurship in a European Dimension
Start date: Sep 1, 2015,
End date: Aug 31, 2017
A social enterprise is a firm with social impact mission managed in accountable, transparent and innovative way.Social enterprises are crucial for EU: the social economy is 10% of EU GDP and employs 4.5% of EU workers. At 1.43 trl € value and 11 ml workers in 2014, social economy is a unique engine for growth and employment (“Map of Social Enterprises & Their Ecosystems”,DG EMPL, 2014).Social enterprises are a building bloc of EU2020 objectives of smart, inclusive, sustainable growth.
But, EU social economy is undermined by low capacity of social entrepreneurs:
the Commission states that “in EU education systems, social entrepreneurship is still underpromoted, even if integrating into training is a requisite for reinforcing its credibility” COM(2011)682;EU Parliament in Opinion on SBI (2012/04) stresses the need to provide training to social entrepreneurs:in recommendations 10-11 the Parliament “believes the problem in social enterprises is the lack of appropriate know-how” and ”it is important to ensure that advice and training are available to make the most of their growth potential and capacity to create social value”.The Parliament “calls on Commission and States to develop training programmes for social enterprises”.
The most recent analysis of social enterprises in EU confirms the lack of training resources as key impediment: “Map of Social Enterprises & Their Ecosystems”,2014, DG EMPL identifies soft obstacles for social enterprises (unclear legislation, access to market/finance, etc) and highlights the 2 main shortcomings for EU social enterprises:
1.lack of specialist support like training. Social enterprises’ specific features (dual missions, business model, target groups) require diversified and tailored solutions. In most countries, specialist support for social enterprises is largely absent; where it exists, is limited and fragmented
2.lack of viable business models, low commercial acumen/entrepreneurial spirit, lack of managerial and professional skills.
The report stresses that innovative training for social entrepreneurs is an immediate EU need: “ecosystems for social enterprise are in their infancy in most EU countries”.
In this context,SEED-OER has the objective to enhance social enterprises’ competitiveness and reinforce their potential in EU by developing an OER Platform including relevant training solutions tailored to specific needs of the sector, completed by a repository of best practices, case studies and lessons learned.The SEED-OER will become a focal point and platform for exchange of practices, knowledge and opportunities for social entrepreneurs across the EU. SEED-OER will not only provide practical tools and training resources but also become the social entrepreneurship accelerator by inspiring creativity of social-entrepreneurs-to-be in exploring innovative forms of social value creation.
Partners will carry out the following activities:
a) capacity gap assessment with social entrepreneurs to corroborate the training/capacity needs identified by DG EMPL “Map of Social Enterprises & Their Ecosystems” in commercial acumen/entrepreneurial spirit and managerial/professional skills
b) develop innovative training modules and materials (face to face and online) tailored to social enterprises’ specific needs (dual mission)
c)pilot the training to validate its relevance
d)identify Best Practices, case studies and lessons learned
e)mainstream SEED training via OER Platform to maximise impact
SEED-OER’s results are innovative and demand driven training modules and training content for both online and face-to-face delivery, the toolkit of best practices, case studies and lessons learned, the OER platform will be maintained beyond EC cofinancing for long-lasting impact and sustainability.
SEED-OER will directly involve the target groups of social entrepreneurs (and perspective ones) and VET providers throughout implementation: at capacity gap assessment at least 50 social enterprises will be involved and at pilot at least 200 social entrepreneurs (actual and to-be) will be trained.
SEED-OER brings together all participants of social enterprise ecosystem in EU: private and public sectors, NGOs, VET and HEI providers and social entrepreneurs. With 8 partners from 6 countries, the partnership represents the cultural and social diversity, and captures the various EU approaches towards social entrepreneurship.
The methodology is scientific and based on profiling skills set, mapping needs and developing tailored training. The training will be tested and validated to then become widely available via the OER platform.
SEED-OER is fully in line with Erasmus+, Horizontal Priorities 1 & 2, VET priorities 1 & 2. SEED is in line with EU policies and strategies objectives: EU2020, ET2020, SBI Initiative; SEED responds to real needs confirmed by EU: “Training social enterprise managers is important and something that governments should support”, “Policy Brief on Social Entrepreneurship”, EU/
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