Archive of European Projects

SOCIAL SEDUCEMENT Embracing vulnerability in entrepreneurship development
Start date: 01 Sep 2014, End date: 31 Aug 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

WHY SOCIAL SEDUCEMENT? Social Seducement promotes self-entrepreneurship through an on-line gaming experience. Social inclusion means enabling every citizen, notably the most disadvantaged, to fully participate in society, including having a job, that means: • Adequate income support together with help to get a job • Inclusive labour markets making it easier for people to join the work force, • Access to quality services helping people participate actively in society, including getting back to work. The fight against poverty is at the heart of the Europe2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth: 2011 statistics states that 24% of all the EU population (about 120 million people) are at risk of social exclusion – 20,5% of those over 65, and 9% of those with a job [DG employment and social affairs]. One of the most promising areas to address these problems is the promotion of business creation by people who are disadvantaged in entrepreneurship and self-employment. In the last years the employment losses where concentrated among temporary and permanent employees and overall there was job-creation among the self-employed [EU Employment Observatory Review2010]. A great example is represented by cooperative enterprises. According to the ILO an increase of cooperative start-ups has been noticed [EACB2010], showing resilience over the last 165 years, adapting to different political regimes, continuously integrating new needs and aspirations linked to the deep social and economic transformation through democratically controlled enterprises [2014, Resilience of the Cooperative Business Model in Times of Crisis,ILO]. Despite these significant challenges, many people with disadvantage still want to, and can have careers as entrepreneurs. What they often lack are the support systems, funding, access to training and especially the encouragement that can make the difference in bringing their entrepreneurship hopes and aspirations to fruition. The inclusive aspects of cooperative enterprises can lead to self-empowerment including confidence-building and social inclusion for individuals at risk of exclusion. HOW IT WILL HAPPEN? Consistently with Erasmus+, the project will contribute to improve the level of key competences and skills of disadvantaged individuals that are potential or actual self-employers, through strengthened cooperation between education and training, work and the social economy, non-profit and voluntary sectors, in a EU dimension. Operationally this will be achieved by developing and testing an ONLINE ROLE-PLAY PLATFORM, designed to discover, enhance and promote entrepreneurial skills WHY A GAME? Playing is maybe the most natural human instinct and it is the best way in which people learn and experience reality. Most people intuitively understand that when they play, they learn. Learning within serious games occurs through smart play. In this context, the partnership sees ‘play’, as a construct of innovation connecting, reorganizing and redeploying from small groups to more players around specific endeavours and enabling them to self-organize based on their capabilities, interests and reputation capital. WHY AN ON-LINE ROLE PLAY GAME TO APPROACH SELF-ENTREPRENEURSHIP? Starting from these considerations, the partnership thought about the potential use of games in transferring knowledge and competences in the context of Social Economy, focusing in particular on social entrepreneurship and cooperation. What makes cooperatives unique and powerful is the centrality of each member, in particular of those with experience of vulnerability. Being a member of a cooperative is about building relationships, sharing rules, common intents and working together in order to produce mutual benefit. This inborn humanity is what makes cooperatives flexible and resilient, in some way it is what makes them so similar to Role Play Games (RPG). In RPGs each player has its own proper abilities, strengths and weaknesses, he/she has to face threats and seize opportunities. Through cooperation with other players, he/she can achieve objectives that would have been impossible to reach if alone. Players can’t help but learn the skills necessary to master a game while they play, and they usually improve quite rapidly. This approach improves access to learning for vulnerable groups while shifting from costly and infrastructure-heavy training and development programs to more flexible contextual learning models that allow people to develop emerging new skills as needed.
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