The European Learning Network
Start date: Jun 30, 2004,
End date: Dec 30, 2007
The five partner cities of LNET – Amsterdam, Hamburg, London, Milan and Prague – are unlocking the commercial potential of deprived urban areas. They are achieving this by identifying the most effective ways for regional development agencies and local authorities to support innovation, social enterprise and entrepreneurship in deprived areas, focusing on business support, investment and skills and knowledge, as well as effective governance structures. Achievements: Achievements so far The project was launched in London on 24/11/04, with an opening conference bringing together top level policy-makers and practitioners. LNet partners also organised 3 thematic workshops, on social enterprise in Milan (February 9-11, 2005), on innovation in Hamburg (September 19-21, 2005) and on entrepreneurship in Amsterdam (June 27-28th, 2006). Each event included a day of workshop, with a public conference, open to all interested practitioners and policy makers, and by study visits to relevant local projects. The network also put together two successful dissemination seminars in Prague, on April 28th '05 and in Brussels on March 7th, '06. All these events were prefaced by a Steering Committee. The network was publicised at 3 important 'Regional Policy' events: a) the All Zones INTERREG III C Meeting in Prague in Sept. 05, where LNet was selected as flagship project for INTERREG IIIC West; b) the INTERREG IIIC Forum and Lead Partner Day in Brussels in Nov. 05, where LNet organised a Thematic Group Meeting; c) the Urban Futures Conference in Stockholm on May 4th, 06 where a workshop was dedicated to LNet.The LNet Final Conference in London on December 11th, 2006 closed the first 32 months LNet first phase with the presentation of the LNet Final report and the LNet on-line manual. This event served as a measurement tool of the quality and effectiveness of the outputs at the policy and practitioner level, but also as a platform for partners and the public to analyse the potentialities of continuing the network. Given the good feedback and quality of the outputs produced, the Lead Partner, Greater London Enterprise (GLE), and the Milan partners decided to actively contribute to a second phase of LNet with the implementation of pilot projects, which would use the LNet findings. This idea was welcome by the INTERREG secretariat which awarded a year extension to the project. GLE decided to conduct a small project in Prague with a minimum budget, whereas Partners 6 and 7 opted for a large scale pilot project with two parallel and complementary phases. Both projects run from January to September 2007. The Prague project focused on raising awareness amongst disadvantaged groups about self employment and enterprise creation as a route out of social exclusion and was conducted in 4 out of 6 'socially deprived areas'in Prague. The Milan pilot project covered the North Milan area and more specifically one municipality: Baranzate. The project set up 1) a 'North-West resource center' - a new service supporting the development of projects with a clear social value arising from the community and 2) a new service promoting ethnic and migrant entrepreneurship. Both pilot projects were implemented following the guidance of the LNet manual .and were presented at a final event in Prague on 01.10.07.
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