Boosting the development of social entrepreneurship in local communities

Boosting the development of social entrepreneurship in local communities

Author: Eleonora Lamio, Diesis Network (Belgium)

Published on: 2022/06/27


SELC project final event

The final event of the SELC project entitled “Boosting the development of social entrepreneurship in local communities” took place in Brussels on the 23rd of June, 2022 at Smart, in Brussels. Stakeholders and representatives from European and national social economy and social inclusion organisations attended the event and contributed to the discussion!

This event raised awareness about the importance and the impact that social entrepreneurship can have at local level and provided some ideas on how it can be further developed at the heart of local communities.

In the first part of the event, there was an overview of examples of tools that can support the development of social entrepreneurship at the local level: pre-incubation, incubation and financing, and crowdfunding. These examples from different European countries wanted to promote cross-contamination.

The first example was presented by Alessia Sebillo from Diesis Network, explaining the importance of pre-incubation programmes in the development of the business idea and its impact. Pre-incubation phases are essential to creating sustainable and innovative social business. Mrs Sebillo presented what Diesis is currently doing in this field, in particular its collaboration with the Belgian organisation Declic en PerspectivES.

For the incubation examples, we had the experience shared by our guest Petro Darmoris, from the Ukrainian Social Academy. He presented to the public the incubation programmes run by its organisation, including during these difficult times. Then, George Sarlis from the Greek organisation Mosaic also showcased the incubator programmes offered by his organisation and focused on the creative and cultural field.

Finally, this first panel ended with the presentation of the crowdfunding platform We Grow Ideas by Mariann Árkosi, Civitas Foundation, developed by the SELC project. The platform provides crowdfunding opportunities for European social entrepreneurs.

The second part of the event showcased how social entrepreneurship can make an impact on the communities at the local level, apart from the economic one. This impact can be of multiple natures: such as environmental, cultural, and social. Organisations from all over Europe shared with us examples of social entrepreneurship ideas that have a positive impact on the ground.

The first one was ARNO, presented by Irina Janevska. ARNO is an organization for Social Innovation established in North Macedonia in 2013. The organization started by providing solutions to large global challenges with small, local actions. Immediately, ARNO became recognized as a ground-breaking leader in the field of Social Entrepreneurship. Thanks to the successful management of the “Green Ideas Competition” for many years, it is also acknowledged as a national resource for awareness and inspiration in the field of Green Entrepreneurship. Mrs Janevska presented several social entrepreneurship initiatives that have a positive environmental impact.

Following this, Snezana Andric presented the Serbian organization Young Ambassadors. This is a youth organization established in January 2014 with an aim to strengthen the capacity of young people, through actions aimed at multi-sectoral cooperation and development of each individual with the idea of future contributions to the development of the local community. Young Ambassadors is particularly active in the cultural field and promotes several social entrepreneurship projects related to cultural activities.

Finally, Paweł Klimek presented SZOWES: the West Pomeranian Network of social economy support centers gathering four Social Economy Support Centers covering the area of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship in Poland. The mission of SZOWES is to promote the idea of the social economy and social entrepreneurship at the local level and to promote its local development through comprehensive support and strengthening of the potential of social economy entities. They focus in particular on social economy activities with a high social impact.

Diesis Network was glad to see the very actives response and participation of the stakeholders who attended the event: many questions were asked, and discussions took place around the interventions of our speakers.