MoreThanAJob: entrepreneurial thinking in Social and Solidarity Economy

Thursday 1 April 2021

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Social economy and social enterprises contribute to important policy objectives, such as job creation, inclusiveness, equal opportunities, sustainability and civic participation. They are an excellent example of an “economy that works for people” — a high priority for the European Commission. They help to pursue demographic, green and digital transitions, without leaving anybody behind.

“Social enterprises and their ecosystems in Europe. Comparative synthesis report.”, European Commission (2020)

Changing dynamics and the increasing complexity of social issues in recent years have created a space where social work entrepreneurship is needed to advance practice and create social impact. In this landscape, the private sector has proven to be a great support for public actors in delivering welfare services that foster the inclusion of the most vulnerable. Social enterprises are just an example of how entrepreneurial thinking is pivotal in underpinning the development of social and solidarity economy initiatives.

Particularly, in the aftermath of the Covid19 outbreak, it has become clearer how complex and dynamic social issues require new assessment lens and intervention approaches, because the traditional ones may be not sufficient in addressing these issues. Looking ahead to the society, it is crucial to construct a new system that enables us to address social challenges through innovation by collaborating and acting globally. Thus, there is a need to find ways to foster innovation which generates social and public value.

This is where entrepreneurial thinking can support both private and public actors in planning, developing and delivering more effective welfare and social services. Innovation and entrepreneurship in public services is about building relationships and leveraging resources while keeping the focus on outcomes and the impact that should be achieved. It is about using problem solving approaches, collaborate with stakeholders and service users, grow by adapting and learning. Social entrepreneurial thinking requires bringing together a wide range of stakeholders and organisational representatives to tackle the core of complex social and community issues.

This attitude and entrepreneurial thinking skills (such as business management, leadership, communication, networking, customer services) can be learned and enhanced in the main actors working towards the labour and social inclusion of vulnerable groups. And these skills are essential in order to create an entrepreneurial and innovative field to adapt to the changes of our societies.

The MoreThanAJob project aims at transmitting these and other skills that can support the development of cooperation mechanisms among private and public actors in order to create and deliver innovative services for the labour and social inclusion.

How to shape services that can effectively support citizens, particularly vulnerable groups, through the development of entrepreneurial thinking skills to has been one of the main topics addressed during the training-the-trainers workshops conducted by EUROTRAINING as part of the project.

During our encounters, we discussed how tools used in business environment as the business plan and the business canvas model can be adapted to the development of social and support services and of innovative solutions and actions in the social field.  Indeed, we understand how they can support a better understanding of a societal problem and the whole fabric of why it is there, the obstacles to a solution taking hold and making sustainable impact.

The knowledge acquired and the inputs collected during our training-the-trainers will be part of the seminars that will be run with local private and public stakeholders. The roots of social work are in innovative and entrepreneurial thinking. We strongly believe that transmitting this perspective to all the actors involved in social work can grow their impact in local communities around the world. The training-the-trainers organised by EUROTRAINING is part of a 3-cycle of workshops on how to enhance knowledge and competences among Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) actors to effectively cooperate with public actors in the development of innovative welfare and support services.

About MoreThanAJob

MoreThanAJob – Reinforcing social and solidarity economy for the unemployed, uneducated and refugees is a project funded by the European Union under ENI CBC Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme. The project aims at enhancing the development of cooperation mechanisms between the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) actors and the public administration to improve the social services for vulnerable groups in order to increase their opportunities of social and labour inclusion.


For further information

See the project website and read more about MoreThanAJob.

Contact Giulia Tarantino: