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SocialB Newsletter – June 2021

Welcome! We’ve been working on developing the course outlines to address the training needs which you highlighted to us last year when we did our research into the management, growth and sustainability challenges facing Social Enterprises at present. Read on to find out more about the training modules which we hope to pilot at year end…

Social B – a brief refresher

And in case you’ve forgotten what SocialB is…

  • Social B is an Erasmus+ Knowledge Alliance project between 8 partners from the social enterprise, training and Higher Education sectors in 4 countries – Ireland, Greece, Italy and Slovenia.
  • The strategic objective of the project is to develop a common suite of training materials, available to a wide range of stakeholders, through the SocialB eLearning Repository.
  • Learning materials will be presented in the framework of blended learning materials in 16 – 24 Learning Units, and will be designed to address identified skills gaps and training needs in key areas critical for the development, sustainability and expansion of the Social Enterprise sector.
  • The project will run until December 2022.

You suggested. We responded.

Following lots of analysis, discussions and drafts by the Project Team in recent months, we have designed 6 Learning Units, each of which will include themes and learning on one of 6 key challenges to growth and sustainability identified by social enterprises and organisations which collaborate with them. The Learning Units are modular, and designed to be delivered through a blended learning approach, either as a single module or one of several. Have a look below at the 6 Learning themes we’re working on.

Learning Modules & Themes

1 Introduction to Social Enterprise

    • History and evolution of the social enterprise sector
    • Combining business values and social values
    • Social Innovation
    • Governance & partnerships

2. Project Design & Management

    • Soft skills & Transferable skills
    • Project Management Cycle
    • Preparing proposals and procurement
    • National & EU funding Opportunities

3. Human Resources

    • Role of HR and HR management
    • Recruitment of staff and volunteers
    • Managing performance
    • Leadership and leadership skills

4. Social Impact

    • Defining social impact
    • How to assess social impact
    • Analysing data
    • Communicating your social impact

5. Financial Sustainability

    • Strategic Planning life cycle
    • How to make a business plan
    • Financial planning and cashflow
    • Financing your social enterprise – bank loans, social finance, grants, sales

6. Marketing and Fundraising for Growth

    • Growth strategies
    • Market competitiveness and how to evaluate it
    • Fundraising options for social enterprises
    • Networking and Marketing for Sales

We will be in touch in the Autumn again when we’ll be looking for social enterprises, and their advisors and collaborators, to participate in the training pilot towards the end of this year – stay tuned!

Mapping Social Enterprise Education across the EU

Would you like a broader overview of ‘who’s who’ in providing education and training on social entrepreneurship in other EU countries?

Research conducted by the SocialB consortium in 2020 identified 98 institutions in 24 EU countries providing a range of education and training, ranging from VET training courses, to BSc and MSc programmes. You can find out more through the interactive map we’ve developed which provides basic course information for all courses plotted on the map, e.g. type and title of course/ programme, institution, duration of course, ECTS, fees, admission requirements, etc.

>>> SocialB Interactive Map of SE Education & Training in EU <<<

We would really like to build on this map and to include all of the education and training institutions that help shape the European social enterprise landscape. If you know of a course or institution which should be on the map, please let us know and we will add you to the map.

Spotlight on our Consortium – Italy

We are delighted to have 2 great Italian partners in our consortium: Programma Integra, a social cooperative which develops and implements plans to support the economic and social integration of migrants and refugees, and Tor Vergata University of Rome, which is renowned for its focus, teaching and education on social entrepreneurship and social innovation.

The 2 partner organisations in each of the 4 SocialB Project countries are supported by a Project Advisory Group, which meets with the team at key milestones to guide the next phase of the project – the Italian team below are listening intently at a recent Project Advisory Group meeting.

Members of the Groups include experts in the field of social enterprise, HEI staff, and external practitioners, and their input and guidance is important not only as a means of improving the project implementation, but as a safeguard on the quality and content of the curriculum materials being developed.

In Italy, for example, the Project Advisory Group includes: Luca Calisi, President of ULIS, an organisation that supports social entrepreneurs; Flamina Valenza is a member of the Management Team of Confcooperative Roma e Lazio, the regional trade association representing, assisting, protecting and auditing the co-operative movement; Giorgio Baracco, President of the social enterprise “Proteina”, and lecturer on the theme of social innovation and communication for Social Enterprises; and Nicola Cabria, an expert on inclusive business, and managing director of the Human Foundation.

We would like to express our thanks to the members of all 4 country Project Advisory Groups for their input and guidance.

Stay up to date with SocialB

To keep up to date with SocialB as the project develops, we would love you to sign up for our newsletter on the homepage of our website. We promise not to bombard you with emails, but we do expect to issue 2 further newsletters in 2021, with updates on our progress.

We’d also be delighted if you shared this newsletter with colleagues, and with anybody else who might be interested in following the project outputs, particularly Social Enterprises, third level institutions and training and education bodies which are active in the field of training for social enterprises.

Sign up here for our newsletter.

Contact Us

SocialB is a collaboration between organisations in Greece, Ireland, Italy and Slovenia, led by Limerick Institute of Technology, Ireland. The easiest way to contact us is through our website, where you’ll also find information and links to the organisations involved in the project, and contact details for the Project Officer in each partner organisation.

SocialB is a Knowledge Alliance Project (612579-EPP-1-2019-1-IE- EPPKA2-KA). This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.

The information and views set out in this newsletter are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained herein.