The EFESEIIS project aims to produce new knowledge enabling Member States, non-Member States and the European Union to fully understand the conditions under which social entrepreneurship starts, develops and can contribute effectively and efficiently to solving societal challenges in a sustainable way.
The proposal responds to the challenges identified in Europe 2020 Strategy for Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth and HORIZON 2020, in particular to societal challenges to create inclusive, innovative and secure societies.
Geographically, the project is intended to directly enable the flourishing and evolution of social entrepreneurship for innovative and inclusive societies in Albania, Austria, Sweden, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Serbia, United Kingdom.
The project has four main objectives
To construct an Evolutionary Theory of Social Entrepreneurship
Social Entrepreneurship has developed in different ways across Europe. This objective aims to construct a theory which explains these differences, taking into account the history and trends of Social Entrepreneurship, the different operational and organisational forms, the role of communities, cultures and tradition, the role of social innovation, the role of the dialogue between the State and Citizens on Social Inclusion and how social entrepreneurship and institutions co-evolved during time.
To identify the features of an “Enabling Eco-System for Social Entrepreneurship”
The research will identify the conditions under which Social Enterprises can contribute effectively and efficiently to build an inclusive and innovative society and will lead to a database of good practices. Social Entrepreneurship is mainly a local phenomena, in the sense that its activities are usually performed at the local level and aim to solve local problems. Social Entrepreneurship is thus embedded in the local context through relations with consumers/producers, with the local financial sector, local support services, local policy makers etc. Social Entrepreneurship is also influenced by the broader context in which is set being: the cultural, legal and institutional features of the country as well as the “discourses” present in the historical moment it is living or has lived in.
To identify the “New Generation” of Social Entrepreneurs
In the last three years or so, Social Entrepreneurs have faced unprecedented conditions. On one side the economic crisis has precipitated drastic welfare cuts in the name of austerity, which not only reduce sources of income for the social entrepreneur but also create new markets to be filled and potentially new innovations in raising finance. On the other side (and perhaps as a consequence of the former) we have seen increasing attention being placed on Social Entrepreneurship by citizens and institutions such as governments, banks etc. This situation is affecting the New Generation of Social Entrepreneurs. This New Generation requires a greater understanding in terms of its features, the needs and constraints as well as its contribution to Social Innovation. This will allow social entrepreneurs the ability to greater success in the policy-making arena as well as increased benefits with regards to stakeholders, financial institutions and other support organizations.
To provide advice to stakeholders
The project targets policymakers both at the European, national and local level, banks, and other organizations such as: chambers of commerce, associations of entrepreneurs, local development agencies and so on. Every stakeholder will be provided with advice on how to draft policies and services to foster Social Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation based on the data collected and on the country analysis performed.
Visit the project website at http://www.fp7-efeseiis.eu