Blog & News.
Blog & News.
The BASET project, co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union, addresses the needs of trainers, mentors, lecturers, SMEs experts, investors and other professional intermediaries (educators, facilitators) of methodological guidelines in training and supporting their target group – social entrepreneurs.
The main objective of the project is to foster social entrepreneurship through elaborating, testing and providing a set of learning and training instruments to social entrepreneurs’ educators and investors. Hence, the project outcome is a clarified learning model for training educators and investors to contribute to the success of social entrepreneurs.
The model consists of three main intellectual outputs: Social Entrepreneurship Development Model (SEDM) – a very practical and easy-to-use handbook for educators to understand the needs of social ventures and hands-on guidance that helps entrepreneurs carry out their social missions more effectively; Train the Trainers Toolkit (TTT) – providing educators with background knowledge, skills and practical experience, virtual space to support the Social Entrepreneurship Training and technical assistance to social entrepreneurs’ communities.
Train the Investors Handbook (TIH) – equipping investors/ mentors with practical knowledge and model of working with social entrepreneurs at risk. TIH provides practical knowledge, lessons and hands-on guidance that support investors to understand the social entrepreneurs' needs and train them in all issues related to financing and encouraging social ventures.
More specifically, this handbook will prepare investors to measure social impact prior to the potential investment in social impact businesses/ social enterprises, whereas they will act as mentors to social entrepreneurs on that topic and support them with finance, expertise and networks to grow, reach more people, and develop a viable business model for greater impact.
TIH has been developed to optimize and simplify the use of the book, make it easier to digest accordingly and provide insightful information that can be used to train investors as well as educate them to better understand social ventures, how to measure and evaluate social impact and approach investment opportunities providing social impact.
Thus, investors will be capable of delivering enhanced support to social entrepreneurs, including empathetic approaches to their social journeys and how they can reach more people, scale and be financially sustainable.
We have structured the handbook in a way that:
Furthermore, you can review some of our case studies and example of support available, whereas for the countries: Bulgaria, Greece, Belgium and the UK, please get in touch by using the BASET project website: www.baset.info
We recommend that you review the whole Train the Investors Handbook, while also using the table of contents to jump directly where you feel you may need extra knowledge/ know-how. Additionally, we understand that this handbook is not extensive and conclusive and there’s much more to be added, but we feel that we have grasped an adequate amount of information.
This case study from Belgium has been provided by the Belgian partner in the BASET project – Creative District, illustrating an insightful example of a non-profit organisation, which has managed to overcome the challenges in the social impact ecosystem by implementing an innovative business model, proving systematic growth. Moreover, while scaling up with a very fast rate, it has boosted its positive social impact.
CREATIVE DISTRICT 2014-2019
Creative District was established in Belgium in 2014 as a non-profit association to promote entrepreneurs in the sector of CCI (Creative and Cultural Industries). In order to provide them with an adequate workspace, Creative District started its journey by identifying and occupying unused spaces.
The first experience proved to be very profitable from the point of view of the real estate owner: the completely empty building in which Creative District operated, benefited from its presence, its management and its dynamics to find new tenants and increase its price per square meter.
Over the years, Creative District has specialized in the revitalization of vacant spaces. From promoting entrepreneurs in the CCI sector, Creative District has set the mission of revitalizing vacant spaces by implementing projects with societal values and local anchorage, related to the creative industries, to revive them and re-create an economic activity.
Thus, the benefits have evolved significantly according to the expertise developed by Creative District. In parallel, more and more property owners have realised the novel business model of Creative District for the revitalization of their spaces, whether in consultancy, management, or activity creation.
Over time, the organisation has proved that this continuous support to entrepreneurs and providing them with workspaces and experimental grounds for their project is a win-win for the various stakeholders in the ecosystem.
Hence, more spaces can be revitalized leading to more positive and diversified impact. The evolution of Creative District's services from 2017 has not only required a change of the business plan, but also of the branding and marketing. Consequently, in 2019 the organisation created two new legal forms to better manage and valorise each type of services.
This pinpoints how crucial it is for an enterprise in the social ecosystem to be flexible, not only with their business model but also to be able to diversify in various ways. In conclusion, from the graphics above it is evident that over the years and during its development Creative District has gone through several transformational evolutions:
During the days of 8-12 April 2019 all BASET partners - KISMC, CEED Bulgaria, IDEC, Caban Capital and Creative District, together with investors, finance professionals and lecturers, experts and social ventures from Bulgaria, Greece, Belgium and the UK, took part in a 5-days training in London under the project BASET: Boost Aid for Social Entrepreneurship through Training, co-financed by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.
The training, which was organised and hosted by the BASET project partner - Caban Capital, aimed at delivering a brief overview of the project, its target groups, main objectives and results so far, and more specifically the details of the 3rd intellectual output: Train the Investors Handbook (TIH).
All participants had the opportunity to support and contribute to the BASET project, as well as learn more about training methods in investing in social ventures as well as provide feedback on the current status of the development of TIH. There were discussions on impact investment and raising funds for social impact, impact measurement as well as challenges in attracting financing for impact, case studies and best practices in angel investment in social enterprises. Moreover, as part of the training, there was a workshop on choosing appropriate business models and marketing strategies for social entrepreneurs.
Additionally, views were exchanged on important areas within impact investment and investing in social enterprises with a social mission such as the role of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, how crucial the size of the market is when investing in impact as well as the tenacity of those leading social impact projects. During the training and discussions among all participants, a number of factors playing a key role within the impact investment training domain regarding investors were concluded: empathy, impact first - then profit, measuring impact, SDGs, selection process, prioritizing, sustainability and circular economy, data, business models, country legislation, risk, value, ROI, collaboration and consciousness.
Despite the training and overview of the intellectual outputs - TIH, the participants from all countries, invited by the project partners, actively took part in a specially organised by Caban Capital tour for experiencing the social impact ecosystem in London with the support of Social Enterprise Experience Tour. The tour demonstrated a range of innovative social enterprises in developing areas in London. The enterprises were:
- Shine - a community-led space to shine, a place for people in Haringey to grow ideas and build networks within the local community;
- Blue House Yard - a redevelopment and re-imagining of an empty and underused site in London; a transformed area for local creatives, entrepreneurs and residents to use for period of 5 years;
- Cakes & Ladders - a board game cafe with a conscience; a double-decker bus in the heart of Wood Green selling locally sourced coffee, cake & toasts, alongside ale and over 500 board games on board;
- Green Rooms - a London's arts hotel; a social enterprise offering affordable accommodation and event spaces inspiring creativity.
Additionally, Eddie Capstick and Gianprietro Pucciariello's, who are change makers of the social impact's ecosystem in London as well as far beyond, and founders of Appymaps - an app mapping the social impact ecosystem - social businesses within communities, presented their new and exciting impact project to all the participants.
Currently, Appymaps is focused on 3 things:
In June 2019, their London Social Impact Map reached 10.000 views.
All the above organisations presented their case studies, best practices and challenges to the participants as part of the social impact ecosystem in London. They demonstrated their services/ products outlining important elements of their businesses as well as the vital part of financial support by trustful investors/ funds, who are passionate about the specific issues/ problems the entrepreneurs' are addressing.
Furthermore, Caban Capital welcomed guests who illustrated their work and best practices in providing change for local or global communities. David Gutierezz - the Founder of Guasacaca shared the story of launching his venture in London and introducing Venezuelan arepas to a new but quite diverse market. Despite the challenges, the business has been rapidly growing and contributing to the community by delivering cooking classes and engaging with children to understand the magic of preparing food from Venezuela.
Another guest invited by Caban Capital was Bremley Lyngdoh, Founder & CEO of the Worldview Impact Foundation and Worldview Impact Incubator & Space, who told the story of the foundation and the support they provide to a sustainable future by making green investments grow and mitigate climate change. Moreover, Bremley shared details about specific projects in India and the dedication of the enterprise to forest ecosystems and minimizing the negative impact of climate change.
During the 5 days of training, all participants had the opportunity to learn more about the work of Caban Capital and its work for accelerating positive impact via the Seedslife Caban Impact Investment. The business model of the fund is to support social entrepreneurs in Africa, while providing an opportunity for investors to participate in high growth emerging markets and benefiting from the longstanding infrastructures created by enterprises nurturing sustainable impact in local communities.
The feedback of all participants' experience was extremely positive and insightful in the topic of social impact not only in London, UK but also in the BASET project partner's countries. All participants exchanged views, experience and took part in discussions which will help with the final shape up of the Train the Investors Handbook and materials in the Boost Aid for Social Entrepreneurship through Training project, co-funded by the Erasmus plus project of the European Union. Moreover, each participant had the chance to experience and embrace a part of the London's social impact ecosystem and feel the positive energy and passion of running a social enterprise or an enterprise creating social impact.
On 12 April 2019 all partners in the BASET project gathered for the 4th project meeting in London, UK after the organised 5-days' Training & Review on the Train the Investors Handbook + Social Impact in London. The project coordinator Knowledge, Innovation and Strategies Management Club (KISMC) and the project partners CEED Bulgaria, IDEC, Caban Capital and Creative District gathered to discuss the current status and results from the intellectual outputs so far as well as next steps for implementing the project BASET: Boost Aid for Social Entrepreneurship through Training.
The timing of the project meeting was very good, i.e. after the 2nd project training, since all the feedback collected could be discussed and reviewed for taking on board the updating of the drafts of the 3 intellectual outputs:
The training organised prior the project meeting contributed also to the discussions for the future development cycle of the project as well as post the project duration.
During the project meeting all partners provided feedback on the training and the topics discussed with all participants such as investments in social entrepreneurship, impact investing, venture capital and best practices from Caban Capital. The project partners had an extensive overview of the current status of the project and provided insights from the training's comments and feedback on the TIH. Moreover, Caban Capital and Creative District discussed the final steps for execution of Output 3 - Train the Investors Handbook and what collaborative steps need to be taken to better support investors in social impact.
Furthermore, all project partners covered topics such as quality assurance and evaluation, dissemination of the project as well as the conference that will take place in Sofia in June 2019 to support the BASET project and the investment in social impact. The project meeting helped the entire project team sync their efforts in a direction that would be beneficial to all stakeholders in the social entrepreneurship ecosystem. The meeting was also focused on discussions about the project activities, financial and administration details.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.
The Boost Aid for Social Entrepreneurship through Training /BASET/ Project No. 2017-1-BG01-KA204-036360 has been co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.
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