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Blog & News.
Following the previous publications on our blog in the BASET project’s site let us remind you that our definition of an educator in the context of social entrepreneurship was the following: he / she is a person who acts professionally as a trainer, teacher, mentor, coach, adviser, consultant, facilitator or some other kind of a professional, who works with social entrepreneurs in order to facilitate and support a start-up and the development of a social business (venture).
So, what questions such a person (educator) will ask at his/her first meeting with social entrepreneurs, who would like to be supported (trained, mentored, etc.) in doing business with a social mission. The ten group of questions below are included in our Social Entrepreneurship Development Model (SEDM) (read the draft version) as one of the main outputs of the Project BASET. All these questions are taken from good practices of consultants, trainers and advisers on social entrepreneurship. Therefore, the educator should get an initial impression of the entrepreneur's personality about his / her: Motivation, Inherited Mentality, Competencies, Skills, Experience, Empathy, Leadership, Integrity, Social Intelligence, Social Business Model.
10 Groups of Questions
The proposed ten groups of preliminary questions neither exhaust all possibilities nor claim universality. Any trainer and consultant (educator) could ask more or less of these questions, which are listed below depending on his/her experience. We believe that it is quite important for any educator, however, at the beginning of his/her work with the entrepreneurs to sketch a general picture of the social business idea or case and the profile of its owner.
First group of questions concerns the motivation of the persons who are interviewed. The educator has to understand what is the motivation of these persons and why they would like to start their own business in the areas of tackling social challenges and problems. The entrepreneurs have to be asked if they know what impact they would like to achieve and whether they rely on sustainable decisions. What is their vision and mission? What leads them to the realization of their idea?
Secondly, it is commonly accepted that the inherited mentality of people is an important factor of their decisions to become entrepreneurs and to help other people. The educator would ask them to share with him/her whether they have in their family entrepreneurs or people who have led other people and/or managed projects, and if they have received tips and good examples from them? Or maybe they have been instructed or influenced by other leaders or concrete examples in a national or a global context?
Next, the third group of questions concerns important competences. Do they know the social issues they will have to deal with as entrepreneurs and can they share what knowledge and competences they still lack about this area as well as for the economy and management of a company or organization? Do they know well what difficulties and challenges await them in the course of their journey?
The questions for competences are followed by questions on skills, so the forth group of questions are related to important skills. For example, the educators could ask them on what skills they would be able to rely so the creation and/or development of their social venture / project / enterprise is successful? Whether they know what skills they lack for being successful social entrepreneurs?
The fifth group of questions are about the social entrepreneurs' experience. The educator will ask those interviewed whether they have personal experience of working with social projects and / or doing classic business? He/she may ask whether they already have work experience in a social enterprise or they have been in a network supporting social causes? Any question that can give more information about the experience of the potential social entrepreneurs can be very supportive for the educator?
The sixth group of questions is about empathy. If the interviewed claim that they are involved in solving social challenges and problems the educator has to ask them what is the reason for this. Whether this is a philanthropy, social responsibility, the belief that everything is in their hands, or it is their philosophy of life, the understanding that every business is social when it is innovative, the understanding that the social business model is more efficient in comparison with the classic one, or this is a good approach of searching for justice, or they would like to support solving global problems, or all these things or/and something more? Are they ready to achieve their goal despite the anticipated difficulties and losses, or do they believe that they can and do they intend to work towards reducing the risks of failure to a minimum? And /or maybe both?
The seventh group of questions concerns leadership and is one of the most important. Do they think that they have the qualities of a leader that can also engage other people in solving the tasks and achieving social impact? Would these qualities be useful so they become business leader as well? Do they know the difference between the two types of leadership?
Next, the eighth group consists of questions that concern the integrity of social entrepreneurs. Do they know the moral and ethical norms of doing business with regard to users, investors, customers, beneficiaries, competitors, suppliers, consultants, etc.? Are they ready to give up of their ideas and goals for achieving financial and social impact, if this overrides these norms?
The ninth group of questions is about the social intelligence of the entrepreneurs. Do they have stakeholders, supporters, partners and / or a network of contacts that support their mission and intend to achieve specific social effect? How do they plan to include them in their initiative / project / enterprise to increase their chances of success?
And finally, the tenth and may be the most important group of the preliminary questions concerns the business model. Do the entrepreneurs have an initial idea of how they will create and sell something useful to the users, and how they and their target group will benefit? The educators would like to expect that the entrepreneurs could simply answer the questions: who, why, what, how, to whom, and where? Can they develop a more detailed operational business plan and do they know where they would seek some help?
On 26 October 2018 all partners in the BASET project gathered for the 3rd project meeting in Brussels, Belgium after the organised 5-days' Training & Review on the Social Entrepreneurship Model + Train the Trainers Toolkit. 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 1st project training, since all the feedback collected could be discussed and reviewed for taking on board the updating of the drafts of the 2 intellectual outputs:
The training orgnised 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 KISMC provided a progress update on the SEDM, taking on board the additional comments and feedback from the previously held training with the educators from Bulgaria, Greece, Belgium and the UK. All partners suggested additional aspects that could slightly be improved and updated. Moreover, IDEC and CEED Bulgaria provided insights from the training's comments and feedback on the TTT and led the discussion on the structure and the development on the online platform. On the ground of all discussions, Caban Capital and Creative District took on board a collective overview of the best development of the intellectual output 3 - Train the Investors Handbook.
Furthermore, all project partners covered topics such as quality assurance and evaluation, dissemination of the project as well as project management and next steps. 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.
The Social Entrepreneurship Development Model (SEDM), which also serves as a guide for Social Entrepreneurs (SEs) educators, is the 1st output produced under the Project “Boost Aid for Social Entrepreneurship through Training” (BASET), funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission. It was created by the team of the Knowledge, Innovation and Strategies Management Club and shares the project team insights and its experience of working with entrepreneurs. This guide is followed by two other interrelated outputs - Train the Trainers Toolkit and Train the Investors Handbook. These three tools are components of a package for professionals who support or invest in the social enterprises’ development.
The model builds on the work of partner organisations: Caban Capital - UK, IDEC - Greece, Creative District - Belgium, CEED - Bulgaria and the project coordinator KISMC - Bulgaria, that have experience not only in their countries but also around the world and which collectively can be recognised as visionaries in the development of this important field of knowledge.
The purpose of SEDM is to provide the educators with practical instruments (tools) that will enable them to effectively teach, mentor and facilitate entrepreneurs who have decided to do business with a social mission.
In the context of social entrepreneurship and for the needs of the BASET project the EDUCATOR definition in this guide is: a person who acts professionally as a trainer, teacher, mentor, coach, advisor, consultant, facilitator or some other kind of professional who works with social entrepreneurs in order to facilitate and support the start-up and the development of a social business (venture).
The guide can help educators to better understand what social entrepreneurship is, what the social entrepreneurs’ profiles look like and what is the typology of the business models used. So, it will enhance the professional development of these group of people by providing them with general and specific knowledge of how to work with social entrepreneurs in an effective way.
During the first stage of the development of the BASET project and after an in-depth research of cases, good practices and findings from other projects, the partners discovered that educators who use well-structured tools can better prepare themselves for their important roles to support social entrepreneurship.
Ultimately, the guide includes a step-by-step process for assisting social entrepreneurs how to launch new ventures, support educators in exploring and using diverse models of social entrepreneurship and in giving capacity to social entrepreneurs to get a global vision.
The beta version of the guide is ready and there is an open access to read it here
In Europe the interest about social entrepreneurship is strongly driven by the growing recognition of the role social enterprises can play in fostering social inclusion and inclusive growth. How to design, start, manage and lead businesses that benefit people and the society in a financially sustainable way. This question makes the business modelling in social entrepreneurship one of the key topics for people that help, support and facilitate the social entrepreneurs.
Social Business Model
Business modelling in social entrepreneurship is a process of creating or building up a social business model (SBM), or in other words, of designing a descriptive, holistic, relevant and simplified version of a case of the already started or in the stage of a start-up social business.
In the meantime, the professionals who help and train social entrepreneurs have to know how to create business models. Why?
Social Impact + Sustainable Business Model
We realized that managing a social business is not about just adding business skills to the realm of social impact! Balancing a social mission with an intention to trade and manage a business requires a blending of skills which is greater than the sum of each set of skills alone. The social impact inside a business operation is not cost neutral - so both the skills needed to deliver on a social impact and the costs involved in doing so need to be considered in designing a viable and sustainable business model.
These findings were made during the work on the “Boost Aid for Social Entrepreneurship through Training” project, funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission under KA2 - Cooperation for Innovation and the Exchange of Good Practices, KA204 - Strategic Partnerships for adult education. The project was motivated by the fact that in Europe the interest about social entrepreneurship is growing and many young people recognize themselves as social entrepreneurs. On the other hand, teachers, trainers and mentors on the classical entrepreneurship discipline have growing number of business cases, that are directly related to the social entrepreneurship.
So, we had to pay attention to the methodological tools of those professionals who have to support and train the people who create from scratch or develop already existing social enterprises.
If you are interested to read more about the article:
BUSINESS MODELLING IN SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP
On 2 April 2018 all partners in the BASET project gathered for the 2nd project meeting in Piraeus, Greece. The project coordinator Knowledge, Innovation and Strategies Management Club (KISMC) and the project partners CEED Bulgaria, IDEC, Caban Capital and Creative District presented social entrepreneurship case studies from each country with regard to the Social Entrepreneurship Development Model (SEDM) for BASET: Boost Aid for Social Entrepreneurship through Training.
Each partner had the chance to talk about the social entrepreneurship environment in their country whereas many case studies encouraged interesting discussions comparing the ecosystems in a variety of European regions. Furthermore, the main topic that everyone provided feedback was on the SEDM progress - such as results from the focus group that took place in Sofia, framework and suggestions for the content of the model and the main concepts, existing models and frameworks for social and business enterprises were analyzed together with previous and ongoing Erasmus+ projects on Social entrepreneurship.
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, dissemination strategy, financial and administration details. All partners agreed on next steps and the evaluation and quality assurance framework for the project.
The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
On 31 January a group of stakeholders in social entrepreneurship gathered together with the teams of the project coordinator KISMC and the project partner CEED Bulgaria in Sofia, Bulgaria. The group gathering took place as part of the main project objective of BASET: Boost Aid for Social Entrepreneurship through Training which is to establish and maintain a well-developed and a more effective the process of training the trainers of social entrepreneurs (SE).
During the focus group day all stakeholders participated in clarifying the training needs of the educators and the elaborated model for training. Also, three reference points regarding the training of SE trainers were propose:
The focus groups was created to ensure a common understanding on attractiveness, usability, ergonomics and functionality that the BASET project should have. Hence, the focus group supported the early validation of the users of the model as well as helped in understanding their profiles and characteristics in terms of what information was of their interest, which channels were more appropriate for reaching them, etc. These activities as part of the Intellectual Output 1 defined and clarified the necessary skills, knowledge and competences for further outputs and final project results.
Moreover, all participants exchanged views on the framework of SEDM or more precisely on the following related to its structure:
KISMC & CEED Bulgaria
Social entrepreneurship usually emerges when companies, charities and governments fail in their attempts to correct social dysfunction. In Europe the interest in the topic of social entrepreneurship is strongly driven by the growing recognition of the role social enterprises play in fostering social inclusion, inclusive growth and environmental or economic impact.
Social entrepreneurship is at the intersection of social inclusion, market orientation and innovation. It encompasses the activities and processes undertaken to discover, define and exploit opportunities in order to enhance social wealth by creating new ventures or managing existing organizations in an innovative manner. Moreover, social entrepreneurship has attracted an increasing attention because of its potential to tackle crucial societal issues and achieve a wider social impact.
In the meantime, environmental and welfare issues, an increasing economic inequality and lack of basic healthcare, energy or clean water in different parts of the world have triggered an enormous social entrepreneurship wave to discover new ways of finding a solution to all these global problems including hunger, access to education and combating climate change.
New Business Models for Global Issues
According to the Millenial Impact Report, 94% of the millennials are interested in using their skills to benefit a cause and they appreciate the power of making choices focused on finding value. Social consciousness and responsibility are obviously on the rise and companies that support causes are gaining traction with the Millennial customer.
To briefly summarize, an article of Harvard Business Review describes very well what business models actually are and why they matter. They outline the simplicity of what a business model is, that it actually is a story explaining how an enterprise works and that a good business model answers Peter Drucker’s questions such as: who is the customer; what does the customer value; how do we make money in this business; what is the underlying economic logic that explains how we can deliver value to customers at an appropriate cost. Therefore, put in a short sentence: a 'business model' describes how a company creates and captures value.
Additionally, after reviewing an article by Forbes about 5 reasons why social entrepreneurship is the new business model, we would like to summarize them briefly below:
The difference between business models and social entrepreneurship business models is that those of the social entrepreneurs serve to tackle environmental, societal, economical and other issues that we face nowadays. As Forbes states the new business models have a higher purpose than just making profit. Rather, social entrepreneurs find motivation to help others and connect to the purpose of their living.
Social Entrepreneurship as a Success Formula
People are generally more interested in making a positive impact on the world and social entrepreneurship is taking off as a success formula. Social entrepreneurship offers insights stimulating ideas for more sustainable business strategies, which contribute directly to sustainable development and greater social responsibility.
KISMC & CABAN
On 26 October 2017 the BASET project kicked off with a meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria where all partners – the project coordinator Knowledge, Innovation and Strategies Management Club (KISMC) and the project partners CEED Bulgaria, IDEC, Caban Capital and Creative District – launched BASET: Boost Aid for Social Entrepreneurship through Training [Project No. 2017-1-BG01-KA204-036360].
The project has been successful in the Erasmus+ call in 2017 and consequently co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union for its 2-years' implementation. Erasmus+ is the European Union’s (EU) programme for education, training, youth and sport, with the EU committing £12 billion to the programme between 2014 and 2020. By 2020 it is expected that over 800,000 education and training staff and youth workers will teach or train abroad across Europe with Erasmus+. Projects provide opportunities for learners and staff to improve their skills, enhance their employability and gain cultural awareness.
During the kick off meeting in Sofia all partners discussed their previous experience in social entrepreneurship and agreed on an agenda that would focus on producing quality intellectual outputs that would assist all stakeholders in the social entrepreneurship ecosystem.
What is BASET?
No matter that we have already mentioned what BASET stands for here’s a quick preview: ‘Boost Aid for Social Entrepreneurship through Training’. The project duration is 2 years and will continue running until August 2019 which will end in Sofia with an insightful conference about the produced results for social entrepreneurship in Europe.
Although the project has a set end date for its implementation under the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, we are firmly willing to continue contributing to this topic by using BASET as an already established network and community to create social value and assist finding solutions to the world’s problem our society faces.
In order to understand more about what the project is about, keep reading below...
Why did we start BASET?
We could easily sum up the answer in one sentence but it would hardly cover all. However, let’s sum it up in a sentence:
“We kicked off BASET because we believe that social entrepreneurs can solve crucial problems that we all face.”
But let’s dig in deeper.
After extensive research and looking back at our joint partners’ experience in social entreprneurship we discovered that specialist support for social enterprises is largely absent and where it exists it is often limited or fragmented. There is lack of mentoring and training schemes as well as investment support corresponding to the specific features of social enterprises.
Therefore, with a project such as BASET we are addressing the learning needs of educators (professional teachers, coaches, consultants, mentors, lecturers, SME experts, investors, professionals providing services to entrepreneurs and organisations, staff in business support organisations, training organisations and financial institutions, etc.) for their continuing professional development in social entrepreneurship. Our role is to upskill them in how to train and inspire social entrepreneurs to innovate, use curriculum templates and access business networks. We would introduce them with good practices and know-how on how to carry out mentoring across the innovation lifecycle and how to use new teaching methods based on gamification and visualization.
In the next section you can read more information about BASET’s objectives, methodology, results, impact and learn more about the partners involved in this exciting project which will contribute to the social entrepreneurship ecosystem in Europe and beyond.
The main objective of the project is to foster social entrepreneurship in Europe through elaborating, testing and providing a set of learning and training instruments to educators.
All instruments will be tested whereas a group of educators will be trained to offer a set of resources such as training in entrepreneurial skills, mentoring focussed on designing business models and business plans, networking within the broader social entrepreneurship ecosystem and access to grants or seed capital.
For the execution of BASET our activities will concentrate on the preparation of two methodologies and their testing:
The methodology concentrates on a collaborative approach based on commonly accepted rules, preliminary defined tasks and critical milestones, strict reporting and effective control through an online project management platform. We believe that communication is key, therefore we have decided to work with cloud integrated platforms to enhance and ease up the collaboration among the whole consortium.
BASET's Results & Impact
The project outcome is a clarified learning model for training educators to contribute to the success of social entrepreneurs. The model consists of three main outputs
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.
This website reflects the views only of the author, and the European Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
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