An Erasmus+ co-funded initiative to promote and support social entrepreneurship
Social entrepreneurship plays an important role in addressing social, economic, and environmental challenges while fostering inclusive growth, shared prosperity, and social inclusion. The European Commission report on the European Social Enterprises and their ecosystems highlights, that rather than pushing social enterprises to mimic regular companies, the key challenge seems to be to strengthen new entrepreneurial thinking, building on balanced competencies across a range of functions, from business skills to a broader awareness of the organisation’s social purpose and inclusive governance.
The SocEntrep Erasmus+ co-funded project was launched in November 2021 to address the identified lack of research specifically to determine the challenges and the training needs by current and new social entrepreneurs. The project comprises three stages – (i) research & development of social entrepreneurial activity in the partner countries; (ii) design, development and production of accredited online educational programme in social entrepreneurship; (iii) implementation of pilot accredited online programme and feedback.
The SocEntrep4NGOs Consortium
The consortium is led by Advenio eAcademy supported by SOS Malta as the local NGO. It is composed of Higher Education Institutions and NGOs from four countries, Malta, Italy, Greece, and Turkey. It includes the following organisations:-
E+ SocEntrep Project Implementation
Since November 2021 the research on current best practices in Social Entrepreneurship (SE) and SE programmes required to support NGOs has been completed. On the basis of this study the specialist subject modules identified as well as the required EQF/MQF level were determined.
Currently the project partners are producing the course content for the eight specialist course modules, combining self-learning and collaborative learning elements for each to be accredited at 4 ECTS credits at Level 5.
The application for accreditation of the full programme and the various exit points has been submitted to the national regulator in Malta, Malta Further & Higher Education Authority (MFHEA) with results expected in the coming few months.
Finalisation of the marketing plans for the launch of the programme are also in progress. Initial campaigns will be run over the summer months to launch of the ARPEL process for first pilot intake in September 2022.
Arrangements are currently being made for the implementation of online Social Entrepreneurship programme as a pilot programme and the evaluation of its effectiveness. A limited number of full scholarships will be available on the pilot intake.
Plans are being made for the publication and disseminate the findings of the research study and feedback from the pilot intakes students enrolled for the Social Entrepreneurship programme. The results and dissemination material will also be crucial to ensure its sustainability after the Erasmus+ funded project. The experience of the participants during the programme will be particularly relevant in identifying any support that may be required by such participants.
Transnational Meeting in Malta
The Malta Transnational Meeting was held on the 24th June 2022 with project partners, Universities and NGOs, from Italy, Greece and Turkey.
The main item on the agenda was the development of be-spoke case studies to allow for their use in multiple subject modules, thereby providing a broader and more hands-on perspective. The workshop session included a review of content in each of the eight specialist subjects being developed and through the interventions of the NGOs involved ensure that the academic elements included are directly related to what practitioners face in the field.
The second item on the agenda was the inclusion of accreditation and recognition of prior learning as an integral part of the programme enabling students to earn up to 32 ECTS credits through this online application and evaluation process which requires appropriate support documentation.
Other items on the agenda were the forthcoming student recruitment initiatives to enable student to commence the ARPEL process as from September 2022 as well as project dissemination activities.
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