Project Ahead al Social Enterprise Open Camp

Project Ahead al Social Enterprise Open Camp

Nella splendida cornice della Chiesa di S. Anna dei Lombardi a Napoli si è concluso il Social Enterprise Open Camp, l’evento di portata internazionale interamente dedicato allo studio dell’imprenditoria sociale e del gender equity come valore di investimento, promosso da Fondazione OPES-LCEF Onlus e dal Consorzio della Cooperazione Sociale (CGM). Tra i partner collaboratori c’era anche Project Ahead.

Il forum, tenutosi per la prima volta in Campania, ha riunito più di 250 partecipanti da tutto il mondo tra cui: imprenditori, portatori di idee innovatrici, giovani talenti, esperti del settore, ONG, Cooperative sociali, investitori, business angel, rappresentanti di istituzioni, università ed accademie.

Tra i partecipanti anche i vincitori della VII edizione del Social Chance Wave contest curato da Project Ahead e dedicato all’innovazione sociali tenutosi negli spazi dell’incubatore d’imprese Dialogue Place.

L’Open Camp si è tenuto dal 21 al 25 Giugno tra Napoli e Salerno ed è stato articolato in sessioni plenarie con interventi e testimonianze di speaker e imprenditori sociali affermati sul mercato internazionale e nazionale.

Inoltre nell’ambito dei workshop e dall’analisi dei casi studio, i partecipanti hanno potuto approfondire con il supporto di workshop leader, esperti di settore e testimonianze specifiche alcuni strumenti cardine per la creazione di imprese sociali come: 

  • l’accesso al capitale e il reperimento di finanziamenti
  • lo sviluppo delle imprese d’impatto e la scalabilità e replicabilità di tali modelli di business
  • l’importanza e il valore del capitale umano
  • lo storytelling e il branding
  • la tecnologia e  il supply chain.

Ma il “file rouge” che ha attraversato tutti i momenti di riflessione è stato il Gender Smart Investing, analizzando il ruolo delle donne nella governance di imprese sociali e nella filiera decisionale del mercato del lavoro, ma allo stesso tempo è stata sollevata la necessità di colmare il gender gap.

Social Enterprise Open Camp 2019

A tal proposito secondo il rapporto McKinsey ridurre il gender gap entro il 2025 potrebbe portare a una crescita dell’economia mondiale pari a 12 milioni di miliardi.

Tra i casi studio evidenziati:

MAAM Life Based Value è un’azienda che crea soluzioni digitali per lo sviluppo del capitale umano; il primo e unico programma di formazione digitale al mondo che trasforma le transizioni di vita e le attività di caregiving come la maternità e la paternità in un master in soft skills per la crescita professionale.

CavaRei è un’impresa sociale che opera nel settore della disabilità; partendo dalla sua governance, composta in prevalenza da donne, rappresenta tutte le categorie di socio previste dalla Riforma del Terzo Settore: lavoratore, fruitore, volontario e come socio di un’azienda profit.

NaTakallam, USA e Francia è un’impresa sociale pluripremiata che collega rifugiati politici a opportunità di lavoro a distanza nel settore linguistico. Ad oggi, più di 130 sfollati hanno auto-generato 500.000 dollari attraverso lavori di traduzione o di formazione linguistica. NaTakallam è stato presentato in decine di eventi mediatici, in particolare in Fast Company, PBS, NPR, Al Jazeera e Reuters e in un recente video dell’UNHCR .

Proprio quest’ultima impresa sociale è stata la vincitrice di quest’anno del Social Enterprise Open Camp e a tale vittoria ha in parte contribuito Project Ahead poiché a tale workshop hanno partecipato delle giovani promettenti borsiste che lo scorso aprile hanno vinto il Social Change Wave 2019 con GIVE CHANCE, l’impresa sociale che si prefigge come obiettivo l’inserimento lavorativo delle donne, in particolar modo le rifugiate politiche, attraverso la realizzazione di un brand di moda etica.

E dallo stesso contest arriva anche BABIPLAN, l’idea d’impresa che in occasione del Social Enterprise Open Camp ha partecipato alla Challenge di Enel – Gender Smart Investing and Innovability. Energy is everywhere.

Maria Letizia Esposito

Can French social enterprise succeed globally?

Can lessons from the  Social Enterprise Network social enterprise movement be rolled out around the world, succeeding where Napoleon failed?

When the French want to go global, it somehow looks suspicious to the rest of the world. Remember Napoleon, the French tactical master seeking to conquer Europe. On top of his military ambitions, he abolished serfdom and established the French civil code; yet he failed to disseminate his ideas. What can we learn from this?

My organisation, Groupe SOS, is the leading French social enterprise with 10,000 employees, £500m in revenue, and over a million beneficiaries each year. We developed a wide range of activities, aiming to tackle the five big social issues as we have identified them. Health first, with a number of hospitals and medical care facilities. Care for the elderly in our retirement homes. Housing, for the homeless, the low-income populations, the drug addicts. Youth, from nurseries to youth offenders facilities. And finally employment, in particular with our Work Integration Social Enterprises (WISE). After numerous travels around the world in order to exchange ideas and share expertise, it dawned on me: why try to reinvent the wheel? I’m convinced we can use our almost 30 years of experience in the sector, to replicate the business model throughout the world. But how to avoid a new Waterloo?

Given that we live in a globalised world from an economic viewpoint, but in a local world from a social viewpoint, a major issue is whether we can adapt to the local context. Standardised approaches are in that regard a severe tactical mistake: it is crucial that we tailor our services to the needs of different populations living in different environments.

Unemployment issues in South Korea, for example, differ a lot from France, including their low unemployment rate. That is why we partnered with local authorities in Seoul to replicate our WISE project primarily aimed at disadvantaged youth in French suburbs, adapting this in Korea to the needs of North Korean refugees. We must we create partnerships to best respond to the needs of the people we serve.

Another key point is the relationship between the social entrepreneurship sector and the state. Its political nature makes it highly sensitive: a trust bond needs to be nurtured for a collaborative development of social enterprises in any country. The establishment of the sector thus cannot be a coup d’état but should complement the state in the exercise of its prerogatives. For instance, following the Tunisian revolution, we developed the Lab’ESS (a social entrepreneurship advocacy organisation) in order to introduce the concept, put it to the test, and ultimately spread it. Though it is impossible to start a social enterprise from scratch in Tunisia, doing business became possible once these primary steps were accomplished. Depending on the countries, this obstacle may become an opportunity to create a favourable environment for social enterprises, by influencing the legal environment of the country, as well as raising institutional and on-the-field awareness about what they are capable of.

Despite these complex yet necessary approaches, the sector grows. Beyond the numerous studies that acknowledge this movement, my observations from travels across continents have led me to the same conclusion. But this growth is not homogeneous, and sometimes even paradoxical. It is indeed easier for social enterprises to develop in the Anglo-Saxon world than in China, because of both lack of awareness in society (usually going hand in hand with a strong separation between the public and private sectors, and civil society), and the predominance of the state. However, it also appears that socialist Venezuela makes it hard for social enterprises to thrive, while we enjoy many opportunities to launch subsidiaries in the liberal United States.

Keeping in mind these heterogeneous environments, the capacity building of the movement is also led on a larger scale by institutions, such as the European Union’s Social Business Initiative which aims at providing a framework for the development of social entrepreneurship across Europe. This promising outlook is strengthened by worldwide communities of actors that work towards a global conscience. One of them is Euclid Network, which greatly assists us in our globalisation programme.

We now have programmes in 30 countries. Yet a lot remains to be achieved, in particular in Britain where we still haven’t set foot: could we succeed where Napoleon did not?

Nicolas Hazard is vice-chairman at Groupe SOS and chairman at Le Comptoir de l’Innovation, company which invests, supports and promotes the development of social enterprises around the world. He is also part of the European Commission social business expert group (GECES). Nicolas is the co-author of the essay “L’entreprise du XXIe siècle sera sociale (ou ne sera pas)” published in 2012. Follow him on Twitter@nicolashazard and read his blog here.

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