Social enterprises (Third Sector Enterprises) are a growing sector within the UK and co-operatives and other models of community-based enterprise are developing across Europe, not always recognised as such or given that particular label. Many serve as a route to self-sufficiency and employment for graduates, school leavers and the long term unemployed from traditional industries or less economically developed regions. This form of employment and business model offers a viable alternative to community regeneration in areas where there is insufficient corporate investment.
Social enterprises and co-operatives are currently an informal sector with many examples of expertise and good practice, yet they exist without a formal trans-European ICT-based partnership or thematic network nor are they recognised or valued for the expertise that they have developed. An essential outcome of this project proposal is their greater mobility across the EU and the formal recognition of the lifelong learning which, to date, operates within an informal and often spontaneous framework.
New social business support models for social enterprises, community-based SMEs, co-operatives and regional hubs of expertise will be generated through this proposed initiative.
Project aim: The project aim is to develop an integrated pan-European approach to the educational and training support of social business in all of its forms.
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