Social entrepreneurship –innovative approach to economic and social changes - 2016 - 2018
Center for Strategic Research and Development of Georgia, Kutaisi Education, Development and Employment Center and Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund Georgia in cooperation with JSC microfinance organization “Crystal” are implementing a project “Social Entrepreneurship – Innovative Approach to Economic and Social Changes 2016-2018“.
Through supporting development of social entrepreneurship, the project is aimed at capacity building of civil society organizations to let them more effectively achieve their social and environmental objectives and facilitate economic empowerment of vulnerable groups.
In order to achieve primary goal of the project, three major objectives have been delineated:
Objective 1: improved accessibility to expertise and institutional strengthening services, specifically tailored to needs of social enterprises.
Within the framework of project, social entrepreneurs throughout Georgia will be provided with services specifically adapted to their needs. Services will be available in Western Georgia in the office of Kutaisi Education, Development and Employment Center and in Eastern Georgia at Social Entrepreneurship Development Center, which is operating under Center for Strategic Research and Development of Georgia.
For individuals willing to start a new social enterprise:
Call for Ideas
Call for Ideas will be announced annually, for three consecutive years for those interested in establishing a social enterprise – “Accelerator of Ideas”;
All interested public organizations as well as initiative groups having innovative, viable business ideas with focus on social mission will be eligible to participate in the call;
Following the call, groups owning the top 16 business ideas will be selected each year (at least 2 members in each group) throughout Georgia. Thus, 32 participants will be engaged in the project;
Social Entrepreneurship Development Lab
Selected participants will take specially developed intensive training course - “Social Entrepreneurship Development Lab”, which will help them to gain knowledge and skills required for establishing and running social enterprises;
After the training, with help of experts participants will draft social enterprise business plans on their own ideas.
By decision of the Grant Commission, business plans for top 4-5 social enterprises will be selected and funded.
Over the period of 1 year, founded enterprises will benefit from expert support from donor organizations;
As for those participants, whose business plans fail to win the contest, team of experts will help them in raising funds from other sources.
For operating social enterprises:
Consulting services for operating social enterprises:
Each year, a call will be announced for “individual consulting services for social enterprises”;
For selected enterprises, team of expert-consultants will develop an individual package of services adapted to their specific needs;
Pro bono services
Selected social enterprises will have an opportunity to take avail of consultancy services offered by representatives of “Pro-bono Georgia” network member organizations.
Objective 2: Establishing environment conducive to social enterprise development
Improvement of the legal framework, provision of affordable and sustainable funding for social enterprises - micro credits and state financial support mechanisms represent key factors for smooth operation of social enterprises, encouragement of start-ups and overall development of social entrepreneurship in the country.
The project, on the one hand, envisages development of tools for ensuring social enterprise support by the state, and on the other hand – strengthening of cooperation with the business sector.
Objective 3: Improved mechanisms for coordinating, protecting interests of social enterprises and sharing of experiences
To promote concept of social entrepreneurship, the project team will closely collaborate with strategic partner organizations and the media.
Promoting social entrepreneurship
Particular attention was drawn to the need of promoting social entrepreneurship among the youth. Students will be actively engaged in social entrepreneurship development process. Consequently, interested young people will have an opportunity to get familiar with social enterprises and try their hand in the given field. To this end, a contest “Students for Social Entrepreneurship” will be held each year.
To promote social entrepreneurship, exhibitions and sales will be organized in various regions of Georgia.
Mechanisms of Cooperation and Coordination between Social Enterprises
Along with the sector development, introduction of common mechanisms for co-ordination and protection of interests is gaining great significance. The project aims to contribute to the given processes, provide technical and expert assistance, establish and strengthen “Alliance of Social Entrepreneurs”.
Annual Forum of Social Entrepreneurs has been held in Georgia since 2012. The event is attended by representatives of operating social enterprises, organizations focused on social entrepreneurship development, interested public organizations, representative of the Government and business sector. Each year, social entrepreneurs summarize developments in the field, discuss future plans and consider opportunities of cooperation. In 2016-2018, the forum will be organized with the support of the project.
Role of partners under the program