At the beginning of October 2017 partners in SENTIM – Social Entrepreneurship for Immigrants project have met for the last time in person to attend the meeting and multiplier event in Burgos. Our colleagues from Burgos Acoge, the leading partner organisation, have organised a local event where we had the chance to present all project activities and results, especially the SENTIM e-learning platform. Participants were individuals (locals and immigrants) as well as different organisations, from NGOs, social enterprises, universities to public institutions. They had the opportunity to get to know the status and good practices in the field of social economy in Spain, Italy and Slovenia and think about possibilities how social economy projects and entreprises can be a way for better integration of immigrants and other disadvantaged groups.
In the last part of the event the participants had the opportunity to participate in the World Cafe discussion in which they addressed some important topics. When asked how public administrations can enhance social entrepreneurship, participants discussed the following ideas: through encouraging networking opportunities, ensuring financial instruments and support, promoting training and research, favouring social economy entities in the processes of public procurement and informing and sensitizing general public about social economy. When discussing how to fit social economy projects into the market economy, participants emphasised the values and principles of the social economy and the importance of raising awareness among general public about the advantages of the social economy and overcoming individualism. Also, labour conditions and bureaucratic procedures need to be improved, making them less complicated.
Social economy also has the power to overcome stigmas and prejudices. For this power to truly reach its potential we must change beliefs through education, information, communication, with the direct contact, positive everyday experiences and examples of good practices. Institutional support and positive discrimination measures to create jobs through social economy projects are also very much needed. And to promote social economy projects in a collaborative way we need to create opportunities for horizontal networking, cooperate with mentors and involve business community. One good practice of cooperation was also this event, since it was made possible also with the help of NGOs and social entreprises that provided the space, catering and promotional materials.
This final event was truly a great way to conclude the SENTIM project and to create paths for the future cooperation in the field of social economy, on local as well as international level.
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