The social enterprise sector occupies a significant portion of the European economy and is increasing year on year. In the EU, over 13.6 million jobs were generated in 2020 and this continues to grow.
Because of this increasing employment need, the Open Business for Community Development (OBCD) project has been created by the EU Commission and launched in June 2022.
Led by the University of Patras (Greece) and supported by 12 other organizations throughout Europe, the project aims to foster innovation and interest in Social Enterprise among Higher Education, Continuous Vocational Education and Training (c-VET) and the broader socio-economic environment.
As it alludes to in the name, Open Business (OB) is an approach to enterprise built on the concept of ‘openness’ movements such as free software, open source, open content and open tools and standards. The OB approach seeks to facilitate collaboration among businesses and other stakeholders, enabling the co-creation of knowledge and market innovations beyond the boundaries of individual organisations. Already, new open businesses are making use of this school of thought and are witnessing an acceleration in global culture to a more inclusive and sustainable economy. The collective goal of the Open Business model is to reduce inequality, lower levels of poverty, build a healthier environment and stronger communities with the creation of more high-quality jobs with dignity and purpose.
With all of this in mind and to help facilitate implementation of the project, the OBCD consortium has created a “knowledge triangle” format for each of the pilot countries involved – Finland, Greece, Spain, Italy and The Netherlands, which includes Higher Education and Research Institutions, Vocational and Education Training providers, as well as social enterprises and their representatives. The idea is for these three entities to work together for the development of innovative education content and tools, as well as open and collaborative business ecosystems in the field of Social Enterprise.
OBCD has already recruited many participant organizations including VET providers, higher education institutions and social enterprises for the knowledge triangles, but we are looking for more. Are you a Vocational Education Training Institute and interested in being part of this co-creation? Do you want to be a part of creating an innovative education and training program to ultimately help students enter the Social Enterprise sector and be part of the change economy? Then you still have time to sign up. If you would like more information, please contact us.