Network A Facilitating access and return to the labour market for those who have difficulty in being integrated or reintegrated into a labour market which must be open to everyone.
Project name Virtual Social Economy Incubator – Model of Functioning in a Cooperation Network
Project number D0603

Project description

The objective of the Partnership is to develop and test a model system to support the creation of work places in social economy, with particular regard to entities established as social cooperatives. The experience acquired during the implementation of pilot projects will aid the development of a support model for social economy. This will make it possible to improve the quality of management and employment in third sector entities, improve their performance, and at the same time have a balancing influence on the number and quality of jobs in these entities. The support system will be based on the innovative Virtual Incubator of Social Economy - VISE, combining consulting and training functionalities in terms of running a successful business with mobilising activities for a group of final beneficiaries as well as activities initiating group and reintegration processes. The supporting procedures for the development of third sector businesses, developed by the VISE team, will be tested through the implementation of seven pilot projects (subprojects) in various industries. This will make it possible to verify the recommended model in various market and economic conditions, with the involvement of various final beneficiary groups. Only such concepts of pilot projects have been selected for implementation which enable the repeatability of the initiative, i.e. those which can be replicated by interested unemployed people who live in other regions of Poland or which can be used by other groups of people who are subject to discrimination on the labour market (e.g. young people - school graduates with no work experience).

As a result, the Partnership will develop a coherent support system for social economy, proven in practice, taking into account both the local conditions and the legal framework in Poland. The system created based on the experience of VISE will be an effective mechanism to support the transformation from being unemployed, through a job of a social character, to performance on the regular labour market. The Partnership's aim is also to disseminate good practices of social economy.

The project involves training, consulting, and information support for 579 unemployed people, including 90 school graduates and 140 farmers at risk of losing their jobs. They will participate in general training sessions about cooperatives, specialist trainings for social cooperative managers, and special trainings (technical and vocational, relevant to individual pilot projects). They will also take part in promotional activities, demonstrating the project objectives. 96 beneficiaries will be trained in various professions and specialisations related to construction and repairs, 114 - in three specialisations related to care of the elderly, 110 - in professions related to the operations of a land drainage cooperative, 21 beneficiaries will participate in training sessions on the requirements of the TeleService social cooperative (plumbers, gas fitters, electricians), and 8 people will be trained to be social cooperative managers.

During information meetings on social cooperatives, 140 unemployed people along with 90 school graduates and NGO representatives will receive training. Moreover, 140 farmers at risk of unemployment will complete training on running organic farms. Consulting assistance will also be provided to three NGOs which are members of the Partnership. This assistance will include support in the performance of the necessary economic and financial analysis of their initiatives, and organisational and personnel consulting. The final output of the project will be a description of the model of a social economy incubator, available as a book and on the internet. The description will include, inter alia, a list of preconditions, material assets and funds needed to create the incubators, a detailed procedure and organisational structure for the incubator, job profiles and consultant profiles, a collection of sample documents, bylaws, regulations, agreements, and sub-procedures for the economic analysis of initiatives, decision-making and risk assessment. It will also include information on good practices that will apply to the models of social cooperatives and to the creation of support networks for particular types of cooperatives. Moreover, the final document will contain a sample business plan sheet, and examples of concrete, proven business plans and support networks for cooperatives in various industries. The incubator model created by the Partnership can be used by local authorities, labour market institutions, NGOs, and consulting companies.

The supplementary products which will add to the project output are the "recipes for social cooperatives" - simple and transparent descriptions which will make it possible to follow the models of multi-business cooperatives, repair and construction cooperatives and care of the elderly cooperatives which have been proven by the Virtual Incubator of Social Economy.

The Partnership will disseminate project results by, inter alia, organising regular information meetings with the representatives of local authorities, publishing the developed tools, models and procedures on its website, and as a press release in local and regional newspapers. At the end of Action 2, a press conference will be held with journalists from the Silesia Voivodship. The project information is also published in an e-newsletter which is issued in several languages under the "Andre Mallossek" Transnational Partnership Agreement.