Last March we had the chance to join our Western Balkans partners in Podgorica (Montenegro) in the framework of the WB SEA project for a training on advocacy processes led by young people under the framework of social economy policies. It was not only a great opportunity to meet each other and foster collaborations at the cross-country level but also a safe space to discuss and learn from each other local context priorities at fostering social economy and social entrepreneurship in their territories.
From Young Ambassadors we strongly believe in the power of young generations in shaping the society responses, thus advocacy training is key in order to structure and empower the actions to be led together with the local ecosystems. During the training we could learn form messaging stakeholders, advocacy goals definition, policy led research and monitoring and evaluation of campaigns among others.
The training tested a recently created tool for Advocacy Action Planning, resulting from the sessions concrete proposals designed at each of the Balkan territories which will be assessed later on by each country member and integrated in the future project outcomes.
Another activity we had in the previous period was the School of Social Economy for Youth in Niš.
The participants were introduced to the concept of social economy and acquired the knowledge needed to develop an innovative idea that responds to challenges in the community, turning it into a sustainable social enterprise. The “School of Social Economy” was developed within the Western Balkans Youth Social Economy Alliance – WB SEA project, which is supported by the European Union through the Erasmus+ program.
Partners on the project: Diesis Network, ARNO, ADP-Zid, CDP “Globus”, Partners Albania for Change and Development and Lens.
More information about the WB SEA project on WB SEA – Diesis
The project “Building capacities for innovation in the eco-social entrepreneurship education”, in which the Young Ambassadors participate as partners, aims to build capacities for the promotion of eco-social entrepreneurship (ESP) and the development of tools and methodology of informal education. That it will encourage young people to get involved in ESP through the development of their soft, entrepreneurial and digital skills, thereby enabling behavioral changes for individual preferences, cultural values and awareness of sustainable development and lifestyles.
Eco-social entrepreneurship analysis: needs, obstacles and good practices is a document that aims to look at the Eco-Social Economy in European countries and partner countries of the Western Balkans. For each country, the document focuses on:
a.) Research and analysis of the current state of eco-social entrepreneurship in partner countries;
b.) Investigation of obstacles for the development of eco-social projects and activities through social entrepreneurship;
c.) Examples of good practice of existing eco-social entrepreneurs in partner countries, the EU and the world;
The e-book “Eco-social entrepreneurship analysis: needs, obstacles and good practices” with accompanying video content can be found at the link: https://ecosocent.eu/sr/analiza-eko-socijalnog-preduzetnistva-potrebe-prepreke-i-dobre-prakse/
Female entrepreneurship in rural areas, a valuable tool in achieving the objectives regarding gender equality and the green social economy
At the level of the European Union, female entrepreneurs represent approximately one third of the self-employed persons, and the percentage is the same in rural areas.
Even if the number of women occupying positions of associates or shareholders in small and medium-sized enterprises has increased slightly recently, the gap in terms of the number of female and male entrepreneurs is still a large one in Romania, where only 36.84% are women.
The difference is even more significant in the rural communities where, due to the lack of education, limited opportunities, traditional social roles, the poverty rate, to name just a few of the obstacles, the number of women to develop their own business is much smaller.
The European Commission’s policies contribute to gender equality becoming a reality in the EU countries, and the steps in this direction involve, along with the awareness of the problem and of the importance that women have in the economic and social development of rural communities, also promoting a more active role for them and supporting them for the establishment and administration of private economic structures.
The process of empowering women cannot be attained, however, only by providing financial support. Entrepreneurial education plays an extremely significant role, through which future female entrepreneurs can acquire knowledge and develop the necessary skills in this regard, using digital and social economy models.
At the same time, considering the provisions of the European Green Deal, it is essential that the entrepreneurship developed in the rural environment allows the transition towards a social and green economy.
The Women’s Empowerment through GREen Social ENtrepreneurship – WE GREEN project acts towards two major directions leading to a sustainable Europe – gender equality in rural entrepreneurship and greening of the rural economy.
The expected results of the project – an inspirational package, the development and implementation of a capacity building program for formal and non-formal educators working with women in rural communities and a guide for all stakeholders, contributes to the achievement of the objectives regarding gender equality and green social economy at national and European level.
The #WEGREEN project is funded by ERASMUS+ and implemented by Diesis Network, BK CON, SYNTHESIS, Primorska University, Mladi ambasadori and the Center for Not-for-profit Law.
On April 12, 2022, a Kick-off meeting of the project: Building capacities for innovation in the eco-social entrepreneurship education (BC4ESE) was held online. A plan of interesting activities, which will be implemented in the period 2022-2025, has been prepared by the consortium of organizations consisting of:
Cluster for Eco-Social Innovation and Development CEDRA Split, Croatia (coordinator) and partners:
– Diesis Network (Belgium)
– HUB Nicosia (Cyprus)
– Young Ambassadors (Serbia)
– CDP “Globus” (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
– Association for Democratic Prosperity – Zid (Montenegro)
– Agencija za lokalni razvoj d.o.o. Prozor-Rama (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
– Centre for Vocational Education (Montenegro).
The BC4ESE project is dedicated to building capacities for the promotion of eco-social entrepreneurship and the development of non-formal education tools and methodologies. Through its strong innovative component, the project covers several topics important for the sustainable development of local communities:
- eco-social entrepreneurship,
- youth inclusion,
- non-formal education,
- digital work.
The project is funded by the European Union through the Erasmus + program.
The beginning of November was marked by the inauguration of the tenth jubilee generation of young ambassadors in Niš.
We welcomed our young ambassadors and a lot of new knowledge, skills and challenges in their mandate.
This important anniversary was also an opportunity to thank our friends, without whom the Young ambassadors would not be what they are today. We have chosen new honorary ambassadors of our association, dear friends who help us grow and reach new heights year after year.
Slavica Marković-Sandić from the Embassy of Sweden in Belgrade/Sveriges ambassad i Belgrad, Jelena Radovanović from the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Belgrade, Snežana Stanojević from OTP Bank of Serbia, Ivana Petrović from the Metropolitan University, Miljana Nenadov from the National Theater of Niš, Marta Brusky and Gianluca Pastorelli from the Diesis network, Milan Janić and Tadej Slapnik, have been wearing the badge of honor since today.
For the fourth time, the award “Filip Ćirković” for the most active young ambassador for the previous generation was given. The award went to ambassador Miljana Petković.
During the 24th International Tourism Fair in Nis, on March 30, the SEE WEST Alliance for the Development of the Social Economy in the Western Balkans officially started working.
On this occasion, through the panel discussion “Business in Tourism”, we talked about good European practices and examples of development and support for social business in tourism, the development of rural and sustainable tourism, and opportunities for regional connections and joint work on European projects.
SEE WEST alliance is the first regional alliance of organizations for national support of the social economy in the Western Balkans. This alliance was formed by actors in the field of social economy in the region, members of the Diesis network, in order to work on the development of the sector and achieve long-term goals through three directions:
– Visibility and recognition of the social economy ecosystem in the WB6 countries and the work of key actors at the European and international level
– Nurturing and formation of interregional partnerships and cooperation
– Facilitation of interregional knowledge transfer
Members of the alliance are CDP “Globe”, ADP-Zid, ARNO, LENS, Partners of Albania for Change and Development, Diesis Network, COSV – Cooperazione per lo Sviluppo, Coalition for the Development of Solidarity Economy, Public, Caritas Šabac and Young Ambassadors.
Stay tuned to discover more about the SEE WEST Alliance initiative and future actions.