Companies with a social impact take advantage of the growing awareness of society toward social and environmental problems, transforming these challenges into enormous business opportunities. From a broader point of view, the business’ reason should be related to the great social and environmental challenges. It so happens that these social and environmental challenges have been discussed, segmented, and prioritized in the so-called 2030 Agenda of the United Nations. The most innovative companies know that these challenges are also great business opportunities and that their audience want stories beyond “my product is better than my competitors”.
The idea that the market is a facilitator of scalable solutions to major social challenges is embedded at the heart of the programs of the best universities in the world. However, efforts are needed to train entrepreneurs issued from technical backgrounds with low experience in business management and product launch. Entrepreneurs are the engine of economic growth in Europe. It is a well-known fact that SMEs are the most important form of business organization in Europe, representing 99.8% of all enterprises. What is much less known is the growing importance of co-working spaces, which have become a common working place for free-lancers and young entrepreneurs, with more than 14.000 operators around the world.
Also, several needs are usually identified by coworking spaces, coworkers, and entrepreneurs:
– Need to increase the level of social interaction in the coworking space (Source:2018 Global Coworking Survey);
– Need to support the transition from the traditional workplace model towards a sustainable, human focused WaaS (Workspace as a Service) model (Source: Coworking Europe);
– Difficulties to properly assess the variety of training needs of entrepreneurs in a coworking context;
– Difficulties for the entrepreneurs to evaluate the social impact of their activities;
– Difficulties to establish solid collaborations, as most entrepreneurs in coworking spaces are using these facilities on a short-term basis (Source: Deskmag.com – coworkers’ profile).
– Micro and young enterprises have difficulties to participate to find the financial and organisational resources needed to train, existing training programmes available on the market are often unsuited to the size and needs of this type of company
The main objective of COWLECTIVE is to address the training needs of entrepreneurs in coworking spaces in key transversal skills based on new updated research and strengthen their business activities in terms of social and environmental impact. COWLECTIVE is a EU partnership designed to develop core and innovative learning methods that best encourage success in business activities, answering the need for education and training thanks to an innovative proposal based on participation and ICTs.
The main products of the project will be:
- Mobile report about social and environmental entrepreneurs’ skills demand according to representatives from the sector;
- Development of the COWLECTIVE training package;
- COWLECTIVE learning method for social impact.