Aktywna Społeczność dla Ekonomii Społecznej (Active Citizens for Social Enterprise) to globalny, innowacyjny program British Council wspierający rozwój społeczny poprzez promowanie form lokalnej aktywności. Jego ideą jest zachęcanie przedstawicieli lokalnych społeczności do brania odpowiedzialności za własne potrzeby i wyposażanie ich w wiedzę, umiejętności oraz doświadczenie niezbędne do ich zrealizowania. 

W Polsce British Council pilotuje program wraz z Fundacją Inicjatyw Społeczno-Ekonomicznych (FISE). W maju i czerwcu 2016 r. w Warszawie odbył się pierwszy cykl szkoleń, w którym udział wzięli przedstawiciele przedsiębiorstw społecznych oraz wszelkiego rodzaju instytucji, które prowadzą już swój biznes społeczny lub planują jego uruchomienie.

Główne cele szkolenia:

  • wsparcie liderów przedsiębiorstw społecznych w ich działaniach na rzecz rozwoju lokalnego, zrównoważonego rozwoju i wzrostu zaangażowania mieszkańców w społeczną zmianę przy wykorzystaniu narzędzi ekonomii społecznej
  • rozwój sieci kontaktów i możliwości współpracy przedsiębiorstw społecznych.

Poniżej prezentujemy relację z pierwszej edycji szkolenia Aktywna Społeczność dla Ekonomii Społecznej w Polsce (tekst w jęz. angielskim)

Active Citizens for Social Enterprise training in Poland (May–June 2016, Warsaw)

End June not only saw the end of school year and start of holiday season for many, but also conclusion of the first round of Active Citizens for Social Enterprise training in Poland, leaving a group of 31 social enterprise leaders with a set of new skills, contacts and food for thought in their daily work with local communities. The British Council teamed up with the Foundation for Social and Economic Initiatives (FISE) to prepare this professional development programme aimed at social entrepreneurs that already run their social business or plan to launch one. 

The training was composed of three 2-day modules, each comprising 16 training hours and led by two facilitators. Participants represented a wide range of organisations from within the social economy sector: cooperatives, limited liability companies, social integration centres, vocational development centres, foundations, higher education institutions and others. Most came from all around Poland, with ca one third from Warsaw and the Mazowieckie region. The training methodology was all about interaction with the focus on mutual learning by sharing personal experiences and practical outcomes stemming therefrom. We were positively surprised by an exceptionally high level of engagement and willingness to network within the group, which was additionally fostered by the ‘learning partners’ activity. As a result, a number of ideas for joint projects were born among participants coming from the same region or a similar field of expertise.

The group was introduced to the core modules of the Activities Citizens training, which were all rooted in the social enterprise context. Especially ‘WE – THE COMMUNITY’ module proved to be helpful for participants in the context of mapping community assets, securing stakeholders and identifying customers and competitors for one’s social enterprise. In order to set the learning process in the Polish context, the programme was tailored to include an overview of different social enterprise business models and state support schemes available in Poland. The group also got a chance to visit a number of Warsaw-based social enterprises and explore the ways they function.

The aim that was set at the outset and then negotiated with programme participants was to support them in their efforts to boost local development, support sustainable growth and increase the involvement of citizens in social change; as well as help them develop a network of contacts and cooperation activities. How far these have been achieved is mostly to be seen further down the line when participants will be implementing action plans they drafted as part of the ‘ACTION and PLANNING for SUSTAINABILITY’ module. However, already at this stage it is comforting to see that the group was very motivated to test out the newly gained knowledge, act on mutual inspiration and work on possible joint projects.

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