EU project POSITIVEThe trend of social entrepreneurship is taking off in Italy and beyond - Project partners of POSITIVE met in Trento

12. Juni 2023
Project partners of POSITIVE met in Trento, Italy in May 2023

Social enterprises and social entrepreneurship have gained momentum in Europe in the last few years. However, countries like Italy can be proud not only of recent developments in this field but also of the rich history of social entrepreneurship, spanning around 40 years and encompassing diverse trends across the various organizational types that make up the social enterprise spectrum.

Social enterprises and other social initiatives in Italy were originally boosted by the strong culture of civic engagement dating back to pre-war times and were sometimes connected to strong Catholic customs. Partners of the EU-funded international initiative POSITIVE who visited Trento last week had a chance to not only observe the deep-rooted traditions of social entrepreneurship in action but also take a closer look at the local ecosystem and gather valuable insights on social innovation and innovators in Italy:

„As social entrepreneurship is becoming a more and more prominent phenomenon in Europe, new opportunities and challenges are emerging together with it. In our eyes, the growth of social entrepreneurship has been comparable to the growth of the green transition trend. Some resemblance for instance can be noticed while analyzing the growth of greenwashing and emerging cases of social washing. So questions of how to facilitate this evolving ecosystem are becoming more and more significant. We at Trentino Social Tank were glad to host our partners from Germany and Lithuania in Trento together with Hub Innovazione Trentino Fondazione and share our experiences and practices of working with social entrepreneurship here locally” – says Claudio Tagliabue from Trentino Social Tank.

Partners from Italy, Germany, and Lithuania work together to establish closer connections between the social and technological innovation ecosystems and develop tighter bonds between the innovators and business support actors.

„Any kind of entrepreneurship is just inseparable from innovation. The same applies to social entrepreneurship and social innovation. Yet entities working in the scientific and technological innovation ecosystems (research centers, universities, innovation hubs) may lack the knowledge and experience to recognize the opportunities and potential impact of establishing collaborations with social innovation actors. This is why the exchange of experiences, concepts, working methods and good practices is so important to all partners” – adds Nicola Doppio, Open Innovation Officer from Hub Innovazione Trentino Fondazione.

The international EU-funded initiative POSITIVE will bring together actors from both social and technological innovation ecosystems. The POSITIVE project will raise awareness about the benefits of social innovation and social entrepreneurship, offer trainings about social entrepreneurship for business support organizations which will lead to better support for social innovators, and provide new opportunities for social entrepreneurs to digitize their products.

As a project partner, Steinbeis Europa Zentrum is supporting:

  • the coordination of the project implementation
  • the exploitation of the developed training and OIC toolkits through the organization of a Pan-European Follow-Up Event and the dissemination in relevant networks
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Miljana Cosic
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Miljana Cosic

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