Title DIDACTICOOP -PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT AMONG THE YOUNGSTERS
Project Number 134114-LLP-1-2007-ES-LEONARDO-LMP
Project Type Development of Innovation
Country EU-Centralised Projects
The final objective of DIDACTICOOP is to raise awareness amongst youngsters in the idea of social enterprising.
Social economy enterprises-social cooperatives, insertion companies, associations, mutuals, etc- represent another way of doing business; an alternative that it is characterized by:
- These companyes are initiatives launched by groups of citizens.
- The decision-making power is not based on capital ownership.
- Participatory nature, which involves the persons affected by the activity.
- Limited profit distribution.
- An explicit aim to benefit the community.
Despite their diversity, social enterprises operate mainly in the following three fields:
- Work integration (training and integration of unemployed persons)
- Personal services (e.g. childcare services, services for elderly people, "proximity" services, aid for disadvantaged people) and
- Local development of disavantaged areas (e.g. social enterprises in remote rural areas, neighbourhood development/rehabilitations schemes in urban areas).
This project aims at responding to this lack of promotion of social entrepreneurship among youngsters, and at the same time, it will also seek to bring entrepreneurship education closer to formal education settings, seeing that therer are currently very few and isolated experiences in which the issue is included in th educational curricula.
The promotion of social entrepreneurship is a strategy that improves the level of social competences of youngsters, favours labour processes, and provides a range of principles that are basic for the modern companies: environmental concern, democratic functioning, participation, social balance and equal opportunities.
Some characteristics of social economy and social enterprising include:
- Aim or mission: the mission of these types of organisations is to serve people or other SE organisations. Social economy enterprises are not created primarily to generate profits or obtain financial returns but to generate and maintain jobs for the partners/ workers.
- Equal opportunities for all must be observed, respected and promoted: women, men, disabled, those excluded from the labour market, etc.
- Sustainability: social enterprising involves operating and managing in a sustainable way and regards the principles of social and environmental sustainability.
- Adaptation to change and innovation: commitment towards lifelong training of partners and workers, focusing on innovation related to the close link between the service provision and society.
- Involved in local economic development: great potential for activating endogenous development processes in rural areas, for reactivating declining industrial areas and therefore:
- Contribution to creating new jobs, retaining jobs in sectors and businesses in crisis and/or threatened by closure
Social Enterprising or enterprising from a social economy perspective involves the application of the following VALUES: Equality, Democracy, Responsibility, Mutual help, Solidarity, Equity.
One of the key elements of success of this project relies on the elaboration of material wich has been compiled with has been compiled with the experiences of different countries.
Encouraging young people to create their own businesses will contribute to increasing the levels of those employed. More specifically, the model of social economy enterprises provides the members to adapt to change and innovation, as it necessarily calls for permanent training and re-training, as well as it contributes to linking employment to the territories (the jobs cannot be transferred to other places in the world). Promoting social entrepreneurship therefore contributes to the Lisbon Strategy Agenda where the priorities set out establish the need for more stable jobs and for more people to join and remain in the labour market.
The project aims at fostering social entrepreneurship among the young population. This needs to be done throughout the different levels and ages and using specific pedagogical material for each age segment, in order to start with the principles and values of social economy: cooperation, democracy, transparency and entrepreneurship; and move up towards simulation of business set up of older groups.
This will provide the students with a wider rage of tools and capacities in order to approach the labour market, to identify employment opportunities and set up their own businesses.
Target groups are:
(a) Enterprising Kids: 6 to 9 year olds
(c) Enterprising Project: 14 to 17 year olds
(b) School of Young Entrepreneurs: 10 to 13 year olds
(d) Enterprising Platform: 18 to 22 year olds
(e) Young businessmen/businesswomen: 22 to 25 year olds
Aimed at fostering the idea of social entrepreneurship among the youngsters, the DIDACTICOOP Project will be focused on the elaboration and pilot testing of pedagogical material adapted to each age segment.
More concretely, the project foresees the following actions:
- A needs analysis on the local/ regional educational curricula and identify gaps in themes and methodologies in social entrepreneurship for children and youngsters under 25
- Elaboration of innovative and practical pedagogical materials for young people in order to enable them to embark in a social enterprising and training them in values and principles of cooperation for sustainable and responsible collective enterprising
- Elaboration of a specific IT tool for the simulation for the creation and setting in motion of a mini- company
- Pedagogical material pilot testing in at least 300 scholars
- Creation of a network of social economy entities working in the field of intervention with young people
Regarding the specific products expected, the project foresees the elaboration of five Educational Suitcases, one for each age segment, along with a Teachers Guide for each of them, a project webpage and a network of social economy entities working in the field of young entrepreneurship.
As for the impact envisaged, the project expects to develop an innovative contribution that may lead to a new approach towards the promotion of an entrepreneurial spirit among the youngsters in formal education settings which may improve their capacities to work and compete in a globalised world while strengthening their links with their communities and their democratic values.
Five Educational Suitcases:
- Teachers Guide: containing theoretical introductions and practical exercises(based on non formal methodologies)to deal with the issue of social entrepreneurship.
- Students Note Book
These materials will be adapted to the capacities of each age segment and will take into consideration the different needs of scholars (disabilities, social background, etc.) with the aim of improving their skills and self-confidence to lead their own project, linking it with the development of their communities.
Project Website: www. Didacticoop.net
Social Economy Agents Network
A network across Europe that encloses he entities, organisations,foundation,etc working within the Social Economy where they can transfer their knowledge and experiences, share best practices and exchange resources and methodologyon social entrepeneurship education.
To find out and support innovative proposals for funding school competitions ( eg. Best Business Porject idea)