HOPE project's partner, City of Maribor in Podravje Region (Slovenia), has hosted the second virtual session of the partnership on the 4th and 5th October. Entitled 'Good practices on Inclusive Societies through Social Entrepreneurship and Digital Opportunities', over 30 key stakeholders from Seinäjoki (Finland), Maribor and Derry & Strabane (Northern Ireland) have attended the online workshop, moderated by HOPE project partner Klemen Risto Bizjak from City of Maribor.
Participants had the opportunity to learn about social entrepreneurship and digital opportunities to decrease isolation and enhance inclusivity and entrepreneurial activities, especially among the people at working age or those approaching it.
Dušanka Lužar Šajt from Prizma Foundation gave an overview of what Prizma Foundation is doing and how are trying to connect all different project that they are implementing in their region into the holistic network service to support social innovation and social economy and share the further steps for the next programming period.
In her later presentation about boosting social innovation in City of Maribor shared the importance of the participation and stakeholders' involvement in social innovation. Dušanka Lužar Šajt stated that “engaging people stakeholder’s involvement and cooperation in developing new ways of tackling social challenges leads to more effective and more legitimate solutions accepted by the community”.
Next, Julija Marošek from PRIZMA Foundation shared the lessons learned at the IN SITU project, the Social Innovation Hub working with unemployed people. IN SITU project targets unqualified youth and older workers (50+), who are long-term unemployed and mainly affected by negative processes on the labour market, who normally will merely have any chance to get a job. And Mateja Karničnik from PRIZMA Foundation shared how CERUSI project implements a Rural Social Innovation Lab Caravan to build skills and capacities for social innovation and social entrepreneurship.
Miro Mihec from ETIKA d.o.o. a company for ethical advertising, projects and marketing, talked about the ethics and social responsibility to the social economy. The role of mentoring in social entrepreneurship and establishing of two programs: publicly valid study program for training in the field of higher professional education "Social economy expert" and the "European business school of social economy".
Digital opportunities for social economy and social entrepreneurship good practices
In the second part of the workshop, several good practices were presented. Starting with Iris Magajna from Zelena Japka (Green Apple in English), a zero waste shops in the City of Maribor, which offers exclusively organic and vegan products that have not been tested on animals. Green Apple is therefore a brand that wants to put nature back in green, with products that are friendly to humans, animals and nature, with products from reuse and reduce the number of plastic in packaging etc.
Marko Beličič presented Kooperativa eDostava zoo, so.p. (Cooperative EDOSTAVA in English), a non-profit organization and a social enterprise. Established on 2019, with in the City of Maribor with the aim of promoting wheeled cargo delivery in city centers without negative impacts on the environment.
Janja Viher, from Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship shared the UIA PROJECT - Urban Soil 4 Food an establishment of an innovative circular economy based on renewable urban soils, to increase local food self-sufficiency and reduce the carbon footprint. As part of the project the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship carries out activities related to raising local awareness, education and information, and developing an innovative platform for all stakeholders for whom the project is intended with a desire for sustainable use value and is responsible for the development and implementation of the online platform Inno Rural, where supply and demand for local food and products meet.