The project “Entrepreneurship and Community cooperatives” (EntCoM) aims at fostering active citizenship and entrepreneurship (considering social entrepreneurship) in small or remote areas.

The project has three clear activities:

1) the development and consolidation of entrepreneurial competences (knowledge, skills and attitude) in order to structure entrepreneurial initiatives under the specific framework of “community cooperatives”

2) Foster learning mobilities at EU level to answer local needs

3) contribute to the recognition and validation of such entrepreneurial competences under the ECVET, ESCO and EUROPASS framework.

The target group addressed by the project in hand are citizens from rural or remote area, and most particularly the “Not in Education, Employment, or Training” (NEET) population. The term NEET refers to people between 16 and 24 who are no longer in compulsory schooling and yet have not taken on employment, further education or training schemes such as apprenticeships.

Immediately after are the adult learning practitioners, cooperatives (employers), and adult learning bodies in general, who will be able to use the learning methodologies developed in the present project, and able as well to propose enhancements and adjustments considering local specificities.

Active citizens and civil society organisations (CSO) that play a substantial role in fostering community developments and improvement initiatives, and are vital partners for decision-makers, as they are best placed to know population’s needs in terms of development. The civil society finds itself right at the origin of needs, changes and issues, and is the most able to act and participate in an appropriate way. Civil society as proven to be a main stakeholder in any drive for more accountable and legitimate community engagement, for more social cohesion and democracy and for more inclusive and effective policy-making.

Furthermore also decision-makers at local, regional, national and European level and press and media in general, according to their level with priority for local, regional and national levels.

 

The project runs from 9/2014 to 8/2016 and there are 7 partners involved with this project : TOJAS INVESTIMENTOS, LDA (Portugal), Sarikamis Kaymakamligi (Turkey), Latconsul SIA (Latvia), KOMUNIKUJEME o.p.s. (Czech Republic), ENTER-EUROPEAN NETWORK FOR TRANSFERAND EXPLOITATION OF EUROPEAN PROJECT RESULTS (Austria), newly TFEI (UK) and it is coordinated by Lega Regionale delle Cooperative e Mutue, (Italy).

The most relevant priorities addressed by the EntCoM project:

  • Facilitating the validation of non-formal and informal learning and its permeability with formal education pathways
  • Contributing to a reduction in the number of low-skilled adults (re-skilling and up-skilling of adults)

 

Project Objectives

 

The “community cooperative” represents an instrument through which the citizens are associated for carrying on activities of general interest for the community. Community cooperatives are often set up when no external investors or public authority provider are prepared to take on a community service, as it may be too small or too remote. The active participation of citizens plays an increasingly important role regarding the general interest of the community, considering specific services provided to citizens, the local economy, social cohesion, equitable and sustainable growth, aiming at improving the conditions of living of communities globally.

The project in hand aim at recognizing the central importance of human capital, and at setting organizational and management models that encourage the participation of all citizens as “active members” of their community. At the same time, we must not overlook the financial aspect necessary to the achievement of societal objectives, which become important in the context of the resources made available by the institutions related to the community, such as municipalities. Indeed, by working together businesses can reduce costs, share risks and create new platforms for growth. Consortium co-operatives run on a shared and equal way by, and for the benefit of, their members. Members can be businesses, partnerships or individuals.

At local and regional level, this project aim at providing a realistic, practical and effective answer to address a variety of current issues that exist also at EU level, such as the economical emergency, the unemployment rate, social cohesion, the digital agenda, rural and remote territorial development. At national and EU level, the project aim at providing a workable good practices considering the preparation of the targeted population in terms of competences, considering the recognition, transferability and accumulation of the entrepreneurial competences according to the ECVET framework in order to foster the mobility and improve the employability of the targeted group represented by citizens in remote or rural areas. Mobility indeed represents a key answer to the current low rate employment context at EU level.

Expected Results & Impact

 

Expected Results

The project provide the following results:

  • A training course (TC) comprising:
    – a survey and mapping report on good practices
    – a curricula
    – a training guide (e-learning and residential)
    – a tool kit for multipliers (EntCom4M)
    – guidelines for in-service training

 

  • ECVET guidelines tool kit and recommendations encompassing:
    – applicable ECVET framework
    – Competences list (knowledge, skill and attitude)
    – definition of Learning Outcomes
    – definition of Units of Learning Outcomes.
    – Credit for learning outcomes (credit) tool.
    – ECVET point tool

Expected Impact

The global and long-term impact of the project in hand is that the constructive components of the rural development related to community cooperatives success will be enhanced, providing a sustainable growth considering the equality of chances, the environmental protection, and social cohesion broadly.

The direct beneficiaries of the project’s outcomes are the learners, represented by the citizens. The project is perceived as a framework for experience exchange between the partner organisations directed towards achieving a mechanism directly involving the learners in all project stages and beyond.

 

  • their competences, options and opportunities will be enhanced through more effective implementation of business activities
  • enhance competences in innovative cooperatives models, entrepreneurial symbiosis (holistic approach), and circular economy approaches;
  • significant contribution (as cooperative members) towards sustainable supply of products and services of economic importance at regional level;
  • increasing of the employability level in young people;
  • learners increased motivation and confidence to take up further learning opportunities;

 

Considering public bodies, chamber of craft, chambers of commerce, labour offices, cooperative, but also small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), social partners, civil society organisations, adult learning practitioners, the expected impact is globally to raise awareness on the matters of the project in hand, and to foster decision-making aiming at enhancing community cooperatives development.

 

The desired impact of the project at local and regional level is:

  • increase the interest of citizens in developing community cooperatives in the targeted area;
  • foster the use of learning activities by of citizens in the targeted area
  • increase the interest of young people to work in community cooperatives located in the targeted area
  • fostering the debate on the topic in hand using both multi-stakeholders and mono-stakeholders approaches, providing the opportunity to raise awareness and structure recommendations to key streaming actors, particularly influential and decision-making bodies
  • fostering synergies between local and regional governments through a structured dialogue, following current EU policies applicable to regional and territorial cooperation in the field of cooperatives
  • positively evolving attitude towards sustainable development embedded in community cooperatives ventures
  • a strengthened role of community cooperatives in ongoing decision-making processes, allowing them to contribute to local development in a better, more effective way
  • a contribution for government authorities credibility and recognition for their role as driving force behind local development
  • harmonisation of municipal development programmes considering the community cooperative sector’s needs regarding sustainable development

 

The desired impact of the project at National and European level is:

  • raise awareness on the challenges faced by community cooperatives at local level regarding the topics in hand
  • organize ground to build a structured communication channel between targeted networks and pertinent EU bodies
  • organize ground to build a structured recommendations report to be provided to pertinent EU bodies