This project is based on partnership between “Partas – Get Tallaght Working Co-operative Limited” from Ireland, “Connect Association” from Slovenia, and ACT Grupa from Croatia, successful social enterprises that in the last 15-20 years developed in social business support organizations, impact incubators and accelerators with track record of more than 500 supported social enterprises and 20.000 supported persons from disadvantaged groups (through training and job-placement processes).
Partas aims to build an inclusive and thriving community by being a leading source of excellence in the development of local enterprise and the social economy. Our training in personal and business development, computer skills, mentoring programmes and micro-financing ensure that every assistance is provided to support our clients. We aim for social inclusion and work at integrating all members of the community into the workforce, especially those who find themselves distanced by status.
Previous experience in EQUAL projects were in the area of ethnic business and the older workforce (Emerge and Senior Select Retain & Retrain).
One of the main areas of work that Partas is engaged in is the promotion and development of self-employment opportunities.
We are also involved in all aspects of entrepreneurship and are noted in particular for our work in the fields of female entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship and ethnic entrepreneurship.
We manage four incubation centres which cater to new and existing businesses. Our centres deliver educational programmes, which are developed to assist local people to gain employment.
For the past 30 years we have been one of the main promoters and supporters of community enterprise businesses in the Tallaght area.
We are a social enterprise which was established to work with the unemployed and assist them to self employment as a means of social inclusion. We have expanded our target group to include all people in danger of social exclusion e.g. females, immigrants, older workers, long-term unemployed, travellers etc.
Partas has been involved in numerous European projects both as leader and as partner. A selection of our more recent involvements are included below as leader:
- Interreg 4A-Wales Ireland Network for Social Entrepreneurship
- Senior Select retain and Retrain-To explore new ways of supporting the development, recruitment and retention of older workers through local partnerships involving older workers and job seekers, employers and recruitment agencies
- Emerge-develop methodologies for the development and expansion of Ethnic Minority businesses and to assist Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurs (EMEs) in overcoming business obstacles and regulation constraints
- Sonas-Support Organiasation for the Needs of Asylum Seekers
Social enterprise Connect is non-profit/non-government organization that was founded with intent to promote social entrepreneurship, active citizenship, human rights, empowerment of disadvantaged people, mobility of young and older people, non-formal education, intergenerational cooperation and intercultural dialogue.
We have organized and participated in numerous workshops, seminars, training programs and projects in Slovenia and abroad over the years. Many events and projects were on the topic of social entrepreneurship, which is the main topic of this project. By participating in these projects, our members gained different knowledge and competencies.
Connect is also very active in social entrepreneurship activities. One of our activities is production of unique environmentally friendly women clothes created out of unsold stock from previous collections. By using unsold stock, we actively help to reduce textile waste and by employing seamstresses who lost their job in globalization process we help them and their families.
Among other things, Connect also actively cooperates with partners in Slovenia in the field of entrepreneurial education, employability programs and training of secondary school students. In October 2013 we co-organized and implemented 2-day entrepreneurship camp for Slovenian high school students, which was attended by 150 participants. This entrepreneurship camp was also visited by president of Slovenia.
We have also successfully carried out several projects in the framework of Youth in Action programs, Grundtvig and the current Erasmus + program.
ACT Group (AG) is regional consortium of work integration social enterprises (WISEs) and national social economy (SE) support centre. It was founded in 2013 and took over the activities of the Autonomous Centre – ACT (association), which had been acting since 2003 as SE incubator. Today, AG is a leading social innovation network in Croatia and the Western Balkan region. 8 members of the consortium operate in green economy and social sectors: ACT Printlab Ltd (graphic design/web/print), ACT Konto Ltd (bookkeeping services), Social Cooperative Humana Nova (textile/reuse centre), Centre for home care in the Međimurje County (social services to elderly), Social Agricultural Cooperative Domači vrt (ecological food production – in incubation), Zeleni prostori Ltd (cleaning, maintenance of green areas – in incubation), Social Economy Academy (non-formal and formal education – in incubation) and Bistro Domače jelo (restaurant / co-working place – in incubation). ACT Group in 2016 initiated also development of several regional reuse centres in Croatia, Volunteer Centre North, Croatian Social Enterprise Network, etc.
The consortium employs 40 permanent workers (73% are women, 27% are men), 10+ non-permanent workers – 44% of the total employees are marginalized groups (people with disabilities, representatives of national/ethnic minorities, people older than 50, young people without experience). The consortium also is focused on volunteering – annually 70+ volunteers are engaged in various activities. AG itself employs 6 permanent workers – experts/trainers in organizational development, project management, marketing, finance, impact measurement and policy/advocacy. 55% of consortium annual income is generated from market activities.
The core business of AG is SE business development, business support and education/training in various fields. AG provided business support to 100+ SE actors from Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia & Herzegovina. AG provides 80+ trainings annually, with average 12 participants per training. In 10 years we trained more than 10.000 people from different organizations and sectors (community workers, school teachers, disadvantaged persons, (social) entrepreneurs, civil society organizations, local/national government). In the last 5 years we implemented 10+ EU/international funded capacity building projects (with the focus on CSOs, social enterprises, disadvantaged persons) – every year we are implementing at least 15 projects with 300 events, targeting 10.000+ direct beneficiaries.
AG provides also quality expert & technical assistance in research, capacity building, project management, (social) impact measurement and promotion of SE actors. AG highly nourishes individualized approach, innovativeness and openness when providing its services.
Key strengths of the AG are:
- Rich experience in development of SE initiatives/ventures/organizations;
- Permanent support to civil society organizations and social enterprises;
- Rich experience in project management;
- Active role in advocacy/policy processes on European, national and local level;
- Rich experience in counselling local government in preparation and implementation of the calls for proposals for NGOs;
- Experience in evaluations of EU, national and local SE projects;
- Experience in development of financial and business support systems for SE actors.
AG members were winners of the most prestigious European and national awards in the area of social entrepreneurship such as: European Enterprise Promotion Award (EEPA) in the category of responsible and sustainable entrepreneurship, Award for creativity and innovation in business and social engagement, Croatian annual SE award, UNDP awards for work integration of persons with disabilities, etc.
AG is member of the most prominent European and national networks in the area of social entrepreneurship such as: European Network of Social Integration Enterprises (ENSIE), RReuse Network, Croatian Social Entrepreneurs Forum (SEFOR) and 10 more.