Project: „Handicrafts and social economy: A driver for socially inclusive growth in the CB region”, with acronym „SocialCrafts“

Subsidy contract № В2.9с.02/31.10.2017

The Project is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and by national funds of the countries participating in the Interreg V-A “Greece-Bulgaria 2014-2020” Cooperation Programme

Managing AuthorityManaging Authority of the Objective “European Territorial Cooperation” Operational Programmes of the Ministry for Economy and Development, acting as the Managing Authority of the Cooperation Programme “Interreg V –A Greece-Bulgaria” 2014-2020
 
Funding programme: Cooperation Programme “Interreg V –A Greece-Bulgaria” 2014-2020
 
Lead Beneficiary: International Initiatives for Cooperation
 
Partners:
– Project Beneficiary 2: Prefectural Association of People with disabilities of Kavala’ s Prefecture
– Project Beneficiary 3: Association Regional Center for vocational education training to CCI – Blagoevgrad
– Project Beneficiary 4: National Confederation of Disabled People of Greece-Branch of Northern Greece
– Project Beneficiary 5: Association “Business Center-Maritza”
– Project Beneficiary 6: Union of Hellenic Chambers of Commerce
 
Period of implementation: 31/10/2017 – 30/10/2019
 
Overall objective:
The project constitutes a CB initiative which is directly linked to the programme objectives as it supports vulnerable groups to overcome specific employment barriers, by promoting social inclusion, combating poverty and discriminations in the labour market, and by providing specialized support for social enterprises. The Project will focus on expanding social entrepreneurship in the CB area, bettering employability and employment of the vulnerable groups, as well as facilitating mutual learning and capacity building using new mechanisms and ICT.
Основната цел на проекта е свързана с подобряване на начина на живот на уязвимите групи в региона чрез Its main objective derives from the aim to improve the way of living of vulnerable groups in the area by their labour inclusion, especially of those most exposed to social exclusion. Based on the innovative Project’s concept, a number of objectives have been set.
 
Specific objectives:
1) Improve job access for vulnerable groups in the area, using innovative practices, based on the development of CB integrated Social Economy initiatives under development & for tackling labour inequalities;
2) Establish new mechanisms, coped with the poverty by promoting services of comfort, and counselling at home, including in rural & isolated areas;
3) Improve the capacity and efficiency of social enterprises and open market at large, especially in reaching and employing isolated and deprived communities, such as persons with disabilities, Roma population, etc.
4) Promote self-employment and fight digital illiteracy.
 
Activities:
Work package 1: Project Management & Coordination
Work package 2: Communication & Dissemination
Work package 3: Capacity building among vulnerable groups
Work package 4: Capacity building among CB artisans
Work package 5: Technology: Innovation & Institutional Strengthening
Work package 6: Initiatives beyond the CB area and abroad
 
Expected results:
– preparation activities, such as: preparatory studies within the CB area (focus on traditional craftsmanship, employment of disadvantaged people, social economy, etc.), study visits abroad on good practices;
– awareness / activation events for all parties (4 local conferences) and training activities targeted to artisans (6 seminars), disadvantaged people (2 seminars), local authorities, sponsors, and other stakeholders (2 national workshops);
– a Joint Guide for new Work Integration Social Enterprises  
– a network of two CB Employment Support Centers for inclusion in traditional handicrafts that will be responsible for operating the envisioned e-Promotion activity and delivering (in house) services to traditional artisans (act as incubators) and disadvantaged persons (acting as employment and carrier centres);
– a Pilot insertion programme (offering support to 40 artisans and 100 disadvantaged persons);
– workshops and seminars;
– jointly operated mobile units that will be responsible for providing (on the user site) a number of the aforementioned support services to artisans and disadvantaged persons in remote areas (another 40 artisans and 100 disadvantaged persons);
– open contest for novel business ideas in the field of traditional handcrafts, with financial prizes (3 best ideas) for the winners, plus support to prepare detailed business plans and establish their new social enterprises;
– a fully accessible ePromotion platform for handicrafts from the CB (in the form of an “online Social Mall”);
– a mobile app for members of the network (handicraft sellers);
– the production of supported Artisans Catalogue 2018;
– organisation of two traditional festivals for supported structures and artisans to present their products and promote the Project, the Employment support centers and the online platform;
– networking with international organisations, educational institutions, etc.;
– an online Observatory for impact monitoring
 
Project progress:
– november 2017 – contracted accounting and advisory services ensuring the implementation of the project
– 19-21st November 2017 – Kick-off meetingRazlogBulgaria
– 20th November 2017 – Initial Press conferenceRazlogBulgaria 
– January 2018 – prepared and sent to the Lead Beneficiary Project Progress Report for the first reporting period 31.10.2017 – 31.12.2017
– march 2018  – contracted organization of events (Organisation of 1 two day Meeting, Delivery of logistics for seminar for representatives of vulnerable groups from Haskovo region, Organization of a seminar on social entrepreneurship,organization and logistics of traditional festival for social entrepreneurs and artisans from vulnerable groups, organization of the participation of Bulgarian participants in the Festival organized by Partner 2 in Greece)
– 12-13 March 2018 – 2nd Partners’ Meeting, Haskovo, Bulgaria 
– October 2017 – March 2018 – performing studying activities in connection with the preparation of specifications for the different types of activities.
– April 2018 – performed FLC of the Beneficiary 5 for the period 31.10.2017 – 31.03.2018
– May 2018 – contracted activities: Preparatory studies with focus on traditional craftsmanship, employment of disadvantaged people and vulnerable groups, social economy, etc.). Contribution to the development of a Joint Guide for new Work Integration Social Enterprises. 
– April 2018 – June 2018 – performing studying activities in connection with the preparation of specifications for the different types of activities
– June 2018 – Studies with focus on traditional craftsmanship, employment of disadvantaged people and vulnerable groups, social economy, etc.). Contribution to the development of a Joint Guide for new Work Integration Social Enterprises. 
 July 2018 – performed FLC of the Beneficiary 5 for the period 01.04.2018 – 30.06.2018
 October 2018 – announcement of Open contest for novel business ideas and best ideas “Challenge yourself as an entrepreneur”. More information in the News section. Application form: https://goo.gl/forms/yJbtVJ6ALvYCZFVQ2
– October 2018 – participation in 3rd Project Meeting in Kavala for the project “Handicrafts and social economy: A driver for socially inclusive growth in the CB region” (9 – 10 October 2018)
– November 2018 – December 2018 – 4 one day seminars for representatives of vulnerable groups from Haskovo region (27.11, 28.11, 3.12, 4.12.2018)
– December 2018 – performed FLC of the Beneficiary 5 for the period 01.07.2018 – 30.11.2018
– January 2019 – performed FLC of the Beneficiary 5 for the period 01.12.2018 – 31.12.2018
– January 2019 – Preparation of information  regarding the Open contest for novel business ideas and best ideas “Challenge yourself as an entrepreneur” for the purpose of a public event organized by the Lead Partner
– February 2019 – Preparation of information  regarding the Open contest for novel business ideas and best ideas “Challenge yourself as an entrepreneur” for the purpose of a public event organized by the Lead Partner
March 2019 – Updating project information on the Internet and preparing a Request for FLC.
– April – July 2019 – Evaluation and ranking of the received proposals within the Open contest for novel business ideas and best ideas “Challenge yourself as an entrepreneur”, incl. preparation and sending of a report on the activities of the SocialCrafts Project Team in connection with the evaluation
– December 2020 – 
Finalized Guidelines for Creating a Social Startup Business
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