SEDETT project aims to develop a digitally enhanced blended learning set of S.E. development, education and training tools SEDETT that can be used by, social entrepreneurs to learn how to assess their capacity development needs (IO1), educators and trainers in HE/FE and VET to deliver formal and informal courses of education and training (IO2). The materials produced will be open access and also include an e-tool that can be used by social entrepreneurs to identify creative education methodologies for use in their organisational development (IO3). Thus the target groups for this project are students/learners, teachers, partners institutions, other educational institutions, research centres, employers and their associations, unemployed youth, education, careers and youth advisory agencies and policy-makers, new social entrepreneurs, existing social enterprises & their employees seeking to up-skill and achieve life long learning.
The proposed project is innovative in the terms set out by the European Commission (http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-10-473_fr.htm) in that in less well developed countries in Europe, such as Lithuania, Romania and Poland it will help to speed up and improve the way social enterprises are conceived by (i) developing a broader understanding of the purposes of social enterprise, in terms of their mission, ethics, governance, leadership and management structures and impact assessments; and in so doing this work will assist in developing a culture of S.E. in those parts of Europe where such approaches are not yet fully embedded. The need for such work to build capacity has been highlighted in the work of the OECD/EMES research network generally and in particular by Young and Lecy (2014) who indicate that in Europe there is not one single definition of social enterprise but rather a continuum that spans from pure profit seeking organisations to organisations focused to social impact. As a result they call for more evidence based research from case studies to be done that aids the definition of the boundaries between S.E. with commercial and social missions in terms of their legal context, governance, leadership and management approaches, stakeholder involvement, risk and financial management strategies and value impact measurement practices. In addition, Spear and Bidet’s (2005) wide ranging analysis of social enterprise across twelve European countries found that it was a rapidly emerging trend that was helping to address the social exclusion in labour markets. This work called for more research into the issues affecting the sustainability and growth of social enterprises and called in particular for empirical work to be done that identifies typologies of social enterprise organisations and the development of models of good practice so as to enable the sector to thrive in all parts of Europe.