This section will provide practical examples of successful social enterprises and social entrepreneurs, mostlyderiving from on-line videos, through which the latter are seeking to combat a variety of social issues interlinked with global poverty, climate change and environmental problems, energy and power, medicine and health services, education and entrepreneurship, etc.

Each of the narrative videos presents a successful example of social entrepreneur, regarding the procedure he has come up with a social business idea, an introduction of his concept, the social enterprise’s structure, appropriate strategies and useful technique paths while facing competition, as well as new initiatives and potential financial resources. The idea is that those social entrepreneurs who are being presented in the specially-selected videos,will provide a live presentation of the paths they have been following in order to come up with an analytical business plan, thus sharing both their knowledge and competencies with other young people.

Examples of Social Enterprises from Greece

BIOME

BIOME factory, a Cooperative and Solidarity economy example active in Thessaloniki, Greece. A factory that was abandoned due to the crisis and the workers along with the society decided to take over through a participatory approach. BIOME today produces natural cleaning products which are environmentally friendly and affordable for all.

Green Ways and BiosCoop

Green Ways and BiosCoop are two examples of social economy initiatives in Thessaloniki.

A. Greenways SCE aim is to create sustainable green jobs through:

  1. Promoting and communicating sustainable mobility, physical activity and accessibility
  2. Planning and certifying cycle routes and greenways,
  3. Organizing events, campaigns, projects,
  4. Lifelong learning, training,
  5. Auditing bike-friendly services and sustainable mobility and cycling policies,
  6. Cycling tour operator,
  7. Bike rental and repair services,
  8. Deliveries by bike.

B. “Bios Coop” is a very cozy place that stocks Greek and cooperative products, most of which come from our region and are produced in ways that do not harm humans or the environment. The goal of Bios Coop is not to make profits for its members but to cover the basic nutritional needs of its clients and members during these challenging times we are facing. Prices are the same for members and non-members, and any surplus at the end of each fiscal year will be returned to members and the local community, as defined in the Articles of Cooperative and shaped by decisions of the General Assembly. Most of the surplus will remain in the accounts of members in order to be reinvested back into the cooperative.

Sofia Papachristou and Kostas Papanastasatos

Sofia Papachristou and Kostas Papanastasatos have travelled in 30 days to 40 different European locations; Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Belgium and Greece. The main aim of their action was to conduct interviews and present social entrepreneurship examples through different forms of cooperative business. The documentary is a tool for informing and promoting social / cooperative enterprises through banking sector, healthcare industry, renewable energies, rural tourism, reuse, etc. The documentary highlights potential for sustainable growth and employment and focus on a different economic model, a model that can contribute to a way out of the crisis we are experiencing today.

Examples of Social Enterprises from Cyprus

Future Worlds Centre

Future Worlds Center (FWC) is an innovative non-profit initiative of social entrepreneurs using a model of horizontal entrepreneurial management. Our work harnesses the power of emerging new technologies and the science of structured democratic dialogue in order to accelerate positive social change.

ANAKYKLOS

Anakyklos Environmental is a Social and Solidarity Enterprise that has been the first business to bring garment recycling (including sorting, re-selling and re-purposing) in Cyprus. Their initial social premise was to minimize environmental effects by throwing out garments and create awareness for recycling by making it easy for people to do and educating the younger population through school interventions. Additional to this they have been providing free clothes from their stores to poor people in Cyprus in accordance to their solidarity mandate (http://www.anakyklos.org/en/)

HOME FOR COOPERATION

The Home for Cooperation is a unique community centre located in the heart of Nicosia. It is the embodiment of intercommunal cooperation, contributing to the collective efforts of civil society in their engagement with peacebuilding and intercultural dialogue. Using its sources it encourages people to cooperate with each other beyond constraints and dividing lines.

The Home for Cooperation essentially aims to act as a bridge-builder between separated communities, memories and visions. It provides working spaces and opportunities for Non-Governmental Organisations and individuals to design and implement innovative projects. Today the Home has become a landmark building within the Ledra Palace crossing, UN buffer zone. It facilitates situations for people to get together and to get to know each other. The home hosts an extensive variety of cultural, artistic and educational programs with the aim to foster creativity and intercultural trust in Cyprus and internationally.

In 2014 the Home for Cooperation was granted with the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Award in the Conservation category. The Home for Cooperation project has been supported by the European Economic Area Grants and Norway Grants.

Examples of Social Enterprises across the world

Adaption- Foster Care

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. How can we solve the world’s problems? We can start with social enterprises…and maybe earn some money, too. Marquis Cabrera shares what the most successful social enterprises have in common.

Marquis Cabrera is the founder and chairman of Foster Skills, an award winning social enterprise dedicated to empowering foster children to become successful, productive citizens. The success of Foster Skills and the numerous awards Cabrera has since won–including the Boston Globe’s Massachusetts Innovator of the Year, and Microsoft’s YouthSpark Change-Maker award–has led Cabrera to become a highly sought consultant for those wishing to found successful social enterprises.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Healthequity

Dr. Lluis Pareras — Director Healthequity, Barcelona
Healthequity is a venture capital fund investing in healthcare. Neurosurgeon, PhD, and Global Executive MBA (IESE), Lluis analyzes more than 400 business plans per year. Board member of several healthcare startups, he is also author of more than 10 books dealing with innovation, technology, venture capital and healthcare.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Muhammad Yunus

Prof. Muhammad Yunus is a Bangladeshi economist and founder of the Grameen Bank, an institution that provides microcredit to help its clients establish creditworthiness and financial self-sufficiency. In 2006 Yunus and Grameen received the Nobel Peace Prize. Yunus himself has received several other national and international honors.

He is a member of advisory board at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology. Previously, he was a professor of economics at Chittagong University where he developed the concepts of microcredit and microfinance. He is the author of Banker to the Poor and two books on Social Business Models, and a founding board member of Grameen America and Grameen Foundation.

The Skoll Foundation

The Skoll Foundation has recently completed a short film about the field of social entrepreneurship. It is a great overview of the progress made over the last three decades. It starts with Mohammad Yunus and includes interviews with a number of social entrepreneurs and others in the field, including Sally Osberg of the Skoll Foundation, Bill Drayton of Ashoka, Jacqueline Novogratz of the Acumen Fund, John Elkington of Volans, and author David Bornstein.

Skoll Foundation was created in 1999 by Jeff Skoll. The aim was to pursue his vision of a sustainable world of peace and prosperity. Led by CEO Sally Osberg since 2001, the mission of this foundation is to drive large-scale change by investing in, connecting, and celebrating social entrepreneurs and the innovators who help them solve the world’s most pressing problems. Social entrepreneurs are society’s change agents, creators of innovations that disrupt the status quo and transform our world for the better. By identifying the people and programs already bringing positive change around the world, we empower them to extend their reach, deepen their impact, and fundamentally improve society.

BETTER GLOBE: CROWDFUNDING TREE PLANTING IN AFRICA FOR SOCIAL CHANGE

The animated video above speaks about a new dry land tree planting strategy to reduce poverty in East Africa through crowd funding. The strategy was set-up by a company which is named Better Globe Trees ( https://www.BetterGlobeTrees.com ). It is possible to support Better Globe’s green and sustainable development through social entrepreneurship and a form of social impact investing. Better Globe customers buy trees and Donation Packages designed to maximise environmental and social impact in East Africa while giving a long-term profit in return.

It is showed also some of the strategies Better Globe are employing in order to help poor farmers and their families out of poverty. The instant message is to learn how the one can help to make a difference and to learn why tree planting is crucial to secure sustainable economic growth and food production in many African countries.

By adhering to this concept, it is possible to provide jobs, education, water, microfinance, and reduce desertification while getting a return. This is the vision of Better Globe as regard to sustainable development through social entrepreneurship and impact investing. It is also possible to make a contribution by giving trees as gifts. Each tree comes with a promised return of €208.25 to the tree owner.

SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR PAYS A FAIR PRICE: WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS

Puifung Leung is on a mission to make trade more equitable. She is a social entrepreneur who pays farmers a fair price for their crops, which she uses to make drinks and snacks. “The most important thing is to take risk. Where there are risks, there are opportunities”. Puifung Leung is the founder of an organisation named Fair Taste (http://www.fairtaste.com.hk/en/).

Important messages within the video:

  1. You have to be brave in order to start a business;
  2. You need to be determined because you’ll face many challenges, but that is normal;
  3. You definitely have to take risks.

Some inside information about Fair Taste, with a reference to their core value:

Our world behaves as a collective of dynamic, interconnected systems. Manipulation in one will undoubtedly cause effects to the other. The over-exploitation of resources has made sustainability the watchword of our generation.

We, at Fair Taste, believe that sustainable development can be achieved by restoring social equity and the environment to equilibrium, and that priority should be given to the essential needs of the world’s poor to create a better and fairer world. In return, producers have the capacity to take care of their farmlands and live with nature. Consumers can vote with their consumption power for a sustainable future so that adequate resources remain for our future generations.