The 2nd conference for social entrepreneurship “Doing Business The Other Way” was held in the Onassis Cultural Center with the support of European commission and European Parliament on Monday on November 3 2014 and was titled as “Doing business the other way”.
A lot of young people, social (and not) entrepreneurs, scientists were attracted from the conference in order to gain knowledge and information on good practices in the field of social business, through a rich program of lectures. The conference included main and parallel program.
On the Main Stage of Onassis Cultural Center was presented the main program of the Conference.
The Key Note speech by Dr. Luis Pareras, Healthequity Director, preceded the main program and was a fabulous introduction to the core of social entrepreneurship. Dr Luis Pareras, came to Greece for the first time in order to participate to the Conference. Specifically the Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship stressed that entrepreneurs who can change the world radically are those who have passion , rage and understand that what matters is not the business idea itself but its execution. Also he referred to the growing importance of social impact, which is not only in the internal environment of the companies but also and mainly in the external and we all have to work dynamically for it. At the end of his speech Dr. Luis Pareras said that despite tough economic times, the social enterprise sector continues to grow and that’s a very positive sign.
The first thematic section started with Anita Vella, European Commission Officer since 2005. The first speaker stated to the EU 2020 strategy for the development of social economy and social innovation, with specific focus on the key funding possibilities.
The second speaker was Anna Dallaporta, General Secretary for the Management of European Funds, who analyzed growth’s priorities related to the social entrepreneurship in Greece.
The third speaker of the first panel was Mr. Richard J Catheral who occupies with social entrepreneurship since 2002. R. Cathera claimed that if every social enterprise creates a stable structure then all the enterprises together can make a super connected community. Therefore, it should be clear that the power of networking is stronger than the power of money. Concluding his speech R. Catheral highlighted the need of an active new generation, who will maintain a vision for change.
The first speaker was of the second thematic section was Mr Frank Hoffmann, Doctor of Medicine (PhD), prominent gynecologist and researcher. Dr. Hoffman invented an innovative method of breast examination, which utilizes the enhanced sense of touch of blind women. Therefore he established “Discovering Hands”, a social enterprise which trains blind or visually impaired women as examiners for the early detection of breast cancer.
Mr. Henrik Morch, the lawyer with Danish nationality and the Head of the Directorate General for Internal Market and Services, was the next speaker who explained why EU commition invests so much in social entrepreneurship and how European Union will achieve additional value to the new business sector. He claimed that the Commission’s objective is to create an ecosystem conducive to developing social businesses and to facilitate their access to funding. In addition to there is a need to create a favorable climate for social business initiative, because that is the only way for social entrepreneurship to grow fast and stably at this critical juncture. The social business initiative provides a short-term action plan to stimulate the creation, development and growth of social organizations.Finally, all stakeholders should understand and focus on the impact measurement, which is the key for increasing visibility of social enterprises.
Paul Cheng, the third speaker, is a law graduate from Oxford University and the President of Shared Impact and of the European Social Investment Task Force. He emphasized on the private funding techniques for social enterprises and on the comprehension of social impact, as the quintessence of social entrepreneurship.
The last speaker, of the second panel, was Kirsty Gilchrist who specializes in strategic marketing and web-based capital raising and developed the authentic engagement strategy to support businesses in using crowd funding as a strategic tool.
The third thematic section was relevant to the challenges in social entrepreneurship’s field. The first speaker was Nikolaos Myrtakis, founding member and First Vice-President of the Board of Directors, from 1999 until today, of the Pancretan Cooperative Bank He noticed that cooperatives and the value of collegiality are the roots of the social economy.
The second speaker was Steve Allman who works as independent consultant, with over 20 years of experience and provides training and consultation to non-profit enterprises, focusing on strategy, evaluation and social participation. Steve Allman gave some very useful and targeted advises for these challenges. The first step is focusing on the capacity building’s effectivity, the second and the most crucial is establishing a clear direction and how to get there. Thirdly, it is very important to build a loyal and engaged team which will find the right combinations and simultaneously to develop leaders who inspire these teams.
The third speaker was Benjamin Brown who is a Senior Policy and Research Officer at the Social Enterprise UK, in charge of the State of Social Enterprise Survey, the largest database on social enterprises in GB.He stressed the importance of measurement, so as entrepreneurs manage successfully an organization.
At the same time in the Upper Stage of the Onassis Cultural Center was presented the Parallel Session of the Conference which consisted of three thematic workshops.
The first workshop named “Good social business practices from international experience” and Adina Tal, Founder and Artistic Director of Nalaga’at Center and the John Charles, Founder and Managing Director of Catering2Order, inspired the Greek public presenting their social enterprises.
The Social Enterprises “Diaplous”, “Artemis” and Myrtillo participated in the second workshop entitled “Practical Social Entrepreneurship for the integration of vulnerable groups”. Ms Papadopoulou, Papathanasopoulou and Vamvounaki shared with the public their concerns, as well as their visions and goals for their social enterprises.
The parallel program ended with the workshop entitled “Practical Social Entrepreneurship to provide care / welfare”.
Mr Michail Zacharioudakis, Scientific consultant to the social cooperative enterprise “HELP”, and Mr Emmanouil Zidianakis, President of the Association for Disabled People of Rhodes and member of the General Council of the National Association for Disabled People participated in this workshop. Mr James King, Founder and director of Addictions UK participated in the workshop by skype call. The social entrepreneurs presented their business, focusing on the social impact of their services.
The six coordinators of the conference closed the conference (main and parallel program) by outlining the main points of the modules as well as the findings of each section.
The closing ceremony was followed by the awarding of the Social Business Excellence Awards 2014, which co-hosted by the British Council, the Development partnerships PROSVASIS, and the National Documentation Centre, coordinator of the Enterprise Europe Network-Hellas and under the auspices of the Ministry of Development and Competitiveness.
- Social Enterprise Start-Up 2014 : Roi Cat Social Enterprise ( Υπό σύσταση)
- Innovation Social Enterprise 2014 : Kalloni-Tinos Social Enterprise
- Community Impact Award 2014: Urban non-profit organization “Diogenis”
- Social Enterprise of the year 2014: The Social Enterprise “Myrtillo”
- Health & Social Care Social Enterprise 2014: Social Cooperative Sector “Mental Health Dodecanese”
- Green Social Enterprise 2014: The Social Enterprise “Land of Thessalis”
- Εducation & Culture Social Enterprise 2014: The Institute of Systemic Analysis of Behavior
The Sponsors of the Conference “Doing Business the Other Way” and of Social Business Excellence Awards 2014 were: the Onassis Cultural Center, Bodossaki Foundation, Greek National Tourism Organization, Hellenic Petroleum, ATHEXGroup /Athens Stock Exchange, Vianex S.A. EYDAP, Public Power Corporation S.A Hellas, the Organization Culture, Youth and Sports of city of Athens, Piraeus Port Authority S.A, SANOFI, Interamerican, DEPA Hellas, Coco-Mat, ΕQA Hellas, IAPETOS, Greek Geeks, Run Communications, Law Office Broustas and Partners, Basement Productions, Mentoring S.A. and Hytra.
The awards have been designed by the internationally renowned sculptress Mrs. Angelica Korovessi.
The Sponsors of Communication were NERIT, Novalife, Newspaper “Kathimerini”, Newsbomb.gr, Global Sustain, epixeiro.gr.
For more information please visit: www.social-business-conference.gr .