1st SENSES newsletter




The SENSES - STRENGTHENING SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURIAL LANDSCAPE THROUGH INVOLVING SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE CORPORATE PRACTICES IN ENTREPRENEURIAL COMPETENCES AND SKILLS ENHANCEMENT IN THE DANUBE REGION project aims to create a transnational network of social enterprises (SEs), socially responsible traditional businesses, (social) financial investors, policy-makers, academia, NGO practitioners which will jointly promote an innovative social enterprise model as well as social innovation for the sustainable economic development of the Danube region. 


Project objectives:

1. Empowering SEs through bridging public & private sector best practices

2. Better engaging SEs with their ecosystems

3. Creating an improved policy landscape for SEs




                        DA-SPACE | DIGITRANSExcellence-in-ReSTINewGenerationSkills






SENSES Kick-off meeting and Opening conference


Lead partner IFKA Public Benefit Nonprofit Ltd. for the Development of the Industry together with the consortium of the Interreg project SENSES organized the international Kick-off Meeting and Opening conference from 14th to 16th February 2017 in Budapest, Hungary. Involving nearly 80 participants, the conference established the SENSES Transnational Network composed by social enterprises and their ecosystems in the Danube region. Moreover, social enterprises (Szatyorbolt, Toldi House and Symbiosis Foundation), social enterprise accelerators (NESsT, ASHOKA, SEEDS) as well as CSR corporations (pwc, KPMG, Traction Tribe and ERSTE) provided an overview on their activities in order to inspire more social enterprise - CSR corporation co-operations in the future in the Danube region. Pictures of the event are available HERE, and programme of the event is available HERE


2017 RegioStars Awards


RegioStars Awards identify good practices in regional development and highlight original and innovative projects that are attractive and inspiring to other regions. SENSES has been submitted for the first category - Smart Specialisation for SME innovation. The winner will be announced in October, during the 2017 European Week of Regions and Cities


Please click HERE for more information.


SENSES at Impact Brunch


On 25th April 2017, Impact Brunch by Impact Hub Budapest was organized with the mission to strengthen cooperation’s between social enterprise accelerators, policymakers and investors following the Word Café methodology. The participants have successfully shared their experiences and have defined further steps for boosting the sector. Hungarian representatives will also join the CEE Impact Day in Vienna on 22nd  to 23rd June 2017, where the CEE Social Impact Investment Task Force will introduce its activities to the wider audience – including IFKA.


SENSES at ’MAF’ Hungarian donor forum’s ’Catalyst Workshop’ event


On 28th  April 2017, the Hungarian Donor Forum organized its ’Catalyst Workshop’, where the IFKA team gained a deeper insight into Hungarian good practices of corporate social responsibility. Participants also discussed each practices and initiate brainstorming on further joint activities.


Meeting of The Law on Social Entrepreneurship in Serbia Work group 


Short overview of SENSES, its goals, target groups and activities was presented to Work group members - representatives of Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs and representatives of civil society organizations on 27th April 2017. As a partner on the project, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia representative presented its role in the project and invited other stakeholders to participate actively in implementation of the project activities by providing valuable inputs concerning social entrepreneurship in Serbia.  


1st regional stakeholder meeting in Croatia


Regional development agency Međimurje REDEA Ltd. held their first regional stakeholder meeting on 24th May 2017. The aim of the round table was to bring together representatives of cooperatives, associations, companies, institutions, public law bodies and other organizations in the field of social entrepreneurship and find out more about the practices of social enterprises, the current situation on the market, the opportunities and problems that social entrepreneurs encounter in everyday business, criteria defining social entrepreneurs and presenting the opportunities that transnational programs of the European Union provide to organizations in the field of social entrepreneurship with a focus on the SENSES project. Participants in the form of the world cafe method discussed how the existing legal forms meet the needs of social enterprises, practical barriers, financial instruments and impact investments, forms of support as well as partnerships, networks and access to the market. Round table moderator was Stjepan Mikec from ACT Group.


WP# landscape screening


Task 3.1 of the SENSES project deals with the screening and benchmarking of the social enterprise landscape in the project countries. WP leader ZSI developed a guideline for exploring and describing the policy making practices and initiatives and providing an overview of the respective SE ecology in the partner countries. On the basis of this guideline all project partners worked on their country reports doing a policy analysis and identifying good policy practices. Based on the country reports the benchmarking is performed by a qualitative scoring process, comparing the single countries against each other. Furthermore country characteristics will be considered and the main common goals for the implementation of the policy improvements on European level will be identified. The final synthesis and benchmarking report is compiled by ZSI and will be finished by the end of June. 


1st SENSES Stakeholder meeting in Austria


On 8th June 2017 Zentrum für Soziale Innovation (ZSI) organized the 1st Austrian SENSES Stakeholder Meeting. Representatives from social enterprises, intermediary organizations and funding organizations participated in the meeting. Katharina Handler and Irina Vana from ZSI gave an overview of the project activities and aims. Afterwards the participants worked together on the topics “support and awareness raising” and “competences and skills” and presented their views in the plenary. The participants agreed that - despite the existing multiple stakeholder group of intermediary organizations - a representation of interests organized by social entrepreneurs is important to raise awareness. Regarding competences the fundaments beside knowledge on social impact are business knowledge and a pro bono attitude. Other topics discussed were e.g. funding and financial situation, support programs, social impact measurement and teaching on a university level. These topics will be deepened in further meetings.  


1st regional stakeholder meeting in Slovakia


Slovak Business Agency held its first regional stakeholder meeting on 20th June 2017. It was a good opportunity to find out more about the current needs, problems and obstacles that social entrepreneurs face in everyday business. Group discussed of possible solutions as well as the project activities which are going to be implemented in the near future and thus will contribute to the improvement of the ecosystem in Slovakia. A total of 16 representatives of 12 organizations, including financial investors, NGOs, university, ministries and social enterprises themselves, participated in the discussion.




Capitalisation web page launched


DTP knows not only the price of everything but more importantly - the value! That's why the Programme created the DTP Capitalisation Strategy that will safeguard and exploit the past and present projects' achievements by creating synergies between projects.


Please click HERE for more information.


CEE Social Investment Task Force Steering Group


IFKA, SENSES coordinator, has joined the CEE Social Investment Task Force Steering Group in Warsaw on the 27th to 28th March 2017. Established as a joint initiative by EVPA, NESsT, Yunus Social Business Initiative, the European Commission and GSEN, the role of the Steering Group is to facilitate common solutions addressing key challenges regarding social enterprise development in CEE and Western Balkan countries, namely start-up social enterprise development as well as investment readiness support.


Please click HERE for more information.


ZSI participated in learning journey on Social Design and Social Impact



On 9th May 2017 ZSI participated in the Learning Journey on Social Design and Social Impact organized by the Vienna business agency. On the occasion of the current promotional competition Social Entrepreneurship, four projects from the Viennese creative industry have been visited. They stand for the connection between design and social responsibility and show innovative business models at the interface of creative competence and social management, offering novel solutions:


GOODGOODs & ÖHTB Works: GOODGOODS is a Social Enterprise, initiated and founded by dottings Industrial Design, with the aim to bring sustainable design products for life & household to the market under its own brand. The products are manufactured by people with learning difficulties or physical impairment. 


INCLUDE – an initiative for inclusive orientation design von buero bauer: The INCLUDE platform aims to create a broad public awareness of the necessity of the design discipline inclusive orientation design – with events, project initiatives and an online portal. Behind this stands a design attitude that strives to solve societal challenges in living together and in equal treatment. 


myAbility Performance: MyAbility Performance is an innovative social enterprise consulting service that helps companies to harness the potential of people with disabilities as both customers and employees. 


nut und feder & mostlikely: Nut und Feder is a social enterprise with the aim of creating a perspective for refugees through handcraft and design. The inhabitants of Ute Bockhaus, together with designers and architects, build high-quality design objects.


Comprehensive law on social enterprises in Slovakia in on the way 


On 29th May 2017 the public discussion on social enterprises law will start in Slovakia where the relevant stakeholders, including Slovak Business Agency (SBA), can actively participate, express their comments, concerns and provide feedback. Comprehensive law on social enterprises, national programs aiming at raising awareness and education activities as well as funding opportunities for social enterprises hand in hands with INTERREG’ SENSES project will provide the relevant ecosystem for growth and development of social enterprises in Slovakia.


Please click HERE for more information.


Building stakeholder network in Slovakia


Slovak Business Agency (SBA) met with representatives of several organizations - important players in the field of social entrepreneurship in Slovakia. Among them, non-profit organizations EPIC and PONTIS, financial investors from SLOVENSKÁ SPORITEĽŇA (ERSTE Group), National Holding Fund, Crowdberry, Flexipráca, representatives from Comenius university in Bratislava and representatives of policy makers – the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family, have individually participated so far. During these fruitful meetings our project team presented goals and benefits of the SENSES project, we learned about relevant practice of our guests and together we looked for possible synergies to collaborate on project activities. Mentioned organizations were addressed the invitation to participate on the SENSES Stakeholder meeting, which will be organized by SBA in the second half of June 2017.


REGIO AUTO – the way of improving social environment 


Regio Auto - Community Transport Service is a project aimed at improving the social environment for seniors, handicapped persons/citizens, parents with children, socially disadvantaged groups… as well as focusing on the community entrepreneurship support. The main task is to help the disadvantage group of people in transit (in to health care and/or social facilities, on to the sports, social and cultural events) - quickly transporting them from the point A to the point B. 


Please click HERE for more information.


Badur Foundation event in Budapest


On 20th March 2017, SENSES coordinator, Mária Baracsi participated in Badur Foundation event ’Innovative business models – alternative financial solutions’ that aimed to facilitate dialogue and exchange of experience between British and Hungarian social enterprises. The Badur Foundation’s aim is to tackle poverty through education, social enterprise and innovative technologies. The Foundation finds people and projects focused on helping marginalized and disadvantaged individuals and groups who want to help themselves improve their future prospects and those of their communities. Currently the Foundation only funds projects based in the UK, Hungary and Laos.


Please click HERE for more information.


6th European Forum on Social Entrepreneurship


Cooperatives & other social economy enterprises met for the sixth time from 30th March to 2nd April 2017 for the European Forum on Social Entrepreneurship in Plovdiv (Bulgaria). It was organized by CECOP together with the European Commission and the EESC.


Please click HERE for more information.


Roundtable on Social Entrepreneurship for Policy-Makers, Practitioners, Researchers and Impact Investors


Slovak Business Agency (SBA) participated on the event full of interesting guests, which was organized by Comenius University in Bratislava on 12th May 2017 within the project "Development Social Entrepreneurship", supported from the official development aid of the Slovak Republic (SlovakAid). The event was focused on presentation and discussion of tailor-made legislation and supportive policies for social enterprises in various countries of Europe. Mrs Lambooy, professor at Nyenrode Business University in the Netherlands, stressed out the role of CSR in today's global challenges and presented best practices of social enterprises. Her colleague Mr. Argyrou presented differences in the legal frameworks for social enterprises applied in the UK, Belgium and Greece. These lectures were then supported by practical views on the topic from Mrs. Scholten, Senior Consultant CR at E&Y in the Netherlands and Mr. Gregor, Head of the Responsible Companies Section at Frank Bold non-profit organization from the Czech Republic. During the following discussion the guests shared their opinions on legal forms, funding and general needs of social enterprises. The roundtable was a great opportunity to present the project SENSES and for networking.


How to do a "social business"?


One of the services provided by Slovak Business Agency (SBA) is to organize seminars and workshops also for people who are planning their own business and, in this case, want to solve a social problem at the same time. In order to synergize, our project team promoted the SENSES project among the audience. Sergei Kara, the lecturer, is a long-time social worker with homeless people, manager and co-founder of the civic association Vagus. Over the last few years, his team has been building innovative projects to help homeless people, helping thousands of people in need every year. One of these is the successful DOBRE & DOBRÉ Cafe, which gives people the chance to get out of the street through social business. During the seminar Sergei described difficulties the team faced in setting up a business and how to overcome them. 




Danube Transnational Programme, 2nd call 

The Danube Transnational Programme (DTP) has launched the second call for proposals for its priorities 1, 2 and 3. The call is opened from 9. 5. 2017 to 6. 6. 2017 (by 15:00 h. CET). Please click HERE for more information.


Employment and Social Innovation Programme (2014-2020) – EaSI programme

EaSI - Transaction cost support for social enterprise finance

Call for Proposals VP/2017/013. Please click HERE for more information.


EaSI-PROGRESS - Awareness-raising activities on “Upskilling Pathways: New Opportunities for Adults”

Call for Proposals VP/2017/011. Please click HERE for more information.


Support for social dialogue

Call for Proposals VP/2017/001. Please click HERE for more information.





Date: 20th - 22nd September 2017; venue: Timisoara, Romania. Please click HERE for more information.



Date: 28th September 2017; venue: Maribor, Slovenia. Please click HERE for more information.



Date: 21st I 22nd November 2017, venue: Zagreb, Croatia. Please click HERE for more information.




SENSES Lead Partner:

IFKA Public Benefit Non-Profit Ltd. for the Development of Industry


1062 Budapest, Andrássy út 100. Hungary


Web: http://www.ifka.hu

Tel.: +36 1 312 2213

E-mail: info@ifka.hu


Contact: Mária Baracsi

Tel: +36 30 400 3268 

E-mail: baracsi@ifka.hu


Managing Authority | Joint Secretariat
Széchenyi István tér 7-8 - 1051 Budapest, Hungary
E-mail: danube@interreg-danube.eu  | Web: www.interreg-danube.eu


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Programme co-funded by European Union funds (ERDF, IPA, ENI)