Finance4SocialChange - Thematic Capitalization Workshop in Budapest


Workshop was held in Budapest in January 2019 and was a good opportunity for interaction between the project partners of Finance4SocialChange project and other project focused on social enterprises and funded by 3 different Interreg programmes, erasmus+ and Horizon2020.

42 people from 13 countries, including 11 Danube region countries, Italy and Spain participated in the workshop during 2 days and were able to gain new contacts, discuss their current project activities and possible synergies.

Workshop was openned with the welcome speech from IFKA representative – Áron Jakab after which the moderator (Mike Nagorkin from IFKA) has discribed the agenda for the day, which included:

- Roundtable 1: Exploitation of synergies of running projects in the Danube region;

- Roundtable 2: Unlocking knowledge on social enterprise in European region;

- Group work nr. 1: How to create a valuable social impact investment blended educational programme?;

- Group  work nr. 2: How to increase the visibility of investment ready social enterprises via transnational competitions?.

Representative of DTP JS - Mirjana Vidanović, External Funding Officer – has made an inspirational presentation on why capitazitation is playing an important role in the frame of Danube Transnational Programme. Mirjana stressed that this workshop has to be used to understand the activities and outcome on which different project work and to find synergies among the projects.

The 1st roundtable was dedicated to the projects within Danube Transnational Programme, which were presented by project Lead Partners and Hungarian Project Partners, including:

- “SENSES” – Zsuzsanna Laczkó, NESsT Hungary;

- “Finance4SocialChange” – Mike Nagorkin, IFKA Public Benefit Non-Profit Ltd. for the Development of the Industry;

- “WOMEN IN BUSINESS” – Krisztina Keller, University of Pannonia;

- “ResInfra@DR” – Attila Havas, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

Also the good examples of projects capitalization within the Thematic Pole 3 were presented, namely the joint project events, promotional events, common elaboration of e-lerning materials and recommendations for policymakers.

During the discussion, which followed after the presentations, the speakers has offered such ideas for capitalization:

- with Thematic Pole 2 – to use experience of ResInfra@DR in delivering the practical trainings and a group work, which is more efficient learning than pure on-line trainings;

- to use the materials elaborated in the frame of “Creatirng Economic Spase for Social Innovation”, which was implemented by the Hungarian academy of Science.

- findings of the previously implemented projects can help us better plan the elaboration of the national action plans for improving the financial support for Social Enterprises (SE);

- it was discussed that some of the social innovation ideas can have a big social impact, but can never become profitable. That is why it is important to support the individuals and entities with innovative ideas worth implementing.

The 2nd roundtable was dedicated to the projects supported from the EU funding outside of Danube Transnational Programme. Such projects focused at SEs were presented:

- “Social(i)Makers” funded from Interreg Central Europe – presented by Davide Fava, Fondazione Democenter-Sipe (Italy);

- “SENTINEL” funded from Interreg Central Europe – presented by Eszter Mészáros, The Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Málta (Hungary);

- “ELDORA” funded by Erasmus+ – presented by Réka Filep, BORA 94 Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County Development Agency Nonprofit LLC (Italy);

- “European Support to Social Innovation” – funded by Horizon 2020 – presented by Roberto Algarra, EURADA, Development Agency of the Region of Valencia (Spain).

During the discussion, which followed after the presentations first major capitalization topic, which was identified, is “educational programme” for SEs. Each of the presented projects is or was developing the educational programme and it would be great to compare those programmes and share the learning modules and teaching technics, which were the most useful and efficient.

Another important topic was discussed with Roberto Algarra, who is a finance expert working at Valencia Region Development Agency. Mr. Algarra informed that according to his experience and research the best social investment raising practice implemented in Valencia region was when Regional Authorities created an social investment guarantee fund, which covered the risk of SE failture. The private investor was first able to give a loan to the SE, which was guaranteed by the government. And in case SE was shoving good results, the investor could deside to exchange his loan for the share in SE. After loan is converted to equity ownership, the investor would loose the governmental guarantee.

Second half of the day was dedicated to the practical discussions regarding the blended educational programme and transnational competition of SE start-up ideas.

Group work #1 was moderated by Gorgi Krlev from University of Heidelberg. He presented the draft plan of the learning programme, which is planned as WP5 in the frame of Finance4SocialChange project. The short presentations of inveted experts followed:

- Beatrix Bedő – Impact Hub Budapest

- Laura Tóth – NESsT Hungary

- Sanja Bunic – Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia

- Oleksandr Laiko, IMPEER of NAS of Ukraine

After the presentation, experts provided their feedback regarding the educational programme:

- It is more efficient to use a peer-to-peer education, when each trainee would have 1 mentor. Each mentor can have few trainees at the same time. Representatives of financial institutions can be invited as mentors.

- Content of the educational programme can include: lear about the business models, financial management, public appearance / presentation skills, teambuilding, how to write a grant / loan application, web-promotion, fundrising from the internet platforms.

- Target groups for educational programme 25-30 SEs, which will be selected in the frame of the “Pitching Sessions” during Semester 2. We will be teaching them to create a business model for the “profitable leg” of their enterprise. Which will help them attract “social investors”. Beatrix Bedő – can further consult on the business model trainings.

Group work #2 was moderated by Adrian Fuchs from Financing Agency for Social Entrepreneurship. He presented the plan of acticities connected with organizing a transnational competition of SEs in order to help them raize social investments (equity funding) into their business. These activities are planned as WP6 in the frame of Finance4SocialChange project. The short presentations of invited experts followed:

- Zsolt Ruszkai – Ministry of Finance of Hungary;

- Orsolya Szalay – Erste Bank SEEDS Programme;

- Adrian Fuchs – Financing Agency for Social Entrepreneurship.

After the presentation, experts gave their feedback regarding the educational programme:

- SEs have to use the educational programme (WP5) to learn how to use the business canvas model. Actually the WP5 has to be a kind of acceleration programme for 25-30 SEs in each country.

- The open question remained if in the frame of WP5 and WP6 we have to work with early stage SEs or with already functioning. Probably the early stage SEs would need to attract angel capital rather than social investments.  

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