About EMPOWER-SE

Action number: CA16206
Duration: November 2017 – November 2021
The main aim is to overcome existing knowledge and geographic fragmentation regarding social enterprises (SE) and empowering the next generation of SE scholars while foresting evidence-based policy and interaction with stakeholders.

Contact us:
+35 (0) 4 366 227 51
empowerse@emes.net

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ABOUT

COST Action: CA 16206
November 2017 – November 2021

What does this Action aim to achieve?

The project attempts to address existing fragmentation in the levels of knowledge regarding social enterprises (SEs), from both a geographical and a disciplinary point of view, as well as from the perspective of different categories of stakeholders.

What is the challenge?

There is a challenge in achieving a full understanding of the diversity of SE models emerging across Europe and globally, including their conditions of emergence and development, and their contribution to the general interest. This knowledge is necessary to improve our understanding of their contribution to society and to addressing major contemporary societal challenges.

Since SE is a concept embedded in socio-economic contexts possessing highly different economic, social, cultural, welfare structures, it is vital to facilitate the connecting of existing local knowledge and establishing a program for cross-national comparative research, including peripheral regions where the SE scientific community is still embryonic or inexistent.

The EMES Network has been awarded to implement the project through the financial instrument called European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST), the European framework supporting trans-national cooperation among researchers, engineers and scholars across Europe, and contributing to the build-up of the European Research Area.

Why is this Action important?

Currently, knowledge on SEs is disparate with uneven levels of quality and research infrastructure across countries, and with a disjointed evidence base located in a too narrow disciplinary approach. Moreover, young researchers exist but often work in isolation from other international scholars.

Key SE stakeholders (practitioners, policy makers) are increasingly seeking reliable knowledge from the scientific community to improve their understanding of SEs. Therefore, if we want to advance knowledge and to develop evidence-based policy for fostering a sustainable SE eco-system, there is an urgent need to engage a pluri-disciplinary dialogue to grasp the challenges and opportunities presented by the SE field. It is also imperative to link research efforts to the vast diversity of empirical developments in the SE field to achieve this and activate, train and facilitate networking opportunities for researchers, while connecting them with a diversity of SE stakeholders.

This EMPOWER-SE Action aims at

Contributing to a comprehensive understanding of the diversity of SE models emerging across Europe and globally;

Empowering the next generation of SE scholars, focusing on expanding the SE scientific community to less research-intensive countries where it is still embryonic or non-existing;

Fostering evidence-based policy from local to European levels and supporting the development of SE and their eco-systems in synergy with main industry representatives and stakeholders;

Implementing networking mechanisms to connect fragmented communities and to contribute to closing the gap between the scientific community, policy- makers and society throughout Europe and beyond.

The main networking mechanisms to be organized by EMPOWER-SE include:

  1. Working groups (WG)
  2. Conferences, meetings, seminars and talks
  3. Training schools
  4. Short-term scientific missions

 

Working groups

In order to articulate the various aims of EMPOWER-SE, four different Working Groups were created, namely, Foundations, Industries, Eco-systems, and Communication and Education.

Specific meetings will be organized for each WG with a view to advance on the specific agenda. Below you can find the description of each WG as well as the participants associated to each of them (the list will grow as new researchers join and commit to advancing the Action’s objectives).

WG3. Eco-systems

Objective: To equip major SE stakeholders with robust knowledge to understand how the different elements that compose the eco-system of SEs in each country interact and can have an impact on the scaling of SEs, both wide and deep.

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WG Leader. Dr Giulia Galera
Co-leader. Prof Mihaela Lambru

Meet the members on this WG

Join this WG

WG4. Education & Dissemination

Objective: To produce concrete outputs for SE research community and to ensure the maximum impact of the Action in terms of transfer knowledge and awareness among stakeholders during and beyond the Action duration.

Contact us:

WG Leader. Prof Rory Ridley-Duff
Co-leader. Dr Anna Ciepielewska-Kowalik

Meet the members on this WG

Join this WG

Research Coordination specific objectives

Identifying and bridging the variety of SE conceptions and models in each national contexts thus reflecting the diversity of welfare regimes, and socio-economics contexts by bringing together researchers from different geographical areas.

Bridging different epistemological traditions, including business, education, economics, geography, political science, psychology, sociology and other social sciences.

Gathering evidence and analysing the innovative contribution of SE in at least five key industries for the development of sustainable societies (migration, renewable energy and transport, health and social care, food supply chains, social finance, circular economy etc).

Gathering evidence and analysing the innovative contribution of SE in at least five key industries for the development of sustainable societies (migration, renewable energy and transport, health and social care, food supply chains, social finance, circular economy etc).

Capacity Building specific objectives

Gathering scholars from different disciplines and geographical backgrounds to bridge separate geographical and disciplinary boundaries in the development of SE knowledge (66 proposers + scholars participating in the conferences and workshops).

Integrating researchers from COST inclusiveness target countries and young scholars into the international SE research community with the support of established scholars.

Training and strengthening a pluridisciplinary community of PhD students in the field of SE particularly, from COST inclusiveness target countries.

Fostering new comparative research proposals, joint publications and mobility actions for enhancing comparative International research projects on SE.