First Social(i)Makers Festival in Slovenia

On the 5th of September the project partners SOS and EiM from Slovenia organized their 1st Social(i) Makers festival in Ljubljana, in the premises of the Creative Centre Poligon.

The participants were greeted by Luka Piškorič, head of the Creative Centre Poligon. He described Poligon as a centre that brings together Slovene and international communities and individuals working in the field of creative economies, social entrepreneurship and culture. He presented the activities of Poligon and highlighted the financial challenges they face, as they are tied solely to acquiring own funds for their operations.  

Sebastijan Pikl from the Cooperative Dobrote z.b.o. explained how social innovation can provide jobs, both locally and globally. He presented the project Tekstilnica, a successful company in Carinthia region, which works according to the principles of a social enterprise (co.p.) but is not currently a social enterprise itself. The company collects old clothes and textiles, sort it and put it on the market for reuse or as new products. In practice, he presented a practical example of how social innovation can achieve a social impact, but he did not forget to mention the municipality of Dravograd, which helped them to a large extent in establishing the company. At this point, he also highlighted the great importance of the municipalities that, on the basis of the Social Business Act, have the opportunity to rent out space to social companies free of charge. 

Information on the financing of social innovations in Slovenia was later explained by Gregor Sakovič, head of the NLB Centre for Innovative Entrepreneurship. He said how companies can come up with start-up investments and what they need to be careful about. Funding is, however, crucial for the start-up of socially-owned enterprises, but after the consumption of investment capital it often happens that they will cease to operate. It is therefore crucial to set clear goals in the long run so as not only to ensure positive business results but also profit and social impact. In this regard, he highlighted the added value of investors who, not only as a "financial injection", help companies, but they can help with advice, experience, contacts and expert support. 

The Social (i) Makers project was presented by the representative of the Association of Municipalities and Towns of Slovenia, Alja Babič, who invited the participants of the festival to participate in the forthcoming free workshops that will take place online and onsite.

SI Academy and the training program for social innovators was presented by the project partner EiM, Viljenka Godina. Mateja Karničnik from the Prizma Foundation presented Module 1: Active Citizenship - be part of the change and Module 2: Social Entrepreneurship - become an entrepreneur for the social well-being. 

The international training program will accompany (future) social innovators and supporters (local communities) on the way from defining the social problem, through developing the idea and concept of the enterprise, creative techniques, market testing of an innovative solution, stakeholder involvement, social impact measurement, up to measures to promote social innovation.

At the same time with the launch of the online training modules, Slovenian partners will conduct onsite trainings for each module. Each will last approximately 3 hours and will contain most of the content from online education under the guidance of an expert / lecturer. The participants will participate in groups, they will be able to ask additional questions, discuss them, get additional, concrete advice, and the workshops will be "localized" with presentations of examples of good practice from Slovenia. For the dates of online and onsite-trainings follow us on our homepage or on our FB profile.