|Empowerment Approaches and Social Enterprise
For the last two year, until Oct 2015, Basta together with nine other partners have engaged in a Transfer of Innovation project called EASE, Empowerment Approaches and Social Enterprise. The project was financed by the European Commission´s Program Leonardo da Vinci Transfer of Innovation.
The main aim of the project was to transfer the Basta-model to two social organisations; Elia in France and Diagrama in the UK. Both Elia and Diagrama wished to create sustainable social enterprises that would allow for employability and entry to the labour market for marginalised groups. The partnership consisted of ten partners where Basta, Elia and Diagrama were core partners, in charge of the export and import of the model. The other partners in the consortium represented big and small social organisations with potential for integrating and disseminating project results.
We did it!
Elia, which is a small social enterprise working with recycling and upcycling of materials as a way to create paths to employment for long-term unemployed, has through the project built a platform for continuation. Elia has worked in the area of Grasse in southern France. They have worked a lot with the empowerment model of Basta and have seen it as essential to create a social enterprise where staff have the opportunity to grow and are able to influence their work situation. In order for Elia to create business sustainability they have focused on creating relationships with private businesses in the area, looking at how their waste could be used for recycling and upcycling. During the last phase of the project Elia worked closely with another big social organisation in the area, called Soli-Cités. Soli-Cités works with creating job opportunities in areas with socially vulnerable groups. As a result of the project Soli-Cités will now continue to run the activities of Elia after the end of the project. Today three people have been employed to run the activities.
Diagrama used the model to grow its own activity and as a result has become a significant player in the field of inclusion via social enterprise. At the beginning of the EASE project Diagrama employed just 3 people. It now has almost 300 employees all directly supporting marginalised client groups. Diagrama UK has also used the Basta model to establish a training course for a pilot group of 15 ex-substance abusers, some whom attended the Basta training course in Sweden in April 2014, then progressed to setting up their own social enterprises to support other marginalised groups. Today Diagrama UK has also secured funding from a private donor philanthropist who will fund a two-year programme Director post whose responsibility will be to identify, acquire and establish a new residential centre for the Basta lookalike-model.
Why this project?
Kristina Blixt, Project co-ordinator