“Life is a continuous process to take care of”, this is one of the many takeaways from the Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation (SEI) Project, organized by INSME and supported by EBSOMED. The programme, which lasted from the 7th to the 11th of March, was attended by 3 representatives from the Lebanese Development Network, INSME member: Amin Nehme - President, Samer Aoun - Secretary General and Toni Hajjar – Program Coordinator.
The aforementioned quote by lecturer and OECD Senior Analyst, Amal Chevreau, also laid the groundwork for a space where the networking between the Lebanese team and the invited experts flourished, as did the opportunities to learn more about the parallels between the European and Lebanese realities, the importance of Social Entrepreneurship for infrastructural change, and the need of a self-sustaining “entrepreneurial cycle”.
The effects of Social Entrepreneurship on society became reoccurring points during Chevrau’s seminar, which were then unravelled during the session of the following day with Simone Poledrini, Professor of Management from the University of Genoa, who explained how governmental inaction could be a great chance to provide social services to the surrounding community, while also raising awareness on an institutional level.
On the third session, Green Growth Generation founder Gabriella Esposito described what is needed to achieve these goals by showing how her company empowers communities and enterprises through community evaluation, project selection, and acceleration plans, as well as technical assistance with aspects of the corporate framework, such as sustainability and social vision.
Lastly, to corroborate what was learned, LDN participated in two crowning networking activities, respectively with Community Manager Omar Osman from Talent Garden, and the SocialFare Accelerator Deputy Operations Officer Elisa Bacchetti. While the first presented a great model of community and hub centre, critical for fuelling the entrepreneurial cycle, the latter showed the strengths of Social Enterprises, ending on the importance of lean thinking and capacity building activities when it comes to meeting social needs.
Overall, the SEI Project helped unveil the potential that the Lebanese team has in filling what essentially is a governmental vacuum through the implementation of social inclusion in their services, changing the focus of the surrounding companies and entrepreneurs from the product to the people.