The ‘Community of Practice on Inclusive Entrepreneurship’ was created in the framework of Equal Community Initiative to help capacity building on the basis of European best practice in the field. Unemployment is still a serious problem in many Member States and the challenge of job creation is urgent and complex. New solutions are needed and stimulating ‘inclusive entrepreneurship’ among ‘non-traditional’ entrepreneurs is a possible contribution to job creation.
Testing the CoPIE Tool in Portugal helped to make priorities clear in designing measures for ‘inclusive entrepreneurship’: contemporary existential conditions among the members of target groups do not favour the previous existence of business ideas, animation efforts play a crucial role; these kinds of animation efforts require a specific quality and adequate skills; also public policies need to involve policy integration and multi-level governance for flexible territorial context-dependent response; depending on their own skills in labour intensive production processes and trying to reach adequate income with strong capital shortages (microcredit), ‘inclusive entrepreneurship’ requires adequate business and management strategies different from those needed by conventional capital intensive and technology based small firms; the challenges of ‘innovation’, business skills and sales have to be different though crucial for survival and growth and survival require post-start-up support requiring specific quality challenges and adequate skills; if governance and policy integration, social relations, pre-start-up, post-start-up and the support to commercialisation all play a critical role in making ‘inclusive entrepreneurship’ concrete, the identification of the organisations best prepared to play this role requires specific attention in order to meet the challenges of organisational innovation and to meet skills gaps considered to be critical in pre-start-up and post-start-up business support.
The need for urgent progress in Europe was recognized. In contemporary conditions, this progress depends on policy measures that may contribute to make results in the field concrete. This involves ‘social innovation’ both in public policies and in the practice of the organisations of civil society. The needed effort of ‘social innovation’ could be strongly improved by action at European level.
Period: 2012 - 2014
Funding Institution: IQ Consult (Berlin)
Coordination: José Manuel Henriques