Alternative Entrepreneurship Project report

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1 Alternative Entrepreneurship Project report Unione Europea Fondo Sociale Europeo Ministero del Lavoro e della Previdenza Sociale Iniziativa Comunitaria Equal Regione Lazio Regione Lazio Alternative Entrepreneurship Project report

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6 Summary Foreword 1 Executive Summary 3 Part 1 - Introduction - Project Highlights 5 Rationale 5 Strategy 6 Objectives 7 Methodology 7 Activities 8 Working Group 10 Part 2 - Analysis 11 Chapter 1 - European Framework 11 The Lisbon Strategy 11 The European Employment Strategy 14 The Social Agenda 17 The European Social Fund 19 EU Promoting Women s Participation in the Labour Market 21 Chapter 2 - Italian Framework 25 Trends in the Italian Labour Market 25 Italy and the Lisbon Strategy 26 Employment and Social Inclusion Policies 28 Promotion of Women s Participation in the Labour Market 30 Female Social Enterprises 32 Lazio Regional Context 35 Data on Female Entrepreneurship in Lazio Region 36 Data on Female Social Enterprises in Lazio Region 41 Results in the Utilization of Funds under Regional Law 51/96 44 Chapter 3 - French Framework 49 France and the Lisbon Strategy 49 Self-employment 51 Promotion of Women s Participation in the Labour Market 54

7 Alternative Entrepreneurship - Project report Part 3 - Actions 57 Chapter 4 - Individual level 57 A Different Concept of Enterprise 57 Characteristics of Female Entrepreneurship 60 Barriers in Female Business Creation 62 Methodological Guidelines for Business Support 62 Chapter 5 - Social Enterprise Level 67 A Viable Opportunity for Women 67 Characteristics of Social Enterprises 68 Social Enterprises and Self-sustainability 70 A Definition of Corporate Social Responsibility 71 Corporate Social Responsibility Instruments 75 SMEs and Social Corporate Responsibility 77 Corporate Social Responsibility Consultancy 81 Chapter 6 - Network Level 83 Networks and Knowledge Management 83 Explicit and Implicit Knowledge 85 Benefits of Networking 86 From Local to International 87 European Cooperative Society 88 Part 4 - Annexes 91 Annex 1 - Dissemination 93 The European Framework 93 The Italian Framework 99 Italian law 215/ Anti-trafficking in Italy 109 Social Enterprises 113 Female Enterprises in Lazio 117 Female Enterprises in Ile de France 123 Corporate Social Responsibility 127 Annex 2 - Mainstreaming 137 Between Welfare and Market 138 Social Balance as a New Tool of Corporate Information 146 CSR as an Opportunity for Women-led Social Enterprises 153 The Social Sector in France 165

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10 Foreword Building Europe, and developing common European solutions to common European problems, means co-operating with people, organisations and institutions in other Member States, learning from each other and together developing new activities, practices and systems. This is why transnationality is such a vital component of the EQUAL Initiative. Really effective and productive transnational cooperation is far from easy to achieve. It takes time and effort, commitment, resources, trust and goodwill, a willingness to be open and to learn from others, and a clear view of what you are trying to achieve. But, despite the obstacles, difficulties and challenges, the eventual rewards make it worthwhile. Generating practical and useful outcomes, and impacts on policy development in particular, is a crucial objective of the EQUAL Initiative and one in which transnational collaboration is expected to play a key role. From: EQUAL Guide on Transnationality

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12 Executive Summary This report is the result of two years of meetings and exchange of information and best practices between the Italian DP District Valley and the French DP Longue Marche on the issue of business creation in favour of disadvantaged people with inadequate or insufficient entrepreneurial competences and skills. This collaboration took place within the framework of the Equal Community Initiative of the European Union according to provisions set in the Transnational Cooperation Agreement (TCA ID Code 4682). The report is divided into three parts: Introduction, Analysis and Actions. The first part consists of a description of Project rationale, objectives and methodologies and provides a schematization of the activities carried out along the project and their related outputs. The second part illustrates the outcomes of the researches realized to acquire a thorough understanding of the economic and social context of the respective Countries, essential prerequisite for the identification of models and best practices and for the further development of training and services to promote and support business creation. Chapter 1 considers the European framework and namely EU employment and social strategies while Chapters 2 and 3 provide, for each Country, an analysis of national social and labour policies and relevant

13 Alternative Entrepreneurship - Project report data on private and social entrepreneurship at regional level. The third part deals with the actions undertaken by the working group in order to define a common shared model to develop a set of training and technical assistance interventions aimed at supporting disadvantaged people in creating and starting-up their own business. Chapter 4 analyzes and compares the data previously gathered focusing in particular on obstacles to business creation and provides a detailed description of the training process set to improve disadvantaged people skill and competences to favour their job inclusion in the labour market. Chapters 5 and 6 present the proposal elaborated by the working group utilizing a multi-level approach which implies vertical and horizontal actions involving disadvantaged people, social enterprises, local authorities and organizations and private enterprises on the basis of a concept of Corporate Social Responsibility.

14 Part 1 - Introduction - Project Highlights Rationale The transnational partnership (TP), according to TCA provisions, should have focused its activities to promote business creation practices for those groups facing situations of economic and social disadvantage that marginalize them from the labour market and from achieving their full potential. These groups include disabled people, women, long-term unemployed, youths, low-skilled workers and others. Although all these categories of the population suffer from discrimination, the forms and the reasons for such discrimination are notably different. Therefore solutions for reducing discriminatory practices can not be equally worth: they have to consider the specific characteristics of the target group and its socio-economic environment; identify viable business opportunities and services; provide an accessible, relevant and effective training as well as access to financial services in order to enable these people to engage in economic and income generating activities. Acknowledging the importance of setting specific measures and training to foster business creation in favour of disadvantaged categories, the TP deemed more useful to operate a selection and focus on a single target group in order to ensure to the project

15 Alternative Entrepreneurship - Project report the highest degree of effectiveness by developing a need analysis, an identification of opportunities and a respondent training programme tailored on its peculiar requirements. Women represent the largest group of the population suffering from such difficulties and inequalities in their pursuit of productive activities due to both direct and indirect constraints. Direct constraints may occur in accessibility to support mechanisms as training and credit while indirect constraints are usually related with a lack of recognition of women s differing role in society and its impact on employment. The number of women who are selfemployed across the European Union is very much smaller than that of men and the number of women entrepreneurs with employees is even lower. In 2005, self-employed women in industry and services in the EU-25 accounted for around 8.6% of the total number of women in work, half the portion of self-employed men. However there is increasing evidence that more and more women are becoming interested in starting a business. For this reason the TP agreed to focus its activities on defining innovative schemes to promote female entrepreneurship by generating and collecting experiences for new support models, thus discussing and exchanging best practices and actions to encourage the development of start-ups by women and to create a positive environment in which these women can more easily grow their firms. It is worth to mention that both strategy and solutions were designed to be flexible and adaptable to changing environments and contexts and therefore, with appropriate adjustments, they can be used to promote similar actions whether to promote women entrepreneurship also in different regional scenarios or to foster business creation among other categories of disadvantaged segments of the population (like disabled people, long-term unemployed, young people, etc). Strategy The definition of tailored instruments and tools to encourage and promote female entrepreneurship was consolidated by setting a comprehensive scheme to support creation of new entrepreneurship and its further effective management in a competitive environment, coherently with principles and objectives identified by the TP members. A balanced combination between disadvantaged women s specific needs and free market rules suggested the adoption of an innovative approach engraving on a triple level in order to: Provide a support model to evaluate competences, identify and select business opportunities and define specific training and coaching services to realize and develop women

16 Part 1 - Introduction - Project Highlights entrepreneurial potential (Individual Level) Boost quality and management efficiency of social enterprises to increase in type and quantity the number of services offered to strengthen their consistency and competitiveness and to generate virtuous processes of economic self-sustainability (Social Enterprise Level) Promote the development of networks both at internal and external level in order to improve social enterprises interlocution capabilities also envisaging a direct participation of all the other actors involved, as local authorities, institutions, entrepreneurial associations, etc. (Network Level) This model was structured on the basis of two essential assumptions: The process of business creation for disadvantaged people might require a longer extent of time and necessitate constant and specific provision of training and assistance Even in case of successful start-up, the mortality rate in the first five years of activity registers values above norm Therefore the TP deemed useful to structure and adopt a model that could impact not only on the single individual but also imply a structural change in business support mechanisms at territorial level through a more incisive engagement of the different institutional and economic actors involved thus fostering a positive climate for female entrepreneurs. Objectives The Project Alternative Entrepreneurship aimed to: Encourage female entrepreneurship as a factor for innovation and competitiveness through competences balance, identification of business opportunities, training and re-skilling, creation of organisational networks and sharing of good practices and experiences Promote social enterprises development thus improving their management skills and self-sustainability Induce local and institutional authorities and economic actors to conceive policies of development and improvement of their territorial economy Try new and innovative approaches and models to support female job inclusion and business creation and in a further extent mainstream and transfer them at national and European level Methodology Pursuing innovative solutions and developing joint systems to promote female entrepreneurship made the adoption of a common operative

17 Alternative Entrepreneurship - Project report methodology necessary to maximise the distinctive competences of each partner encompassing obvious differences in attitude and work culture to assure the highest valorisation to models, tools and actions defined and implemented along the entire duration of the initiative. Therefore the TP adopted participatory methods and techniques, pooling efforts and resources to foster partners active participation in the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the project and create a climate of creative thinking and a shared approach to problem solving. An effective and continuative communication among the TP members was achieved through periodic face to face meetings and the development of a web-portal used to share information, knowledge, skills and experiences since it was intended that forums, discussion groups and best practices sharing would have facilitated a process of mutual understanding. Furthermore all information collected, comparative researches and relevant documentation were there systemized and made available on the public section of the web-site as further complementary enhancement of the TP networking and dissemination strategy based on mainstreaming workshop and conferences. Activities To concretely achieve the abovementioned objectives and develop a common viable model to promote female entrepreneurship, the TP deemed essential to set and organize all Project activities according to a shared Work Programme comprising 5 different Phases (see Table below), thus planning the internal distribution of functions and responsibilities to ensure clear definition of tasks, to allow a implementation of the activities and to enable precise follow-up of all tasks.

18 Part 1 - Introduction - Project Highlights Phase 1 Organization and Network Definition of Project strategy and methodology Drafting of the Work Programme Assignment of tasks and responsibility Establishment of the network Phase 2 Research Definition of common methodologies of research Analysis of communitarian policies on matter of labour and social inclusion Analysis of the socio-economic environment with a specific focus on female entrepreneurship and social enterprises situation in the two Countries Analysis of measures and financial instruments to support entrepreneurship and business creation existing both at national and regional level Data elaboration Phase 3 Development of a Shared Model Comparison and evaluation of data collected in Phase 2 Identification of common elements in particular as far as obstacles and difficulties to business creation and social enterprises are concerned Identification of specific and tailored training and assistance to promote business creation Identification of additional services based on CSR to be provided by social enterprises Development of informal networks including all the actors involved at different levels in women entrepreneurship promotion Phase 4 Mainstreaming Organisation and participation to transnational meetings Organisation and participation to thematic workshops and conferences Realization of web-site and newsletter Phase 5 Evaluation and Monitoring Economic and operative monitoring of the Project Internal ongoing and final evaluation of the Project

19 Alternative Entrepreneurship - Project report Working Group The transnational working group was composed by a stable team of resources identified by each DP as well as by some experts that joined the group to share their experiences with regard to some specific topics handled during the transnational meetings. Furthermore the actions carried out by the working group envisaged an alternation between on field activities realized during the transnational meetings and remote preparatory activities. In order to make transnational activities, experiences and subjects comparable, the working group deemed useful to define common templates for the analysis and the evaluation of the activities done both at remote and onfield level. Intesa Sanpaolo Formazione Proteo ASLC Retravailler 10

20 Part 2 - Analysis Chapter 1 - European Framework The Lisbon Strategy At the Lisbon European Council in March 2000 the European Union set itself a new strategic goal for the following decade: to make Europe the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion. The strategy was designed to enable the EU to regain the conditions for full employment and to strengthen cohesion by The policy measures proposed under the Community Lisbon Programme fall under three main areas: supporting knowledge and innovation; making Europe a more attractive place to invest and work; creating more and better jobs. According to the mid-term review of the Lisbon Strategy carried out in 2005, the results are, at best, mixed. The gap in terms of productivity and growth between Europe and its economic partners has continued to widen, and the ageing population represents a further challenge. Economic growth has risen from 1.8% in 2005 and is expected to reach 2.9% in 2007 and 2.4% in While most of the recent upturn is cyclical, structural reforms in the Member States have also contributed. Almost 6.5 million new jobs have been created in the 11

21 Alternative Entrepreneurship - Project report last two years. Another 5 million jobs are expected to be created up to Unemployment is expected to fall to under 7%, the lowest level since the mid-80s. The employment rate, currently at 66%, has moved much closer to the overall Lisbon target of 70%. For the first time in a decade, strong increases in employment have gone hand in hand with robust productivity growth. Productivity growth reached 1.5% in 2006, compared to an annual growth rate of 1.2% between 2000 and However, Europe is still lagging behind other leading economies both in investment in information and communication technologies (ICT) and in terms of their use to enhance productivity. Opening up network industries and services to competition has been slow and important obstacles to market entry remain. Likewise, efforts to improve the intellectual and industrial property framework and to speed up standardisation have not borne fruit. Employment growth has been impressive, although some regions and groups have benefited less. Many Member States have begun to reform their pension and early retirement systems. This has contributed to a large and sustained increase in the employment rate of older workers, although the 50% target is still some way off. The employment rate for women has increased significantly (at 57.2%, it is approaching the 60% target), even though Member States should take further steps to promote gender equality on the labour market. About half of the Member States have developed - or are developing - policies on the basis of a flexicurity approach. Yet the policy response remains fragmented. A sustained move from passive to active labour market policies is underway. Member States are reforming social security systems, especially through changes to their tax and benefit systems, so as to balance rights and obligations. More flexible labour contracts for particular categories (e.g. new entrants) have been introduced but have not been backed up sufficiently by opportunities to acquire new skills which can help people to advance in the labour market. The more difficult task of reforming the rules governing other kinds of contracts has received little attention. As a result, many labour markets remain segmented, with well-protected insiders and more precarious outsiders on contracts with uncertain prospects. The European Council has therefore decided to re-launch the Lisbon Strategy through a partnership for growth and jobs. The objective of this partnership will remain firmly anchored in sustainable development. However, in order to achieve it, Europe needs to focus on a more restricted number of priorities. Indeed, the achievement of stronger, lasting growth and the creation of more and better jobs would unblock the resources needed to realise our more general economic, social and environmental ambitions. 12

22 European Framework The European Council of March 2005 re-launched the Lisbon strategy by refocusing on growth and employment in Europe. By taking this decision, the Heads of State or Government have delivered a clear message concerning the Union s priorities over the next few years. The goal of the Lisbon partnership for growth and employment is to modernize EU economy in order to secure its unique social model in the face of increasingly global markets, technological change, environmental pressures and an ageing population. This strategy is also to be seen in the wider context of the sustainable development requirement that present needs have to be met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. One important element of the Lisbon re-launch is the overhaul of its governance structure to define more clearly the respective responsibilities at the national and the Community level in order to better match tasks and competences. The Commission must complement the efforts of Member States. As a consequence, policy actions at Community and Member-States level have been split into complementary but separate agendas. While the success of the Lisbon partnership for growth and employment depends predominantly on the Member States and their determination to introduce the necessary structural reforms, the Community dimension of the strategy contributes essential value added. Indeed, maximum synergies and efficiency can only be achieved if national reform measures are complemented with action at the Community level. The Community contributes to the overall economic and employment policy agenda by completing the internal market and by implementing common policies and activities that support and complement national policies. It will in particular concentrate on a number of key actions with high value-added: Support of knowledge and innovation in Europe, Reform of the state aid policy, Improvement and simplification of the regulatory framework in which business operates Completion of the Internal Market for services, Completion of an ambitious agreement in the Doha round, Removal of obstacles to physical, labour and academic mobility, Development of a common approach to economic migration, Support of efforts to deal with the social consequences of economic restructuring. The two cornerstones of the EU employment and social agenda are the European Employment Strategy on job creation and labour market reform strategies and a Social Agenda designed to ensure that the benefits of the EU growth reach everyone in so- 13

23 Alternative Entrepreneurship - Project report ciety and every region of the EU. The Social Fund supports the objectives financially. The European Employment Strategy Against a backdrop of high unemployment, the European Council launched the European Employment Strategy (EES) at the Luxembourg Jobs Summit in November This paved the way for Member States and the Commission, through cooperation and sharing of experiences, to reach common targets and objectives for more and better jobs in Europe. The European Employment Strategy is designed as the main tool to give direction to and ensure co-ordination of the employment policy priorities to which Member States should subscribe at EU level. Heads of State and Government agreed on a framework for action around common objectives and employment policy priorities. This co-ordination of national employment policies at EU level is built around an annual process laid down in the EU Treaty revision of 1998, which was integrated in a renewable three-year cycle since the re-launch of the Lisbon Strategy in An increase in employment rates is a prerequisite for being able to maintain and increase Europe s prosperity and for preserving and enhancing our social models in a changing world. Maintaining such values requires constant adaptation to the new environment generated by greater international competition, the demographic situation and the shift to a new paradigm based on knowledge. There is no necessary trade-off between the economic and the social dimension, neither between efficiency and equity issues, nor between productivity and employment. The purpose of the EES is to ensure that all these common concerns are addressed simultaneously in a coherent and comprehensive policy package. Employment plays both an essential economic and social role in the Strategy because it is only by getting more people into work that the Community can ensure that EU Countries cope with demographic change. Social inequities in the form of social exclusion and their related compensatory measures have huge hidden costs which are rarely shown in public accounting systems. Moreover, while growth is an essential component of the European Social Model, growth alone is not an efficient instrument to fight against poverty and social exclusion, unless it comes with falling inequality. Economic growth and even job creation do not lead automatically to reduced income disparities, in-work poverty, or regional disparities. In-work poverty is linked to low pay, low skills, precarious and often undesired parttime employment. To create a sustainable way out of 14

24 European Framework poverty and to contribute to economic growth and competitiveness, better quality jobs are required as well as enhanced investments in human and social capital. Within the EES action has been pursued to reduce regional disparities in terms of employment, unemployment and labour productivity, especially in regions lagging behind. Education and training are also critical factors to develop the EU long-term potential for competitiveness as well as for social cohesion. Europe needs to step up its efforts to improve both the efficiency and the equity of its education and training systems. Education and training policies should increase efficiency by raising the average skill level in the population to ensure a better match between skills and labour market needs and therefore raise both employability and productivity. They should also reduce inequality by improving the employment perspectives of those most in need, including the disadvantaged and the immigrants. This would allow education and training systems to contribute to activation and cohesion measures to ensure that all citizens can play their full part in society and the economy over the whole life cycle, e.g. through lifelong learning policies. In order to achieve the Lisbon objectives of more and better jobs, new forms of flexibility and security are needed for individuals of all ages and companies as well as for Member States and the EU. Individuals increasingly need employment security rather than job security, as fewer have the same job for life. Companies, including the many SMEs in Europe, need to be able to better adapt their workforce to changes in economic conditions. They should be able to recruit staff with a better skills match, who will be more productive and adaptable leading to greater innovation and competitiveness on the basis of flexicurity principles. Common priorities and individual objectives for Member States employment policies, are set out in multi-annual Employment Guidelines agreed jointly by all member states. The current guidelines cover the period They are part of the Integrated Guidelines for Growth and Jobs for , which also include economic management and are the basis for national reform programmes. The Employment Guidelines address the need to implement employment policies which aim to achieve full employment, improve quality and productivity at work, and strengthen social and territorial cohesion. They also cover ways of improving the match of labour market needs and available skills. They recognise that labour market flexibility needs to be combined with employment security and recognise the role of social partners. They advocate employment-friendly labour cost developments and wage-setting mechanisms, expansion and improvement of investment in human capital 15

25 Alternative Entrepreneurship - Project report and adaptation of education and training systems to new skill requirements. These policies should help to achieve an average employment rate for the European Union (EU) of 70% overall, at least 60% for women and 50% for older workers (55 to 64), and to reduce unemployment and inactivity. The new Employment Guidelines specifically fit within eight priorities: implement employment policies intended to achieve full employment, improve quality and productivity at work, and strengthen social and territorial cohesion promote a new lifecycle approach to work ensure inclusive labour markets, enhance work attractiveness, and make work pay for job-seekers, including disadvantaged people and the inactive improve matching of labour market needs promote flexibility combined with employment security and reduce labour market segmentation, having due regard to the role of the social partners ensure employment-friendly labour cost developments and wage-setting mechanisms expand and improve investment in human capital promote gender equality by conducting systematic gender impact assessment for new policy proposals, by increasing female participa- tion in key areas such as higher education and research, by promoting structures which enable women to keep their jobs, such as childcare facilities foster entrepreneurship to create more and better jobs notably by improving awareness of entrepreneurship as a career option mainly among the unemployed, women, young people and inactive persons, as well as by reducing barriers to the hiring of staff, especially in small firms; adapt education and training systems in response to new competence requirements. Each Member State is then required to draw up a National Reform Programme which describes how the Employment Guidelines are transferred into practice at the national level. Every year they have also to present the progress achieved over the last twelve months and the measures planned for the forthcoming year, which implies these Reports being both reporting and planning documents. The Commission reviews progress made at both national and Community levels and presents the EU Annual Progress Report based on regular monitoring and on evaluation of the implementation of the Member states national programmes. In this context a new governance of the EES has been proposed, intended to remain in place for three years and integrating employment policies with 16

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