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Ensuring the success and sustainability of social enterprises by boosting digital skills and competences.

Euclid Network is proud to launch EU3Digital, a new Erasmus+ funded project with consortium partners across Europe. Over the next years, EU3Digital will develop learning resources for social enterprises to develop individuals’ and organisations’ digital competences, advance their digital strategies, help them to engage with existing digital support and software, and thereby build capacity.  

While the digital transformation is already many years underway and the EU increasingly prioritises digitalization, EU3Digital could not come at a more crucial moment in time, as digital skills became for the first time an absolute necessity amidst the Covid-19 pandemic; accelerating the digital transformation by several years. This sudden acceleration showcases the potential of digital technology in changing business as we know it, but at the same time it has also widened the gap between those who had the capacity to adapt fast and those who struggled to stay afloat during the pandemic or have limited resources. However, going digital leverages many opportunities for social enterprises, as they operate in agile settings and their employees often find themselves wearing many ‘hats’ within the organization – digital technologies and skills offer increased efficiency, outreach and growth for social enterprises and are vital for their innovation capacity.

To ensure the success and sustainability of social enterprises by boosting their digital skills and competencies, EU3Digital will deliver over the coming years a range of interconnected results and support: 

1. EU Framework of competences for digital skills                     

To support citizens to become digitally competent, the European Commission has established a Digital Competence Framework for Citizens with a clear set of skill indicators. However, there is no equivalent framework that supports social enterprises on their journey to digitally mature. For this reason, our partner The Open University is developing a European Framework of Digital Competencies for Social Enterprises. This articulates the first step in a long-term strategic view to develop digital skills and competences of social enterprises, to build a more modern, dynamic, committed and professional environment inside social enterprises, and to increase their capabilities to work at local and international level.

2. Curricula design and assessment of training
In close articulation to the EU Framework of Competences for Digital Skills, our partner Porto University will develop curricula, consisting of existing and new, innovative training materials and assessment specifically targeted to the digital skill-gaps and needs of social enterprises.

3. Emergency Toolkit for Third Sector Social Organisations & Social Enterprises
The Emergency Toolkit for social enterprises will be a hands-on toolkit addressing the immediate needs of social enterprises, who are facing enormous challenges in the Covid-19 context, having to execute most of their operations remotely. In this Toolkit, Euclid Network and Eslider, will showcase and guide through open access tools, resources and services, focussing on cybersecurity, project management to marketing and outreach, tailored to the context in which social enterprises operate.

4. Policy Paper | Digital Support for Social Impact: How digital competences can improve the action and impact of social enterprises
All above mentioned deliverables of EU3 Digital concur with in depth empirical- and literature research. These findings offer detailed insights into how digital competences can improve the action and impact of social enterprises. For this reason, Euclid Network will convert all those research findings into a policy advise paper aimed to inform the European Commission and other relevant stakeholders to inform initiatives for developing digital skills and competences in Europe’s social economy ecosystem. 

Through delivering these diverse outputs, ranging from establishing an EU Framework of Competences for Digital Skills, responding to the needs of social enterprises by developing a tailored curricula and toolkit, to informing initiatives for developing digital skills and competences in Europe’s social economy ecosystem, we aim to built capacity of social enterprises across Europe. 

To make EU3Digital a success we are currently interviewing many different social enterprises and digital experts across Europe. Only when listening and learning from as many different people as possible, we believe we can create a project that is truly  meaningful for social enterprises. 

Does this project spark your interest, are you working on digital skills yourself or do you know of some great tools and resources that support you in going digital?

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