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The ESESII project launches the first version of its innovative internationalisation training curriculum!

There’s a clear need to scale innovative social enterprises on an international scale to solve the world’s most pressing challenges. Bringing the most innovative local solutions to scale and to grow their impact potential is not easy. As highlighted in the research led by the Social Entrepreneurship Center at WU Vienna on social enterprise internationalisation – it takes a village.

The research presented in “Scaling Impact Abroad: An Analysis for and framework of competences for Social Enterprise Internationalisation” (July 2021) constitutes the foundation of the ESESII Project (Enabling Social Entrepreneurs to Scale their Impact Internationally) and emphasises the importance of targeted support for internationalising social entrepreneurs. ESESII is a strategic partnership between Materahub, Synthesis Center for Research and Education, the SEPT Competence Center at Leipzig University, Social Impact Award, Social Entrepreneurship Center at WU Vienna and Euclid Network under the framework of Erasmus+ KA2.

Building on the foundational research work by the Social Entrepreneurship Center at WU Vienna on key competencies and skills of internationalising social entrepreneurs, the project partners have created an innovative training curriculum, designed for VET (vocational education and training) trainers to use to develop training programmes promoting those skills key for successful social enterprise internationalisation.

The training curriculum covers all internationalisation competencies as defined in the foundational research in the following modules: the International Opportunity Identification module includes lessons on important skills such as global awareness, international management and market research, to cultivate entrepreneurs’ ability to uncover social opportunities abroad and to respond to these effectively. The module on Diagnostic & Strategic Competences tackles the challenges of scaling across borders and includes lessons on diagnostic thinking and strategic analysis and innovation for international business models.

For successful internationalisation, Financial & Business Management skills are vital and included in module 3 of the curriculum. The same can be said for HR Management & Leadership skills, which module includes lessons on diversity & inclusion, recruitment, management and training that make the social entrepreneur a skilled leader sensitive to diverse cultures and fluent in cross-cultural communication. This last key skill is zoomed in on more in the module on Intercultural Competences, which lessons on intercultural awareness and business etiquette but also on navigating foreign legal and administrative hurdles are essential for the internationalising social entrepreneur. In line with this, the curriculum also includes a module with important lessons on successful marketing and communication abroad and touches upon ways to approach and Manage Networks and Institutional Environments to ultimately build lasting professional international connections.

The ESESII project celebrates the first launch of the Internationalisation training curriculum today. It has undergone its first testing during the past three days at the virtual training “How to internationalise your social enterprise” with aspiring and actual social entrepreneurs. The feedback received from the participants and others will be included in the next version of the curriculum, as the project will strive to improve the courses on a frequent basis.

The project partners have created a “Living Handbook” containing videos serving as engaging learning materials for the modules.

If you have any questions or comments about the content or the ESESII project, kindly reach out to Christian Vietz.

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