In PeerEX, Recent News

In the ever-evolving landscape of social entrepreneurship, collaboration and capacity building have become vital components of scaling impact. The Driving Positive Change (DPC) series, initiated by the Euclid Network (EN) during the COVID-19 pandemic, has been a beacon of support, networking and capacity building for its members.

 On Tuesday 04 June, we had the pleasure of welcoming our members to the latest session in the DPC  series, focusing on the innovative PeerEx project. This webinar was a testament to the power of collaboration and peer learning in the social enterprise sector.

The session was moderated by Euclid Network’s Helen Maynard-Hill and had the pleasure to welcome Regita Zeila, Executive Director at Social Entrepreneurship Association of Latvia; Marija Mažić, Global Project Manager at Reach for Change and Jorien van Lookeren Campagne, Policy and Research at Social Enterprise NL as our impactful guest speakers. They enthusiastically shared their experience as past participants of the PeerEx Project.

Agenda Setting and Introduction to PeerEx

The session began with an overview of our agenda, which laid the groundwork for a deep dive into the PeerEx initiative. PeerEx is designed to foster collaboration among Euclid Network (EN) members by facilitating the exchange of knowledge, ideas, and experiences. This initiative ultimately aims to enhance the support and programming available to social enterprises, driving a more significant positive impact across the sector.

The PeerEx Model

The PeerEx project operates on a simple yet effective model: two member organizations are paired to work together on a specific topic. These pairs determine their availability and capacity to engage in both online and in-person exchanges. This collaboration involves sharing best practices, knowledge, and experiences to bolster the support provided to social enterprises.

Principles of Peer Learning

Central to PeerEx is the principle of peer learning—a reciprocal, two-way learning activity designed for mutual benefit. This methodology underscores the importance of shared knowledge, fostering interdependent and collaborative learning. The effectiveness of PeerEx is built on three  key principles:

  1. Objectives: Emphasizing mutuality, PeerEx aims to exchange knowledge, increase organizational capacity, and build new networks.
  2. Peer Engagement: Active and honest engagement is crucial for maximizing learning outcomes. Participants are encouraged to reflect on their learnings regularly.
  3. Clear Structure: A defined process with clear timelines and objectives ensures that all participants are aware of expectations and can navigate the exchange effectively.

Outcomes from Previous Exchanges

Several successful exchanges were highlighted during the workshop, showcasing the diverse and impactful outcomes of PeerEx collaborations:

SEAL/Pulse – Regional & Cross-border advocacy

The Social Entrepreneurship Association of Latvia (SEAL) was matched with the regional office of Pulse (Groupe SOS) in the Balkans, located in Belgrade, Serbia. In the project entitled “From Balkans to Baltics”, Pulse visited SEAL in Riga, Latvia for 3 days during August 2022. The exchange focused on developing the relationship between the Baltics and Balkans social entrepreneurship ecosystems, including transferring knowledge on advocacy and access to finance, comparing circumstances and opportunities and exploring potentials for future collaboration. 

Regita highlighted the benefits of learning about the Serbian ecosystem and sharing the variety of Latvian social enterprises. The exchange surpassed multiple objectives, proving to be highly productive.

SENL/ESLIDER – Developing legal frameworks

Social Enterprise NL was matched with ESLIDER, the Portuguese network of civil society and social enterprise leaders. Peers visited each other in Amsterdam and Lisbon throughout Summer-Fall, in August and October. Their project, entitled “Building strong ecosystems for social enterprises: strengthening advocacy strategies to promote specific legal frameworks” focused on exchanging experiences and know-how on how to build a strong ecosystem for social enterprises with a focus on sharing experiences on the route to a new legal entity for social enterprise. 

Jorien reflected on the exchange between the Netherlands and Portugal, noting the insights gained from learning about each other’s ecosystems. The experience was enriching, highlighting the mutual benefits of sharing struggles and best practices.

Reach for Change/TED University – Social Impact Measurement and Capacity Building for Educators

Reach for Change (RfC) was matched with Istasyon TEDU. From the planning stages, this match foresaw a lot of work being done online, including the realisation of workshops and online meetings to engage the larger number of social enterprises and social entrepreneurs across their networks. This match could not meet physically, although a on-site visit was planned to Istanbul, Turkey. Their project “Building bridges for Impact: Social Impact Management in the Education Sector” sought to find out the needs and the current status of SEs in the education sector in their impact measurement and management practices. Long-term, this collaboration seeks to provide networking and peer learning opportunities for these SEs within Reach for Change and Istasyon TED’s own national networks.

Marija emphasized the importance of engaging with the academic sector. The exchange fostered a connection between the social enterprise sector and academia, leading to significant organizational improvements.

Questions and Closing Statement

The webinar concluded with a Q&A session, addressing participants’ queries and providing additional insights into the PeerEx project. The closing statement reiterated our commitment to fostering a collaborative environment that supports the growth and impact of social enterprises.

In conclusion, the PeerEx initiative is a powerful catalyst for driving positive change through peer learning and collaboration. We look forward to witnessing the continued success and impact of these exchanges in the months to come.

If you are a Euclid Network member and would like to participate in this year’s edition of the PeerEx Project, the closing date for applications is 14 June 2024.

For more information about PeerEx and to apply to the program please click here.

For more information regarding this project please contact:

 Inês Macieira
Community Engagement and Communications Officer  

T: +351 93 917 1055 | ines@euclidnetwork.eu

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