PeerEx 2020 – Leading the change, better together

September 2020-March 2021

In July 2020, Euclid Network launched the call for applications for the 2020-21 PeerEx Members’ edition. This PeerEx members’ edition aimed to build the capacity of EN members to support social enterprises in a (post) COVID-19 reality. 

The COVID-19 pandemic manifested itself in different ways across Europe, limiting the ability to travel and gather. As a result, COVID-19 had a significant impact on the social enterprise sector. Adaptable and agile as social enterprises and support organisations are, we’ve seen as EN members and their networks adapted and succeeded in working remotely or virtually, for the time being. In moments such as the pandemic, it is more important than ever to connect to peers abroad and learn from each other’s best practices.

Through PeerEx, EN members were able to improve their support programmes for social enterprises and as a result, to achieve greater positive impact. Despite the unprecedented difficulties imposed by COVID-19, EN members successfully managed to deliver 5 top-quality mostly virtual exchanges. 

Meet the Peers

  • ACOSVO (Scotland) & ABD (Spain) – Leadership and Learning across Countries in a Covid World

ACOSVO and ABD were forced to cope with change during the Covid-19 pandemic. Based on their services and activities, both leadership teams sought to learn from each other about what strategies have helped build resilience. Through the PeerEx they sought to learn from each other, to build resilience and coping strategies through success stories and best practices and to determine ways of surveying their own networks and memberships for information on coping mechanisms and resilience building. After a successful set of online meetings, both ACOSVO and ABD were confident to have learned from the coping mechanisms implemented in each country. A project report was produced as a result of these exchanges to capture the main takeaways. Moreover, ABD developed a similar survey to the one first created by ACOSVO to assess and evaluate the Covid-19 impact on its members’ organisations. 

The learnings of this exchange have outlived the pandemic and have reshaped the way these organisations work and provide support to their members.

  • Forum for Social Innovation Sweden (Sweden) & Avise (France) – Cross-fertilizing operational toolboxes

The goal of this knowledge exchange and collaborative engagement was for Avise and Forum for Social Innovation Sweden to learn from each other’s operational toolboxes and approaches as well as establishing a relationship between our two agencies. This exchange built an important foundation for further collaborative engagements, as well as stimulated their organisations’ working methods development. 

The outcomes of PeerEx can be summarised in an increased knowledge of each other’s mandate, approaches and operational toolbox applied in other country contexts; expanded mutual learning by joint experimentation and collaboration and strengthened relationships and identification of potential further cross-border collaboration.

  • Forward Incubator (The Netherlands) & AKEP (Greece) – Stronger together through Covid: Exchange of key competences between AKEP & Forward Inc.

AKEP and Forward.Inc work to allow for lasting social & economic inclusion of migrants in Europe. Through the PeerEx, they wanted to discover how each organisation can complement each-other’s work and potentially in the future apply together for EU projects.

The outcomes of PeerEx can be summarised in:

  1. Upscaling both organisations via the exchange of best practices & key competences 
  2. Enrichment & Activation of newcomers via a workshop focussed on their entrepreneurial awakening and civic integration in Europe 
  3. Sustained Buddy System between AKEP & Forward Incubator and potentially its beneficiaries
  • Koc University Social Impact Forum (Turkiye) & Pulse Groupe SOS (France) – Social Impact Management in the Work of Social Incubators

KUSIF and Pulse aimed to explore together how social impact management topics can be brought to the agenda of social incubators to increase the capacity of incubators’ staff and build the systematic approach to support social startups to manage their own social impact.

The outcomes of PeerEx can be summarised in:

  1. Increased awareness of the staff on social impact management 
  2. Increased knowledge on social impact of the staff of social incubators
  3. Increased knowledge on incubation programs and support given to social startups 
  4. Better understanding of the needs of the incubated social startups on the topic of social impact management

Check out their project report at EN’s Knowledge Center here.

  • Smart Kolektiv (Serbia) & Bcause (Bulgaria) – Cross-country collaboration: Exchange of experience in providing financial and non-financial support to social enterprises in Serbia and Bulgaria.

Smart Kolektiv and Bcause Foundation exchanged on the topic of “Improving the financial and non financial mechanisms of support through cross-country exchange of know-how and experience”. Bulgaria and Serbia face similar issues when it comes to the level of development of the ecosystem for social enterprises. These ecosystems are known to be young and have very limited access to finance for social enterprises in both countries. Both organisations have significant experience in supporting social enterprises on a local level through different projects implemented with the support of donors and private companies.

SK and Bcause recognized the need for a more strategic and long-term approach in supporting social enterprises, which would include development of blended and hybrid finance instruments and a more tailored approach to social enterprises. At the time, both organisations were working on setting up the first social investment funds in their countries to support the development of the supply side of the social finance market. As a result, SK and Bcause saw  the need for exchange of knowledge, strategies and approaches in their work.

The main outcome of this exchange was the improvement of financial and non financial support through exchange of experience, know-how and best practices between two countries. Furthermore, both organisations benefited from further mapping and engagement of potential regional social investors. 

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