Integrated Baltic Ecosystem for Social Innovation (IBESI) is a Horizon Europe project aimed at raising awareness and facilitating access of Baltic States’ social entrepreneurs to the resources of local and pan-European innovation ecosystems. In light of the lack of social enterprises (SEs) with profit-generating business models and their poor integration within existing entrepreneurship ecosystems, the project will take on several initiatives over the next 24 months to achieve its three expected outcomes:
1) Improved connections with innovation ecosystems
To expand entrepreneurs’ knowledge about social innovation, support the creation of new SEs in the nascent Baltic market and foster greater interconnectivity among SEs and innovation actors, the project includes the organisation of three training modules in regional hubs, two topical hackathons for potential social innovators, and two acceleration programmes for SEs in the region with 1:1 mentoring sessions, thematic workshops, and interactive keynotes.
2) Wider access to alternative financing
To improve SEs’ confidence to apply various financial strategies within the framework of the project, the project established three types of activities for more comprehensive access to alternative financing sources for SEs. These include launching crowdfunding pilots with SEs, engaging investors in international skill-sharing workshops to stimulate impact investments, and creating a practical roadmap on alternative financing mechanisms available in the Baltics for easier orientation among the various existing options in place.
3) Tested innovation models with the potential of scaling up and replication
Following the need to facilitate the transnational exchange of best practices about fostering social innovation ecosystems and provide foundations for future coordination between policymakers, the project will organise hybrid study visits for sharing and transferring best policy practices from the Nordic regions to the Baltic context, follow-up workshops for embedding learnings, and compile a report on best policy practices.
The project consortium comprises four experienced social economy and innovation support organisations from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Sweden. All partners of the consortium have long-term experience and are among the key organisations operating in the social economy sector in the Baltic Sea Region:
Baltic Innovation Agency
Social Enterprise Estonia
Reach for Change
Project name: Integrated Baltic Ecosystem for Social Innovation
Acronym: IBESI Duration: 15 January 2023 – 14 January 2025 (24 months)
Funding is provided by the European Union through the European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency.
Amount of funding: 498 927.50 €
Read more about the IBESI project kick-off.
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The project is funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are, however, those of the authors only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.