The IBESI project kicks off: a path to empower Baltic social entrepreneurs

The IBESI project is officially underway since the first in-person consortium meeting was held in Tartu, Estonia, on 18 January 2023! With a focus on the social economy sector in the Baltic Sea Region, the IBESI project is poised to empower social entrepreneurs and innovators alike with improved connections with existing entrepreneurship ecosystems, broader access to alternative sources of financing, and tested innovation models with a potential for scaling up and replication.

More precisely, during two years of its lifetime, the project will offer a wide range of resources and opportunities for social enterprises and potential social innovators, including training modules, topical hackathons, and acceleration programs. Additionally, the project will map the region’s social finance ecosystems and carry out crowdfunding pilots for social enterprises and international skill-sharing workshops for investors and policymakers. The project will also create an active digital Open Platform for collaboration and peer learning. This platform will bring together social entrepreneurs, accelerators and business incubators, traditional SMEs and startups, investors, and policymakers, providing a space for the continued growth of the social economy in the Baltic States. The success of the project activities will be evaluated, and a replication toolkit will be generated at the end of the project to gather all the project learnings for supporting other EU regions in their social innovation and social entrepreneurship development.

Project background:

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 focused on strengthening the social economy of the Baltic States. The project is implemented by a consortium of key organizations operating in the social economy sector in the Baltic Sea Region — Baltic Innovation Agency (Lead Partner), Social Enterprise Estonia, Katalista Ventures, and Reach for Change.

Learn more about the project and its initiatives.

Stay tuned for more updates on the exciting developments taking place as part of the IBESI project:

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.