A new resource for rural social entrepreneurs

The guidebook material will support creating and developing community-based social enterprises, to estimate the benefits and challenges of community-based social enterprise and to find new ideas for developing your own community-based social enterprise.

After a three-year project collaboration, the international ViSEnet-team has gathered learning resources and best practices in an online free guide dedicated to rural social entrepreneurs: The Rural Social Enterprise Guidebook of Good Practice: Experience from Estonia, Finland, Germany, Romania and Scotland.

Rural Social Enterprise Learning Material

Although there are lots of materials available for establishing businesses, there is still a lack of material of social entrepreneurship suited to the particularities of rural areas. Because of the complex issues many rural areas are faced with, rural social enterprises need to gain broad understanding of socio-economic, cultural, political, and environmental factors as well as creative use of communication and project management skills.

To address these issues the ViSEnet project combined the experience of five partners to provide learning material that is based on the identified best practices in rural context.

The learning material consists of three chapters:

  1. Community involvement,
  2. Networking and partnerships and
  3. Social enterprise solutions.

The leading principle has been to keep learning materials very practice oriented and meant for self-study. They primarily take the format of PDFs, each short and concise enough to be easily overseen and understood. They are also easy to share, reproduce and use within a community context. The learning material can be found from the ViSEnet Online Learning Resources and ILIAS, an open source learning management system used, e.g., in university teaching.

Join in the International Network of Rural Social Enterprises in the Rural Social Enterprise Hub

The other leading principle in ViSEnet has been that there is no need to trying to cope alone if there are people you can reach out and ask for support. To courage rural communities to interact with each other the project has organized several virtual community meetings with different topics. The learning exchange will continue in the Rural Social Enterprise Hub which is a networking platform for collaboration, peer to peer learning, and knowledge exchange between all those committed to thriving rural social enterprise. The Hub welcome interactions with social enterprises and supporters across the globe.

The Rural Social Enterprise Guidebook of Good Practice: Experience from Estonia, Finland, Germany, Romania and Scotland

The guidebook material will support creating and developing community-based social enterprises, to estimate the benefits and challenges of community-based social enterprise and to find new ideas for developing your own community-based social enterprise. It also offers practical guidelines and methods of establish your community-based social enterprise and to avoid the main pitfalls establishing a community-based social enterprise.

The Guidebook is available in English and the summaries translated into the project partner national languages will be available soon. These can be uploaded as PDFs from the ViSEnet Online Learning Recourses in the Rural Social Enterprise Hub and ILIAS.

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ViSEnet stands for Rural Social Enterprise learning material, guidance, and networking

The ViSEnet-project aimed to support the creation and development of community-based social enterprises in rural areas through the designing of a range of learning materials specifically targeted at supporting and developing social entrepreneurship in rural areas. The project had three outputs: Rural Social Enterprise Learning Material, International Network of Rural Social Enterprises, and practical Guidebook of Good Practices for supporting the development of social entrepreneurship (SE) in rural areas.

Website:
www.visenet.net and
https://www2.helsinki.fi/en/ruralia-institute/visenet-village-social-ent...

More information/project partners:
University of Helsinki Ruralia Institute, Finland (coordinator)
Contact: Katja Rinne-Koski, katja.rinne-koski@helsinki.fi

Estonian University of Life Sciences, Estonia
Contact: Roger Evans, evanter.ou@gmail.com and Lea Sudakova, lea.sudakova@emu.ee

Nürtingen-Geislingen University, Germany
Contact: Roman Lenz, roman.lenz@hfwu.de and Ellen Fetzer Ellen.Fetzer@hfwu.de

Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Romania
Contact: Carmen Paunescu, carmen.paunescu@ase.ro

Inspiralba, Scotland
Contact: Ailsa Clark, aclark@inspiralba.org.uk

The project duration time 03.12.2018–02.12.2021.

The project was funded by EU Erasmus+ Strategic partnership for Adult Education. The Finnish National Agency for Education is hosting the national agency for the European Union’s education and youth programmes. The European Commission accepts no responsibility for the contents of this press release or the project publications.