Social entrepreneurship has been identified as a key feature of the EU social market economy, social enterprises (SEs) contributes to the emergence and expansion of new market-based business models seeking ways to contribute to economic and societal values. SEs also have great potential for developing social innovations to improve quality of life, satisfy new needs, or public sector restructuring. Nonetheless, the concepts of “social economy” and “social innovation” are little known or misunderstood and it seems to be considered rarely as an important factor for business, especially for young people. On the other hand, social start-ups encounter more difficulties in reaching economic sustainability.
The project INN@SE relies on the idea that a successful approach to overcome such challenges, can be represented by the open innovation methodology based on a cross-sectoral collaborative process. Thus, the project partnership is created by organizations from countries with different level of know-how on SE (Poland, Italy, North Macedonia, Jordan), representing sectors with different approaches to the topic (higher education, research, NGO). All partners are highly specialized in activities related to young people empowerment, training, social economy research, and start-ups development and the diverse knowledge, experience and skills that each partner imputes to the project, should be valued and recognized as essential to ensure the success and sustainability of the joint efforts.