Policy Guideline QUID March21

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POLICY GUIDELINE

Setting up a Work Integration Social Enterprise: Insights from QUID Social Enterprise in Italy March 2021

This Guideline explains how to support and promote the setting up of a Work Integration Social Enterprise (WISE) model in order to promote and pursue a sustainable and inclusive economy. In fact, WISE are social enterprises producing and selling goods and services by employing people belonging to disadvantaged social categories . For this reason, WISEs embody one of the most relevant organizational models to actively pursue an inclusive social economy. People belonging to disadvantaged social categories not only are provided with a job opportunity, but also can find within the Social Enterprise a personal vocation in becoming, in turn, at the service of others in need.

The

Guideline draws from the experience of the Social Enterprise Quid, which has been operating since 2013 in the Verona Municipality, in Veneto Region (Italy). The latter offers an alternative vision and strategy to the mainstream market and social logics, a model where what the traditional market leaves behind becomes the starting point for a new economic, social and environmental paradigm, in that: (i) discarded materials/commodities and by-products resulting from market values chains become inputs for a new product life-cycle, hence providing low cost or cost-free supply for another production chain; and (ii) people belonging to a socially disadvantaged category or at risk of social exclusion and “left behind” from the labour market are offered a job training program and stable job contracts. This entails restoring their social dignity, providing them a stable salary and, therefore the necessary means to achieve basic functioning and, ultimately, to expand their capability set (Sen, 1999).


TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................................. 3 1.

THE MODEL ............................................................................................................................. 5

2.

THE CASE-STUDY ................................................................................................................... 7

3.

THE PROCESS ....................................................................................................................... 10 PHASE 0. TRIGGERING FACTORS .............................................................................................................. 10 PHASE 1. TESTING THE BUSINESS MODEL .............................................................................................. 11 PHASE 2. FORMALISING THE WORK-INTEGRATION SOCIAL ENTERPRISE MODEL ....................... 13 PHASE 3. EXPANDING BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES ............................................................................... 16 SUSTAINAIBILITY ............................................................................................................................................ 20

4.

KEY DETERMINANTS FOR EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION AND REPLICABILITY .......... 22

5.

DRAWBACKS AND RISKS ..................................................................................................... 25

6.

FINAL REMARKS.................................................................................................................... 26

USEFUL CONTACTS .................................................................................................................... 28

This Policy Guideline was elaborated by Mario Biggeri, Enrico Testi, Carmela Nitti and Camilla Guasti (ARCO - Action Research for CO-development c/o PIN Scrl, University of Florence), based on inputs and information provided by Silvia Scaramuzza (QUID, Institutional Relations) and Marco Penazzo (QUID, Fabrics Procurement and Warehouse ) under the supervision of Johannes Krassnitzer, Andrea Agostinucci and Raffaella Garutti (UNDP ART Global Initiative c/o UNDP Brussels).

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INTRODUCTION Experience-sharing and peer-to-peer learning are extremely important for promoting social and solidarity economy and social and territorial cohesion as drivers for SDG localization. The diffusion of good practices has the potential to inspire similar experiences and solutions through a multiplicative global effect on local communities. In this regard, Italy has a long-lasting experience in implementing integrated local development initiatives concerning social and territorial cohesion and social economy in its own territories, in order to foster sustainable human development at local level. For this reason, UNDP has commissioned a research, namely the “Study on best practices of Social Cohesion and Social and Solidarity Economy in Italy”, to a team of individual consultants belonging to the research centre ARCO – Action Research for CO-development (c/o PIN Scrl, University of Florence). The study [LINK] aimed at investigating on the relevant experiences of social and solidarity economy and social and territorial cohesion in the Italian scenario. Moreover, it led to the identification of 6 case-studies that can potentially inspire similar practices and showcase replicable models to drive SDGs localization in other countries. Therefore, the objective of the guidelines is to provide concrete policy insights and guidance to inform a multilateral / UN-level strategic visioning and programming perspective (including both UN and UNDP Country Offices as well as national policy-makers and LRGs), to implement similar initiatives in other territories, in order to promote inclusive, equitable and sustainable economic development, thus supporting the localization of the 2030 Agenda. Against this backdrop, the 6 case studies were identified following 8 selection criteria grounded on a conceptual and interpretative framework based on the Sustainable Human Development paradigm. The latter frames social and solidarity economy and social and territorial cohesion within a territorial ecosystem perspective, leading to a variety of potential outcomes in the four pillars of Sustainable Human Development: “Equity and cohesion”, “Participation and empowerment”, “Sustainability”, “Productivity and efficiency”. Moreover, these outcomes can enhance the transformative resilience of local systems, in the sense of their ability to deal with internal and external stressors and shocks as possible opportunities for their transformative change towards Sustainable Human Development. The identification of potential case-studies was based primarily on the triangulation of i) the expertise of the research team in these fields, ii) a desk-review of policy documentation, and particularly iii) information and insights collected during the interviews conducted with 16 prominent experts of both social and solidarity economy and social and territorial cohesion in the Italian scenario. Each pre-selected experience was then preliminary analysed on the base of available documents, in order to assess their compliance with the selection criteria. The following 6 case-studies were selected, each leading to a specific Policy Guideline available here [LINK]. Field

Model

Case-study

CONSORTIUM OF COOPERATIVES Social and Solidarity Economy

WORK INTEGRATION SOCIAL ENTERPRISE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

Social and Territorial Cohesion

Location

Consortium “Sale della Terra” Social enterprise “Quid” Community foundation “Fondazione di Comunità di Messina”

LOCAL DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY FOR

Strategy “Milk Mountain” – Emilian

INNER AND FRAGILE AREAS

Apennines

LOCAL ACTION GROUP FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT TO COMMUNITY REGENERATION

Local Action Group “Maiella Verde” SIBaTer Project

Benevento, Campania Region (South) Verona, Veneto Region (North)

Messina, Sicily Region (South) Emilian Apennines, Emilia Romagna Region (Centre) Chieti province, Abruzzo Region (South) Municipalities and Regions in Southern Italy

HOW TO READ THIS GUIDELINE?

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This guideline focuses on the model Work Integration Social Enterprise by drawing key insights from the case-study of Quid Social Enterprise. The objective of the guideline is to provide concrete policy insights and guidance in order to implement similar initiatives in other territories. However, an underlying understanding of the readers’ local and national contexts must be acknowledged to tailor and adapt these the processes and the suggestions here reported. The latter implies that the presence of key actors and institutions, resources, social capital, infrastructures, services and institutional and legal framework which have been identified in the present guideline as determinants for the implementation of this model should be carefully analysed in each context, or, perhaps, need more time and specific actions to be set up and leveraged. The guideline is structured as follows: 

Presentation of the model: its connection to the general approach to social and solidarity economy and social and territorial cohesion in Italy, its distinctive features and value-added.

Case study presentation: a general description of the experience and its main pursued objectives.

Theory of change: a schematic overview about how inputs, actions, outputs, outcomes and impacts are connected, in order to facilitate the planning and the implementation of similar interventions in other contexts.

The process: a detailed explanation of all the specific and sequenced phases constituting the analysed experience, drawing insights in terms of actors, resources and actions. In order to support the reader in assessing the feasibility of this model in his/her own context, a list of Suggested Actions and SelfAssessment Questions are provided. Hence, the latter are supporting tools in order to abstract key elements from the specific case-study to be applied in other contexts.

Key determinants for effective implementation and replicability: the main enabling system conditions for the applicability of each experience in different contexts.

Drawbacks and risks: a list of possible drawbacks and potential risks that may arise for future implementation, while also presenting possible coping strategies to cope and/or to prevent them.

Final remarks and recommendations: a summary of why this model can be considered as an effective driver for sustainable human development.

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1. THE MODEL The present guideline draws from the experience of an Italian social enterprise belonging to the so-called Work Integration Social Enterprise (WISE) model. The latter identifies social enterprises which produce and sell goods and services by employing people belonging to disadvantaged social categories. In order to frame the model within the Italian legal framework and historical context, first of all ,it is necessary to highlight that the first WISEs were regulated as B-type Social Cooperatives by the Italian law n°381/1991 which also establishes the different typologies of socially disadvantaged categories. Moreover, the law differentiates B-type Social Cooperatives from A-type Social Cooperatives which directly offer goods and services for social purposes (i.e., providing health, social and educational services). In fact, in the Italian context, the concept of Social Enterprise and, broadly, of the long-lasting tradition of Social and Solidarity Economy, historically originates from the activities of these Social Cooperatives. The latter, in turn, find their roots in the broader, both catholic and laic-socialist, cooperative movement which, in Italy, began at the end of the XX Century and, since then, they have extensively developed over time. The 1948 Italian Constitution specifically recognized in art. 45 the social function of cooperation and the need to promote cooperatives. In the 50s, many cooperatives were set up as construction and housing cooperatives engaged in the post -war reconstruction. During the 70s, cooperatives increased in number, became bigger and more professionalized and formed consortia and groups with other companies. In the 80s, many cooperatives started providing health, social and educational services as well as being active in the field of work integration. Finally, the beforementioned law n°381/1991 officially recognized the social cooperatives in 1991, hence providing a strong drive to the social cooperative movement (Borzaga and Ianes, 20061). In 2006, law 155/2006 finally introduced the legal category of Social Enterprises in order to give the possibility to organizations with different legal forms (cooperatives, limited liability companies, foundations etc.) to be recognized as Social Enterprises if operating in certain fields and complying with certain requirements (Borzaga and Santuari, 20012). However, the 2006 law did not bring to a relevant increase in the number of social enterprises since it did not provide sensible advantages to the organizations qualifying as social enterprises. For this reason, the following Third Sector Reform in 2016/2017 brought relevant changes to the law on Social Enterprises, providing them with some fiscal and regulatory advantages as well as enlarging their field of activities. Moreover, as proof of the strong historical bond in Italy between the Social Enterprise concept with the activities of Social Cooperatives, thanks to the Third Sector Reform, the latter are automatically entitled to the legal status of “social enterprise” if they wish to acquire it3. Data shows that in 2017 there were 102.000 4 Social Enterprises in Italy (social cooperatives, ex-lege social enterprises and association and foundations with market activity) accounting for almost 900.000 paid workers and an annual turnover of over 42.700 M € (Lori, 20195). The high presence of cooperatives in Italy contributes to foster an enabling ecosystem for Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) in the country. Italy is nowadays globally recognized as one of the countries where Social Economy

1

2

Borzaga, C., & Ianes, A. (2006). L'economia della solidarietà: storia e prospettive della cooperazione sociale. Donzelli. Borzaga, C., Santuari, A. (2000), “Social Enterprises in Italy. The experience of social co-operatives”, Issan, WP. N° 15

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Article 1 of the legislative decree n° 112/2017. The figure includes: 15.770 social cooperatives, 600 ex-lege social enterprises, 86.091 associations and foundations engaged in market activity with at least one employee. 5 Lori, M. (2019). Struttura e profili del settore non-profit. Paper presented at the Giornate di Bertinoro Conference, 11 October 2019 . 4

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is more developed also thanks to the work done on its legal framework over time. Social Cooperatives demonstrated the relevance and feasibility of production models that promote social justice. The reason for such flourishing of social enterprises (SEs), especially in the form of social cooperatives, is due to cultural, historical and economic processes which saw these organizations co-evolve along with the welfare state, as public authorities increasingly outsourced services to SEs (Testi et al., 2017 6 ). In fact, the relation between SEs and public authorities at the different administrative levels is important. As Borzaga et al. (2017 7) show, based on the data collected by ISTAT in 2011, SEs in Italy work mainly with public institutions. In fact, 65% of their aggregate revenue in 2011 came from working with public institutions while 28% from working with private actors (EU Commission, 2020 8). In fact, thanks to their close relation to public authorities and capacity to collaborate with local stakeholders, Social Cooperatives bring about innovation in public service delivery as well as in the field of work integration. As for the latter, the relevance of the WISEs experience in Italy, apart from being in many cases highly entrepreneurial and less reliant on public tenders than A-Type Social Cooperatives, is that some of them evolved from being organizations in which disadvantaged people could find employment (and therefore limiting their impact only to those employed) to becoming an important player into a wider system aimed at active inclusion policies. In this regard, WISEs have developed both capacity assessment and training skills in order to assess the work capabilities of disadvantaged people, providing them with targeted training that answers to the needs of future employers and creating agreements with the latter in order to enhance their placement. Many WISEs have thus developed specific skills and methodologies, focusing on particular sectors of the economy (i.e., the hospitality sector, fashion, food and agriculture, craftmanship, gardening and more). Against this backdrop, WISEs embody one of the most relevant organizational models to actively pursue an inclusive social economy through their activity of job-reinsertion of people belonging to disadvantaged social categories. The latter not only are provided with a job opportunity, but also can find within the social cooperative a personal vocation in becoming, in turn, at the service of others in need.

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Testi, E., Bellucci, M., Franchi, S., & Biggeri, M. (2017). Italian Social Enterprises at the Crossroads: Their Role in the Evolution of the Welfare State. VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 28(6), 2403–2422. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11266-017-9875-8

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Borzaga, C., Poledrini, S. & Galera, G. (2017). Social Enterprise in Italy: Typology, Diffusion and Characteristics, Euricse Working Papers, 96 |17.

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European Commission (2020) Social enterprises and their ecosystems in Europe. Updated country report: Italy. Author: Carlo Bo rzaga. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. Available at https://europa.eu/!Qq64ny .

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2. THE CASE-STUDY

Social enterprise QUID

LINK

https://www.quidorg.it/

MODEL

Work-Integration Social Enterprise (WISE)/B-type Social cooperative

OBJECTIVES

Inclusive development, social inclusion, female empowerment, job inclusion of people at risk of marginalization, circular economy, environmental sustainability

LOCALIZED SDGs

MAIN ACTIONS

Independent, ethical and sustainable fashion brand entailing the reuse of excess stock from Italian fashion companies and textile industries and employing people at risk of marginalization and social exclusion (especially women with difficult backgrounds); job placement programs and training, tailoring laboratory in Montorio prison (Verona, Italy)

START YEAR

2013

LOCATION

Verona, Italy

The social enterprise Quid was founded in Verona (Northern Italy) in 2013 by Anna Fiscale, a 25-year-old young woman with a background in Economics and International Relations and with experience in international cooperation in India and Haiti. “Progetto Quid” is an Italian fashion brand which employs people, mainly women, from vulnerable social groups and backgrounds in the production of clothes and accessories. Quid’s products are made from highquality surplus textiles donated by some of Italy’s top fashion firms and textile industries. At the beginning, the social enterprise revenue amounted to 90k euros, production was externalized to 3 local cooperatives and sold in temporary stores. Nowadays, Quid employs 138 people and sells through a network of over a hundred multi -brand stores, 2 outlets, 9 Quid stores as well as on-line on its e-commerce platform. Quid also manages three tailoring laboratories, two of which in the Montorio prison (Verona, Italy) both in the male and female prison departments. Since 2013, Quid offers job placement and training to people belonging to vulnerable categories within its various business departments, ranging from production and quality control, retail, logistics, administration and business management. In particular, Quid offers job placement programs for both people benefitting and not benefitting from specific national job placement welfare programs. In 2019, Quid employed 42 new people with a 7 0% retention rate.

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Quid also aims at transforming the fashion business into a sustainable value chain by minimizing its environmental impact. In fact, it actively integrates practices of circular economy into its business model through the reuse of excess stock or discarded textile from high-end Italian fashion companies and high-quality textile industries. This allows Quid to extend the textile life-cycle as well as to reduce its carbon footprint. Since 2013, Quid managed to reuse more than 800km of fabrics which were either donated or purchased. In 2019, Quid revenues amounted to 3.119k euros. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Quid proved to be quick and flexible to respond to newly emerging needs as well as to guarantee its employees’ salaries. In fact, Quid promptly converted its production into the first prototypes of washable and re-usable face masks, the so-called “Cover-up”. Quid collaborated with the National Health Institute (Istituto Superiore di Sanità) in order to obtain the mask certification in line with the current Italian health protocols. In addition, during the pandemic, Quid accepted mask orders exceeding its production capacity and, in turn, decentralized the production to other cooperatives in the area to which it provided support and training and an opportunity to economically survive the pandemic.

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THEORY OF CHANGE MAIN TRIGGERING ELEMENT (UNMET NEED/NEW VISION): The underlying awareness and vision which permeates Quid’s “raison d’être” is that one’s fragility can be overturned into str ength and what is discarded by the economy and society can be, instead, turned into opportunity, restoring dignity to what is/risks being left behind.

ACTORS

• ACTORS & INSTITUTIONS • 1 People in a condition of fragility • 2 Strong business partners and suppliers • 3 Investors • 4 Local public administrations • 5 Territorial third sector/welfare social providers actors and networks • 6 International organizations/ins titutions

RESOURCES •ECONOMIC AND HUMAN RESOURCES •1 Strong entrepreneurial mindset and skills •2 Grant funding and financial investments •3 Commercial support

ACTIONS •ACTIVITIES IMPLEMENTED •1 Business plan and market test •2 Outreach to potential investors •3 Outreach to local suppliers •4 Strategic investments and value chain set up •5 B2C and B2B •6 Territorial third sector partnerships and networking •7 Social and environmental impact assessment

OUTPUTS •OUTPUTS ACHIEVED WITH THE ACTIONS •1 Job creation and employment of people in conditions of fragility •2 Reuse of discarded textile •3 Creation/ •strengthening of territorial networks and collaborations

INTERMEDIATE OUTCOMES

LONG-TERM OUTCOMES/IMPACTS

•CHANGES PRODUCED

• SDGS TARGETED

•1 Social inclusion •2 Environmental sustaiinability •3 Social cohesion

• 5 Gender equality • 8 Decent work and economic growth • 9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure • 10 Reducing inequalities • 12 Responsible consumption and production • 13 Climate action • 17 Parterships for the goals

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3. THE PROCESS PHASE 0. TRIGGERING FACTORS Insights from the case study

Self-assessment questions

The idea behind Quid originates from its founder’s personal and first-hand experience of fragility and distress due to a difficult relationship.

Who are those living a condition of/ at risk of fragility in your context?

What kind of fragility are they experiencing? What are the causes of their fragilities?

Do they have the resources and means to overturn their fragilities into strenghts?

Can they access the workforce? Do they have job opportunities?

Which are the goals of your territory/community in terms of sustainable human development?

The founder understood that by overturning the predominant perspective, human fragility can be a starting point for a new social and economic model with a high impact potential. The keystone to this overturned model is the provision of job opportunities to people living a condition of fragility.

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PHASE 1. TESTING THE BUSINESS MODEL Insights from the case study

Suggested actions

Self-assessment

MAIN ACTORS 

Engage collaborators and teammates with strong entrepreneurial and sector-specific expertise and competence and which can truly relate to your social/environmental goal and vision.

Are the “developers” strongly motivated and engaged with the socially/environmentally oriented vision/idea? Do they have the technical, sector-specific and entrepreneurial capability and expertise?

Search for already existing local market operators (i.e., laboratories, shops, industries) which can allow you to experiment and test your business idea.

Are there already existing entrepreneurial activities working in the local context with which the business idea can be experimented and tested?

Search for local retailers (if foreseen in your business model) welcoming your idea and mission and willing to operate as first market intermediaries.

Are there local retailers open to believe in the business idea and which can agree to operate as first market intermediaries?

Strong motivation, vision and engagement of the founder and of  her first group of project developers.

Make sure your teammates share the same  social/environmental vision.

Tailoring laboratory of the already existing local social  cooperative.

Rely on an existing production plant/laboratory where to prototype your product/service.

Are the developers strongly engaged and motivated by the same social/environmental vision?

Personal means of production and materials: sewing machines  owned by the group’s families/relatives.

Place your product/service in the marketplace even before beginning with the core production  phase.

Quid’s founder managed to deliver her vision and idea to a first restricted group of strongly engaged and motivated friends and university colleagues with entrepreneurial and fashion industry expertise and competences. The latter initially grouped in the form of an Association for Social Purposes (hereinafter the “group of project developers” or “developers”). The first experimental prototypes of accessories were produced in a tailoring laboratory managed by a local social cooperative employing people with fragilities. Some local shops agreed to purchase in advance (or through other commercial agreements) the first prototypes of accessories.

MAIN RESOURCES

Relatively low start-up economic resources as the production orders to the social cooperative were either already or quickly  covered by the previously engaged local shops’ orders/purchase.

Make sure there is a market demand for the product/service you intend to offer.

Can the business idea be prototyped in an already existing production plant/laboratory? Can the business idea guarantee itself a marketplace even before the production phase in order to rely on low starting economic resources? Is there a market demand for the offered product/service?

Wealthy and socially engaged local community (market demand).

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MAIN ACTIVITIES The project developers firstly brainstormed several ideas and solutions in order to provide working opportunities and to restore dignity to people with fragilities. They tested the economic sustainability of different ideas and mainly worked on two different Business Plans: one business model centered on the reuse of second-hand clothes and the other on discarded textiles, which was eventually the idea they decided to carry forward. The first experimental year was mainly devoted to exploring the market in the attempt to understand which products could match the market demand. In particular: -

The first prototypes were designed in the tailoring laboratory managed by a local social cooperative and also in the private homes/garages of the developers.

-

Local retailers were then contacted and engaged in the business idea agreeing to sell these accessories and retaining a percentage or through other business understandings.

-

The project developers then commissioned the production of these accessories to the local social cooperative, therefore exploiting an already existing tailoring laboratory.

Brainstorm different business models and ideas in order to set up a WISE model.

Test the economic sustainability of your business ideas through well-elaborated Business Plans.

“Safely” test and explore the local market demand using few beginning economic resources (i.e., producing first prototypes in an existing laboratory, selling through local retailers which ideally purchased the products in advance).

Is the idea economically sustainable?

Has the idea been adequately validated and tested in the local market?

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PHASE 2. FORMALISING THE WORK-INTEGRATION SOCIAL ENTERPRISE MODEL Insights from the case study

Suggested actions

Self-assessment questions

MAIN ACTORS An important Italian company with more than 2 million euros in turnover and owner of 7 clothing brands sold in over 50 countries9.

Engage strategic players that can provide funding and market access (i.e., banks, philanthropic foundations, companies)

Are there strategic players (banks, philanthropic foundations, companies, …) that can provide funding and market access?

An Italian philanthropic foundation originated by the abovementioned Italian multi-brand clothing company and which allocates contributions to organizations which undertake schooling, human and professional training projects worldwide.

Once the enterprise starts to take-off, reach  out to the people with fragilities you intend to re-integrate in the workforce: begin with job training and, eventually, offering them job contracts. Start with few people at first: your  business idea is still at the start-up phase.

Does the business idea have the means to begin employing new people, including people with fragilities you intend to re-integrate in the workforce, hence enlarging its initial team?

Another Italian philanthropic foundation originated by a national insurance company with the aim of providing funds to territorial enterprises with a strong social orientation.

Begin mapping and expanding your local network of suppliers

At this stage, the initial group of strongly motivated project developers started to expand and included the first 3 women with fragilities which were directly employed by the newly founded Quid social cooperative. A local district prison where a tailoring laboratory previously managed by the social cooperative mentioned in Phase 1 carried out a training program for female prisoners. Local textile industries providing Quid with discarded fabrics. MAIN RESOURCES Project developers’ capacity to communicate the business idea and vision.

Rely on a well-built Business Plan in order to effectively communicate your business idea and vision to potential funders, investors, suppliers and partners.

Is the Business Plan well-planned, piloted and able to convince potential investors of the soundness and economic sustainability of the business idea?

Build on the results of the first market test to convince potential funders, investors, suppliers and partners that there is a wider market

Can the results of the first market test convince the potential investors that there is a wider market opportunity to scale-up the business

A well-planned and convincing Business Plan already tested on the local market. In the start-up phase of the project idea, the support of the multi-brand Italian clothing company was fundamental. The company provided 15.000 euros for the first year of project 9

As of 2020.

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experimentation, with the understanding that, if successful, the project idea could count on further support in the future. The support wasn’t only in terms of funding: the company provided textile, sewing machines as well as unused spaces within their manufacturing plants and retail shops. It also allowed the access to market networks, namely, partners and suppliers. Hence, the company’s support in the first year was totally donated.

opportunity to scale-up the business idea.

idea?

Manage to engage important market players  who can support your business idea in terms of funding, but also in broader terms, for example, in providing means of production, commodity supply, partnerships and retail shops. 

Are there important economic players willing to bet on the business idea and donate a first support in terms of funding, but also, for example, means of production, commodity supply, market networks and retail shops?

Can the cost of material supply be cut down through reuse and recovering strategies (e.g., circular economy model)?

Is there a market demand for the product and its vision?

Can the business idea be effectively communicated and delivered in order to engage big economic players and to convince them to bet on its success?

Is the business idea ready to be formalized in a legal form recognizing its social/environmental mission (i.e., social enterprise, social cooperative or other forms of enterprise which can benefit from an ad hoc fiscal and regulatory regime and recognition for their social mission)? If not, which legal form in your local context is the best suited for the start-up of the entrepreneurial idea and its social/environmental mission? Are there lower cost/cost-free first solutions to place your products/services in the market (i.e., temporary stores, agreements for the use of preexisting shops or unused spaces, etc.)?

Relatively large product orders by the two philanthropic foundations which, therefore, provided an important “commercial” support (market demand) along with smaller grant funding. Wealthy and socially engaged clients. Discarded fabrics intercepted and recovered from the local textile industry. An already set up tailoring laboratory program within the female section of a local district prison.

Are there financial players that can provide, apart from funding support, commercial support in the form of demand for consistent product orders?

MAIN ACTIVITIES Quid founder managed to reach and engage an Italian important multi-brand clothing company. Thanks to her communicative capacity and a strong and tested Business Plan, she managed to convince the company to provide a one-year crucial support, which, conditional on the project’s success, could be extended in the future.

Thanks to this initial support, Quid social cooperative was founded.

Formalize your business idea in a legal form which recognizes its social/environmental mission: i.e., Work Integration Social Enterprise, social cooperative or other forms of enterprise which can benefit from an ad hoc fiscal and regulatory regime and recognition for its social mission.

Keep your costs low. For example, look for  lower cost/cost-free first solutions to place your products/services in the market (i.e., temporary stores, agreements for the use of pre-existing shops or unused spaces, etc.), look for local industries which could provide low-cost or  cost-free supply of raw material/commodity as

The first collection of clothing and accessories was produced and sold in the first local temporary stores allowing for business growth. In the start-up phase, the first network of partnerships and collaboration with suppliers and retailers were established. In particular, in order to cut down on the cost of textile supply, in line with the Business Plan and with the envisaged circular economy model, discarded fabrics were intercepted from the local textile industry. This phase, hence, required a door-to-door outreach and advocacy activity on the part of the project developers.

Relying on your strong Business Plan and the experience of your first market test, engage important market players and convince them to provide economic support in order to start-off with your enterprise (i.e., production of goods/ provision of services).

Which solutions could cut your social enterprise costs? For example, are there local industries

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The closing of the social cooperative mentioned in Phase 1 left the managing of the tailoring laboratory program in the local district prison to Quid.

inputs for the business model. This not only would allow to cut supply cost, but also to set up a sustainable circular business model.

that can provide low-cost or cost-free supply of raw material/commodity as inputs for the business model? Are there lower cost/cost-free first solutions to place your products/services in the market (i.e., temporary stores, agreements for the use of pre-existing shops or unused spaces, etc.)?

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PHASE 3. EXPANDING BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES Insights from the case study

Suggested actions

Self-assessment questions

MAIN ACTORS In the implementation phase, which coincided with a substantial production growth, Quid social cooperative saw a rapid human capital growth: the number of employees rapidly grew to around 60. Moreover, at this stage, Quid managed to begin fulfilling its social mission by employing more and more people with fragilities, not only people belonging to those socially disadvantaged categories recognized by the national law, but also to a wide range of difficult backgrounds (victims of domestic violence and abuse, psychological abuse, etc.). In this phase, the Italian important multi-brand clothing company continued to be a crucial partner which opened to further strategic collaborations and partnerships. Also, the two philanthropic foundations remain important, one of which eventually became member of the social enterprise. Other big economic players (i.e., big international companies belonging to various market sector) became Quid’s business partners. Quid also managed to engage local public administrators (both municipal and provincial level) making them aware of its impact on the local territory and obtaining their endorsement.

If the business is at a growth stage, this is a good time to invest in human resources and employ more people also belonging to fragile and vulnerable social categories, hence starting to increase your social impact.

Continue to build on the relationship with initial supporters/sponsors/ investors.

Quid engaged with the territorial third sector networks and social service providers in order to reach people with fragilities and to become a partner in job re-insertion training programs. Quid continued to manage the tailoring laboratory program within the local district prison. Quid also began its dialogue with the European Union which provides larger-scale project opportunities. Quid also received support from an impact investment fund willing to invest in its strategy.

Enlarge your business opportunities by opening up to partnerships with other local, national or international companies not necessarily belonging to the same market sector. Make local public administrations and institution aware of your social/environmental territorial impact and pursue their endorsement. When employing people belonging to disadvantaged social categories, search and reach out to third sector networks and service providers which can provide their deeper knowledge, expertise and network access regarding the same social issues you are addressing.

Expand your business opportunities also looking for larger-scale international organizations (i.e., EU, UN, World Bank).

Expand your funding opportunities also towards more innovative instruments such as impact investment funds (i.e., social impact bonds, green bonds, development bonds, …).

Can the business growth allow for the employment of more people other than the initial group of founders? Can the business begin to provide job opportunities also to people belonging to fragile and vulnerable social categories?

Can the business count on the support of its initial supporters/sponsors/ investors?

Can the business manage to engage and partner with other relevant and well known national and international companies not necessarily belonging to the same market sector?

Are local public administrators aware of the social mission and impact which the business idea is achieving? Can the business count on their endorsement?

Can the business idea connect with territorial third sector networks and service providers in order to access their territorial knowledge of social/environmental issues and fragility and, hence, scale its social impact?

Can the business idea benefit from larger international opportunities (i.e., social economy competitions, projects, networks, …)?

Are there impact investment funds available for new social enterprises willing to generate an impact on the territory?

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MAIN RESOURCES Substantial financial investments, that brought Quid to its full productive capacity, in particular: -

Purchase of a bigger production plant. Rapid human capital growth: the number of employees rapidly grew from 60 to 120. B2B: strong increase of collaborations and business  partnerships with other large and well-known companies which placed important productions orders. This sparked the demand for Quid’s collections, allowing the standardization of production,  and, consequently, to enormously boost its production. In fact, it allowed Quid’s collection to reach from an estimated 35 000 to  400 000 clients.

Strong connection and identification with the local territory. Access to the strong knowledge of the local third sector network in regard to the social issues and fragilities of the local territories. In turn, this allowed Quid to reach people with fragilities and to provide them with job opportunities.

Tax benefits due to Quid’s recognized legal form of social cooperative/social enterprise employing people belonging to vulnerable categories. Provincial and municipal public administration’s endorsement and institutional support allowing Quid to partner in job re-insertion welfare programs.  The European Union’s initiatives and development vision provide Quid with larger-scale project opportunities compared to those available on a national scale. The impact investment fund provided additional funding to carry out Quid’s activities and scale its impact.

Is the social enterprise able to make substantial investments in order to allow for business growth (i.e., increase the number of employees, purchase new means of production and production plants, etc.)?

Maintain your local roots and a strong connection to your local territory.

Is there a possibility to engage market competitor as partners, hence, to enlarge the business model also to a B2B model in order to reach more clients?

Make sure you are maximizing your social impact through accessing resources coming from the third sector actors and networks.

Are the connections and relations with the local territory cultivated and maintained?

Are the resources coming from the third sector actors and networks properly exploited in order to maximize the social impact?

Can the legal form of the entrepreneurial activity benefit from national/local tax benefits?

Are local public administrators aware of the social mission and territorial impact of the social enterprise? Can they provide their endorsement and institutional support allowing for the social enterprise to partner in job re-insertion welfare programs?

Are there international institutions that offer the opportunity to access wider and largerscale projects maximizing the social impact?

Are there impact investment funds available for new social enterprises willing to generate an impact on the local territory?

Reach out to investors, funders or other sources of funding (i.e., bank loans) necessary to make substantial investments in order to allow for business growth (i.e., increase the number of employees, purchase new means of production and production plants). Expand your business opportunities and search for new client segments (i.e., B2B).

Comply with your local/national regulation in order to apply for tax benefits related to your social/environmental impact, if available. Engage with public sector institutions/entities in order to benefit from their endorsement and institutional support facilitating access to further opportunities (i.e., allowing for the social enterprise to partner in job re-insertion welfare programs). Search for larger scale opportunities to maximize your social impact (i.e., social economy international projects, competitions, awards). Search for available impact investment funds.

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MAIN ACTIVITIES Quid opened its first retail shops in the local territory which quickly led to: -

A burst of the local market demand, A consequently rapid production growth which, in turn, required, The purchase of a bigger production plant, and The workforce growth: the number of employees, including people with fragilities, rapidly grew from 60 to 120 in this stage.

Quid’s strong business growth is also explained by another strategic activity which was carried out in this phase. In parallel with its B2C business model through retail selling, Quid also developed its B2B channel, hence, increasing its networking activity and actively seeking for collaboration opportunities with strong market players, i.e., other large and well-known companies which could place important productions orders. In particular, Quid intentionally reaches large and famous companies, not necessarily with a sustainable productive chain, aiming, on the one hand, to reach more clients, and, on the other, to instil elements of environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility in their business model. Quid’s collaboration with these companies, therefore, goes beyond the mechanisms of order placements, but also consists of product co-design and co-branding. Indeed, Quid B2B channel allowed to enormously expand its reach of targeted clients, specifically starting from an estimated 35 000, before its B2B activity, to 400 000 clients. Quid’s strong and rapid business growth required an internal reorganization of the social enterprise business management, starting from the business departments and work teams: -

-

In particular, an administrative office and a communication office were structured. The latter, in particular, proved to be strategic in order to boost Quid’s capacity to create and communicate its identity and, therefore, to build their market credibility both towards its clients and its business partners. Also, Quid defined important and structured work divisions such as a product development division, a production division and an institutional relations division. The latter is in charge of managing external institutional relations with local public administrators and

Once market demand and profits start increasing, substantial investments are needed in order to allow the enterprise to reach a full production capacity able to keep up with the market demand. If initial investments should be contained to start-up and test the market, at this stage, seize the appropriate moment to take the risk and invest for business growth (i.e., purchase of means of production and production plants, increase the number of employees, …). Seize the strategic opportunities to target new and different client segments (i.e., expanding also to a B2B model).

Which is the best solution to place the product in the local market and to reach the client segments? For example, is there a possibility to open retail shops?

In case of an increase of market demand, does the enterprise have the capacity to respond with an adequate production increase?

Is there a possibility to engage market competitor as partners, hence, to enlarge the business model also to a B2B model?

Which is the enterprise internal organization and management structure which best suits and responds to the business growth and allows for the most efficient business management?

Once the business starts growing, promptly adapt the enterprise internal organization and management structure which best suits and responds to the business growth and allows for the most efficient business management. In particular, competent human resources should be fully dedicated at least to:

As the business expands: - are there competent human resources which can focus on leading the enterprise administration and accounting? - is the social enterprise able to define its own identity in order to build its market credibility both towards its clients and its business partners? Are there competent human resources which can focus on the enterprise communication and branding? - are internal business operations well divided, distributed and structured in work divisions/teams? - are there competent human resources which can focus on managing the enterprise external relations with nationals/international institutions/public administration in order to seize wider and strategic opportunities and synergies?

- administration and accounting. - communication, marketing and branding. Also, internal business operations should be well divided, distributed and structured in work divisions/teams. 

Keep building your credibility and connection to the territorial third sector network and actors aiming at becoming a territorial reference points when it comes to job opportunities for people with fragilities.

Expand your distribution channels in order to reach your client segments (i.e., e-commerce platform).

Experiment new sources of funding (i.e., social

Is the enterprise able to maintain and

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-

public welfare providers, as well as Quid’s participation in international and national call for proposals/tenders concerning job placement/training for people with fragilities. Moreover, Quid has chosen to keep its entire production chain in Italy, although usually, its Italian fashion industry market colleagues have externalized their production abroad. However economically less efficient, this choice has the purpose to maximize Quid’s impact on the territory and to keep the highest quality standards.

During this stage, Quid kept strengthening its credibility and connection to the territorial third sector network and actors in order to reach people with fragilities and to provide them with job opportunities.

impact investment).

reinforce its connection with the local third sector networks and actors aiming at becoming a territorial reference points when it comes to job opportunities for people with fragilities? 

Can the social enterprise expand distribution channels also through commerce platforms?

Can the social enterprise benefit from innovative sources of funding such as impact investing?

its e-

Quid continues to manage the tailoring laboratory program within the local district prison and also opened another laboratory in the male section of the prison. As of end 2020, Quid employs around 10 people through these tailoring laboratories, and 4 are currently interns. Quid eventually also opened its own e-commerce platform. Finally, Quid also experimented new sources of funding and piloted its first social impact investment instrument by a territorial impact investment fund.

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SUSTAINAIBILITY Insights from the case study

Suggested actions

Self-assessment questions

The important actions described in the previous phase allowed both Quid’s business growth as well as its internal structural growth and management optimization. This, in turn, allowed Quid to find itself in a good market placement, a recognized territorial identity and benefitting from an important credibility.

Make sure your business management leads the social enterprise to gain and maintain a recognized territorial identity and credibility.

Have previous business investments and strategies led the social enterprise to gain a recognized territorial identity and credibility?

Nevertheless, Quid continues to grow and to maintain high quality standards. Moreover, Quid keeps on expanding and seizing further territorial opportunities, collaborations and partnerships bringing more and more together the third sector and private sector with an entrepreneurial logic.

Keep monitoring the external context and seizing further opportunities for business growth and social impact maximization.

Make sure your business model can secure long term and stable economic security to its employees, especially those with fragilities and belonging to vulnerable social categories.

Once reached a full productive capacity relatively to the strategic investments which were made, are efforts still in place to keep monitoring the external context and seizing further opportunities for business growth and social impact maximization?

Can the business model secure long term and stable economic security to its employees, especially those with fragilities and belonging to vulnerable social categories?

Are the employees equipped with proper capacity building which can enable them to quickly respond to market and context changes?

Is the business model economically, socially and environmentally sustainable? Is it able to place itself in a vacant marketplace with unexplored market opportunities?

Can the business model quickly adapt to context changes and seize new opportunities and new operational channels?

Is the enterprise investing to measure its social impact with regards to its employees and also to the wider

Considering the sustainability of its job placement model, Quid intends to secure job stability and continuity to its employees with fragilities. The latter, in fact, are in particular need of consistency and security. Hence, Quid job placement program lasts longer compared to similar third sector/welfare programs. It consists of a three-month internship and a one year to one hear and a half apprenticeship. If the latter is successful, the person is offered a stable job contract. Moreover, within Quid, these employees can count on the support of a dedicated psychologist and a welfare officer which helps them accessing a wide range of services, including proper healthcare, welfare services or simply, for example, to find a babysitter. Quid job placement model has resulted in a strong employment retention rate which, in 2019, has reached 70%. Also, Quid invests in its employees’ constant growth and innovation. As an example, it has recently provided them with a digitalization program, particularly useful for the more elderly workers. The effects of the latter proved to be strategic during the recent Covid-19 pandemic. At a broader level, Quid’s sustainability is also perfectly reflected in its circular and inclusive business model. Quid is sustainable as it reuses materials which are discarded by the traditional productive chains and it includes those fragile people traditionally left behind by the economy. Quid’s motto is, in fact “limit as a starting point”. Therefore, its model is sustainable as it transforms social and economic “limits” into resources. Moreover, a greater sustainable impact is Quid’s “contaminating vocation” to inspire its business partners to adopt more environmentally responsible production chains and inclusive business model and, ultimately, to transform the entire fashion industry. Proposing an alternative

Keep investing in training and capacity building for your employees enabling them to quickly respond to market and context changes.

Keep monitoring your business market placement and make sure it can keep filling unexplored market opportunities by pursuing its environmental and social objectives.

Make sure your business model can be quickly adaptable to context changes and seize new opportunities and new operational channels.

Invest in regularly measuring and assessing your social/environmental impact with regards to your own employees and also to the wider territory and stakeholders.

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business model places Quid in a still vacant marketplace with unexplored market opportunities.

territory and stakeholders?

Another sustainability aspect of Quid is its capacity to promptly respond to the context changes. For example, during the Covid-19 pandemic, Quid managed to fill a new role, that of “coordinator” and job creator with regards to territorial social cooperatives. In order to respond to the market demand of its newly prototyped facial masks, Quid decentralized the production by subcontracting its orders to local social cooperatives. The latter were “tutored” in order to help them structure and organize their production. Quid offered them entrepreneurial capacity building and training, co-invested in their laboratories and provided them with free access to their prototypes, suppliers and business partners. This mutually advantageous strategy which turns market competitors in business partners multiplies Quid’s social impact on a wider territory. Finally, to understand, value and communicate its social impact on its employees with fragilities as well as on the local territory, Quid collaborates with a local university for an impact measurement program financed by a territorial foundation with banking origins.

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4. KEY DETERMINANTS FOR EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION AND REPLICABILITY Categories

ACTORS AND INSTITUTIONS

Description 

People in a condition of fragility/ economic and social exclusion.

A group of strongly motivated and socially engaged business idea developers.

Economic, sector specific “big players” which are willing to bet on the business idea and to provide grant start-up funding, means, and market networks.

Local retailers which can operate as first market intermediaries.

Territorial organizations and entities with financial means, such as philanthropic foundations.

Local industries/productive chains providing discarded materials/commodities/byproducts which can be used to cut down the cost of supply in the business model (local suppliers).

Self-assessment questions 

Who are those living a condition of/ at risk of fragility in your context? Do they have the resources and means to overturn their fragilities into strenghts? Can they access the workforce? Do they have job opportunities?

Are the “developers” strongly motivated and engaged with the socially/environmentally oriented vision/idea?

Is there an economic, sector specific “big player” which is willing to bet on the business idea and to provide grant start-up funding, means, and market networks?

Are there local retailers open to believe in the business idea and agree to operate as first market intermediaries?

Are there territorial organizations and entities with financial means that can be reached and engaged in the business idea?

Well-established and well-known national or international companies sharing the business social/environmental vision and willing to become business partners.

Are there local industries which could provide low-cost or costfree supply of raw material/commodity as inputs for the business model?

Local public administrations and institutions endorsing the business idea and vision.

Territorial third sector networks and social service providers allowing to reach people with fragilities and to partner in job reinsertion training programs (i.e., local social cooperatives offering job re-insertion programs)

Can the business manage to engage and partner with other relevant and well known national and international companies not necessarily belonging to the same market sector?

Are local public administrators aware of the social mission and impact which the business idea is achieving? Can the business count on their public endorsement?

Larger international organizations/institutions providing largerscale project opportunities (i.e., UN, UE, World Bank)

Can the business idea connect with territorial third sector networks and service providers in order to access their territorial knowledge of social/environmental issues and fragilities and, hence, scale its impact? Are there already existing social cooperatives working in the local context and promoting job re-insertion programs?

Can the business idea benefit from larger international project opportunities offered by international organizations/institutions?

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A solid and collaborative territorial network encompassing a wide range of stakeholders, such as clients, business partners, welfare service providers, suppliers, third sector organizations building on mutual trust, collaboration, credibility and strong engagement with the social/environmental vocation and mission.

Can the business idea count on a collaborative, trusted and supportive territorial local network?

Strong entrepreneurial mindset and skills, with a reasonable degree of risk-loving attitude.

Human capacities and competences to deal and work with vulnerable people.

Are the business idea developers strongly motivated and engaged with the socially/environmentally oriented vision/idea? Do they have the technical, sector-specific and entrepreneurial capability and expertise?

Strong sector-specific competence, expertise and know-how.

Strong social vocation and engagement.

Strong imagination and creativity.

Strong capacity to communicate the business idea and vision.

High-quality working performance to gain and maintain market credibility.

A participatory governance and horizontal decision making find positive effects such as a greater sense of ownership on the part of the team. Nevertheless, business management requires a consistent leadership and vision from the planning phase up to the implementation and sustainability phase. This might entail also the necessity to leave teammates behind if visions diverge and become an obstacle to the business growth.

Can the business management count on a strong leadership?

It is not a prerogative for its de facto existence, but there are usually advantages for a social economy actor when operating in a juridical framework which legally recognizes social enterprises employing people in a condition of fragility and/or of social and economic exclusion. Firstly, it allows the enterprise to receive tax benefits and to comply with an ad hoc regulation. Secondly, it allows for a formal recognition of the social/environmental vocation of the enterprise, which, in turn, provides a guarantee and credibility to potential investors, partners, and project tenders. Thirdly, an acknowledged legal status allows the experience to be embedded and recognized within an institutional and juridical system ensuring a potential for its sustainability and long-lasting impact.

Is the business idea ready to be formalized in a legal form recognizing its social/environmental mission (i.e., social enterprise, social cooperative or other forms of enterprise which can benefit from an ad hoc fiscal and regulatory regime and recognition for their social mission)? If not, which legal form in your local context is the best suited for the start-up of the entrepreneurial idea and its social/environmental mission?

SOCIAL CAPITAL

HUMAN CAPITAL

GOVERNANCE FRAMEWORK

INSTITUTIONAL LEGAL FRAMEWORK

&

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The existence of a market demand for the produced goods/offered services is the most fundamental condition for any entrepreneurial organization, especially if having the vocation to provide job opportunities for socially and economically excluded people.

Initial funding (i.e., grants, bank loans, etc.) and commercial support (such as free-of-charge use of production plants and warehouses, production means, retail shops; donated discarded materials/commodities/byproducts by local industries/productive chains cutting down supply costs, business partnerships (B2B) allowing to cut-down production costs, risk sharing and larger client outreach).

BASIC INFRASTRUCTURES

At least basic infrastructure needed to start the entrepreneurial activity

SERVICES

Technical support to constitute and run the enterprise (i.e., legal, fiscal support).

ECONOMIC RESOURCES

Is there a market demand for the produced/offered product/service and its vision? Has the business idea been adequately validated and tested in the local market?

Are there players that can provide funding and commercial support?

Is your local context furnished with the basic infrastructures allowing for the entrepreneurial activity to carry out its value chain?

Are there organizations/individuals that can provide technical support to constitute and run the enterprise?

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5. DRAWBACKS AND RISKS

DRAWBACKS AND RISKS

COPING STRATEGIES

Which are the main risks that may arise?

Which are the best strategies that could be implemented in order to cope with and/or prevent these risks?

Going from a group of engaged friends pursuing a shared vision to setting up and structuring a social enterprise, is a delicate transition which, if not properly managed with strong leadership, can set relevant risks and potentially jeopardize the business growth and success.

It is necessary to leave teammates behind if visions diverge and become an obstacle to the business growth and to be able to bring in new competent and collaborators which are wellaligned on the business growth trajectory and vision.

Among those belonging to the initial group of project developers, only two people are still in Quid nowadays.

One of the greatest challenges in the growth phase of a social  enterprise is building its brand identity and a strong credibility. Creating and maintaining relationships especially with the for-profit sector means being able to meet a market demand and the market high-standard performance. A single false step in the growing stage can, therefore, cost the enterprise market reputation.

To face the market credibility challenge a constant high-quality service provision/ production performance is necessary.

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6. FINAL REMARKS 

Value-added of this model and case-study as a driver for sustainable human development and SDG localization.

The analysed Work Integration Social Enterprise (WISE) model can be considered an effective driver for sustainable human development as it offers an alternative vision and strategy to the mainstream market and social logic. In fact, in this model, what the traditional market leaves behind becomes the starting point for a new economic, social and environmental paradigm, in that: 

discarded materials/commodities and by-products resulting from market values chains become inputs for a new product life-cycle, hence providing low cost or cost-free supply for another production chain;

people belonging to a socially disadvantaged category or at risk of social exclusion and “left behind” from the labour market are offered a job training program and, eventually, stable job contracts. This entails restoring their social dignity, providing them a stable salary and, therefore the necessary means to achieve basic functioning and, ultimately, to expand their capability set (Sen, 1999).

In turn, these “subverting” social and economic mechanisms that can be put in place by just one social enterprise have the potential to trigger multiplying and cascade effects over the local territory where the experience takes place. Hence, by connecting to its local territory and engaging multiple territorial actors and networks, this model has a full “contamination” potential. Clients become aware of the social/environmental purpose and provide their contribution through their consumer choice, local public administrators, service providers and third sector organization can count on a successful re-insertion model, industry partners and suppliers become aware of a sustainable production model. Therefore, starting from a “micro” systemic change, namely the social and economic inclusion of people in a condition of fragility, the impact of this kind of experience can indeed reach a “macro” territorial level.

Final determinants to be considered when implementing this model in other contexts.

This kind of WISE experience has a high replicability potential in that, provided that a local context can rely on, to some extent, those supporting elements highlighted in the analysis, many and different inclusive and sustainable business models can be built starting from “what’s left behind” from traditional markets. The main underlying assumption when replicating this model is that setting up a WISE model means creating an enterprise which, it goes without saying, requires a strong entrepreneurial mindset and logic. Moreover, for an enterprise to be successful, there needs to be a market demand for its offered services and goods which is the most fundamental condition for the raison d’être of a social enterprise, especially if having the vocation to provide job opportunities for socially and economically excluded people. Furthermore, work-integration activities require specific competences and capacity building to properly collaborate with people experiencing fragility and social exclusion. In addition, this kind of experience has more chances of being successful if well rooted and connected to its local

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territory and value chains. In fact, they originate from the territories’ needs and for the vocational purpose to solve territorial social issues. At the same time, they draw economic, institutional, market and networking resources from the local territory in order to exist, survive and grow. Quid, as emphasised in the analysis, probably couldn’t have become what it is today without the support of big territorial market players, the territorial foundations, the local retailers, the supply from local textile industries, the strategic business partnerships, the territorial third sector networks, and the local administration institutional support. Therefore, cohesion building is another key determinant for the application of this model as well as the capacity to dialogue, partner and collaborate with multi-actor and multi-level territorial stakeholders.

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USEFUL CONTACTS

UNDP ART GLOBAL INITIATIVE Contact person: Andrea Agostinucci; Raffaella Garutti Email: andrea.agostinucci@undp.org; raffaella.garutti@undp.org Website: www.undp.org

ARCO (Action Research for CO-development) Contact person: Enrico Testi Email: enrico.testi@pin.unifi.it Website: www.arcolab.org

Social Enterprise QUID: Contact person: Silvia Scaramuzza Email: organizzazione@progettoquid.it Website: https://www.quidorg.it/

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