About Social Innovation Platform (SIP)
A new initiative developed by the Center for Training and Consultancy (CTC) that aims to support development of innovative ideas focusing on social changes. The program is oriented at supporting young social change makers in Georgia to launch and initiate innovative and sustainable solutions. The project is committed to shifting the paradigm of innovation from economic growth to one that generates public and social value. Social Value is created when resources, inputs, processes or policies are combined to generate improvements in the lives of individuals, groups or society as a whole.
Undoubtedly, Georgia has made tremendous economic progress in the last couple of decades, attributing to factors like liberalized trade, upgraded infrastructure and strengthened public finances, among others. However, despite these achievements, many complex social and environmental challenges such as ageing population, exclusion of ethnic minorities from mainstream socio-economic activities, gender inequality, high out-migration, high unemployment, poverty, a traditional approach to education, underdeveloped human capital, and vulnerability to climate change and natural disaster remain. Besides, the socio-economic repercussions of the fall of the Soviet system are still prevalent.
On the other hand, the unconditional focus on open-market and economic production is leaving out the other essential aspects of well-being, which are equally important in creating an equal, just and peaceful society.
Similarly, limited access to finance, quality education, and skill enhancement opportunities have prevented many Georgians from having a better life. They have affected their critical thinking ability and creativity in finding better alternatives.
Therefore, these growing issues require new and innovative types of solutions by private actors. We believe that these solutions could be found with interdisciplinary methodologies combining the essence of business, innovation and technology with an entrepreneurial approach to design such solutions and leading to sustainable outcomes. That is why CTC has initiated Social Innovative Platform (SIP), which would support “Social Innovators” in finding novel and sustainable solutions. These are the people who we consider “a new generation of civil society actors who are driven to address the systemic problems facing the world today.”
SIP is open to those who want to challenge social issues, who feel a sense of social responsibility, or those who have ideas for a change. In essence, an individual, a civil society organization (CSO) or a community-based organization (CBO) can be a part of SIP. All they need is a relevant idea and the willingness to develop a sustainable business model.
Our approach is based on consolidating three concepts – social enterprise, social entrepreneurship and social innovation. The three concepts reflect the nuances of ‘change agents’ with the mission of addressing social unjust. They are interrelated and interwoven.
- While social innovation is the idea that suggests novel ways of solving problems;
- Social entrepreneurship is the mindset driven by the social entrepreneur; it includes systemic and strategic thinking approaches as well as risky and gutsy decision-making;
- lastly, the social enterprise is the business model that requires specific ways of administration and management.
They work in tandem because they are all bound by the belief that social change is vital to create a society in which everyone prospers through the creation of social value.
Information for inspiration
awareness about social enterprise, social entrepreneurship and social innovation by bringing to light the numerous inspiring and successful examples to trigger new ideas and motivation;
social entrepreneurship is the mindset driven by the social entrepreneur; it includes systemic and strategic thinking approaches as well as risky and gutsy decision-making;
Funding for selected start-ups and mobilizing financing for the cause:
Funding for selected start-ups and mobilizing financing for the cause: Last but not least, SIP will promote the concepts of social enterprise, social entrepreneurship and social innovation through start-ups, encouragement of experiments, and persuading donors and investors to support investing in such initiatives.
How SIP Works
Project consists of four components – campaigning, running resource web portal, award competition and supporting awarded start ups.
I – Campaign regarding social innovations:
The campaign includes spreading information about social innovations and entrepreneurship, e.g. what it means, why it is important. Open door meetings in Tbilisi and in the regions are organized as well as relevant communication messages and good practice examples would be disseminated.
II – Running Resource web portal:
Sip runs special web platform www.socialinnovation.ge, which offers to the interested audience educational resources. Self paced courses about social innovation and other interested topics are also accesible from the platform. in addition the platform contains interesting news, articles, blogs and thematic videos and other relevant materials about the topic of social entrepreneurship.
III – Organizing a Competition:
The program is oriented at supporting young social change makers in Georgia to launch and initiate innovative and sustainable solutions. The competition is open for everyone aged 21-35. Ideas can be submitted online at www.socialinnovation.ge
The candidates would be selected by a special jury that operates on a voluntary basis.
IV – Supporting awarded start ups:
As a follow-up, the project would actively cooperate with the announced awardees. More specifically, the project would support both in technical issues as well as in terms of mobilizing additional resources.