September 2021
Welcome to the first edition of the SE4Ces European project newsletter.

Following the launch of the website we proudly present the first edition of the SE4Cs newsletter. Take a look below and discover the ins and outs of the Social Economy 4Cs collaborative project.

We strongly encourage our readers to subscribe to the quarterly newsletter. 

Why subscribe?

- Stay in the loop of the latest advancements in the field of social economy education.
- Find opportunities to get involved and/or to become a partner.
- Learn about the potential of Social Economy Education.
- Get to know the world's foremost experts in the field & connect with them.

... and much more.
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What is SE4Cs about?

The Social Economy (SE) is a world of acronyms. It can be daunting at first but to prepare you we explain the essential: SE4Ces stands for “Joining Social Economy Forces (4Ces) towards Community development, Connected societies, Co-creation of knowledge and Collaborative education practices”.

“SE4Ces” is a Knowledge Alliance project seeking to create an enabling environment for the Social Economy to thrive by promoting closer partnerships between Higher Education Institutions active in Social Economy, Social Economy organisations and enterprises, as well as community stakeholders.

Financed under Erasmus+, the project aims to:

  1. Provide an overview of the current Social Economy education landscape and analyse the needs in training and skills in SE organisations.
  2. Pilot Social Economy Living Labs in 4 EU countries – spaces for interaction, collaboration and knowledge co-creation connecting HEIs, students, organisations and communities.
  3. Bridge the gap in supply and demand of SE education and skills by building up an international Masters programme on Social Economy and Community Development Strategies.

A story about impact.

With increasing levels of uncertainty, social inequalities and unemployment, social economy has proved that it is clearly making a significant contribution to address societal challenges by empowering people to play a vital role in meeting their needs. This has become vital in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and, even more so, in the Covid-19 crisis and the post-Covid era. Yet, the potential of social economy remains untapped, while education in social economy in Higher Education Institutions is still largely absent, or remains theoretical, failing to connect students with their communities and real-world learning experiences. We want to change that.

How to make use of the untapped potential?

SE4Ces is an ongoing ERASMUS Knowledge Alliances project engaging 9 partners from 5 different European countries, including universities and social economy organisations and backed by a scientific advisory council of world-renowned social economy experts.

SE4Ces aims at bringing social economy educators, students and social economy organisations together to co-design and co-deliver innovative educational methods and material on the social economy. Upgrading the skills and knowledge in the social economy is important to improve the ability of social economy organisations to meet social needs and improve their impact on the community. More importantly, doing this collectively with professors, students, social economy organisations, community stakeholders, helps create a favourable environment for a social economy to thrive.

We want professors to work closely with students and people from the field!

Nobody knows everything but all together we can cover for each other’s gaps!

We want to make people see the potential and value beyond the mainstream market economy!

We want to make people believe in themselves and play an active role in meeting their needs!


A successful kick-off.

Following our virtual kick-off meeting last February that was marked by great enthusiasm and commitment, we started with recoding what the situation is in the social economy in our target countries. Then we asked about the learning needs in the social economy talking to educators, as well as students and social economy organisations. We gathered valuable material and compiled it in five country reports and a synthesis report. We also mapped other social economy-related projects to see what synergies we can create to multiply our impact and carried out a review on service learning that will be an important component in our educational approach. This valuable material marks a great start to our project! In the coming months we will start designing the Social Economy Living Labs (SELLs), i.e. (virtual) spaces where we will co-create our educational material, so stay tuned for more!

Ultimately, we want to create the first International Masters’ Programme on Social Economy and Community Development backed by a very active European Community of Practice in Social Economy. The project already counts 20 associated partners that are interested in upgrading their educational programmes with the innovative approaches and resources that SE4Ces will produce and we will be seeking more interested parties on the way.

We don’t see SE4Ces as a project, but as the start of an important journey towards alternative ways of development, opening up minds and changing mindsets, building hope and empowering people, and eventually creating connected and resilient societies!

We hope you will join us on the ride! 

Join the SE4C community. Consider subscribing via the button below to stay in the loop.
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The release of this project comes with a brand new website that is freely accessible from any device. The website will be a platform where partners, policymakers, students, higher education institutions and social economy organisations can come to find information about the project: ambitions, outputs, publications, news,...

Visit the website here.


We need you! Help us shape new teaching approaches. Fill in a survey.
30 September 2021

The social economy remains untapped, while education in social economy is still largely absent, or remains theoretical, failing to connect students with their communities and real-world learning experiences.  

We want to create an educational programme on social economy and community development that brings together social economy educators/professors, students and social economy organisations/initiatives. We want to apply innovative educational methods and design this programme through real co-creation.

To do this we need your insights! We need your ideas! Help us reach the full potential. 

With your contributions we will develop innovative teaching methods for Social Economy study programmes. We are particularly interested in a specific methodology, which is inspired by the Living Labs approach, with the aim to construct our unique Social Economy Living Labs (SELLs).

If you are a professor/education in social economy, or a student, or someone who would be interested in studying social economy, or a social economy organisation/initiative and you wish to join us in this effort please fill in the respective questionnaire following the right link below.

Estimated time to complete the survey: 20 minutes.

Educators,  trainers:


SE organisations:

Thank you for your participation and for helping us design innovative, co-teaching/co-learning approaches in the SE area. Your opinion matters!

We are happy to release a series of reports in preparation for the Joint Masters' Programme and the Living Labs. The reports form the basis for future research by mapping what projects, service learning activities and educational provisions are already out there in the Social Economy (SE) and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).

Release synthesis report: SE education- a comparative analysis of FR, EL, IT, ES, UK
26 September 2021

The synthesis report provides a comprehensive review of educational provisions on the Social Economy (SE)  across 5 countries (UK, France, Spain, Italy, and Greece) and sets the foundations for understanding the ways in which an SE programme could be designed to meet the needs of various relevant actors (in particular, educators, students, and organisations). 

Our findings suggest that most programmes are quite general in terms of their focus on social economy or social entrepreneurship, with SE actors expressing an increasing appetite for more specialised courses which makes the development of new programmes with an explicit focus on social and solidarity economy strongly advisable.

‘Keeping a strong grounding in SE values whilst reaching out to a diversity of audiences’

Collaborations between Higher Education Institutions (HEI) and SE actors take different forms, yet they tend to be at the delivery stage rather than in the development of the programmes or the co-creation of knowledge, hence the role of SE actors in the designing and delivery of these programmes could be strengthened. Existing provisions do offer a range of innovative practices and any new programmes should build on, and expand, these practices. New programmes should provide a good balance between theory and practice, be flexible in their modes of delivery, create opportunities for networking, and have a strong grounding in SE values whilst being open enough to attract a variety of different audiences and adapt to different and changing environments.

Find the report here.

Report: mapping of; SE actors, HEIs through EU partnerships, and Service Learning activities. What is already out there?
26 September 2021

Bridging together Social Economy (SE) actors and Higher Education institutions (HEIs) through interesting EU partnerships.

This report provides a series of identified EU projects that constitute meaningful partnerships for the promotion and embeddedness of SE into HE educational systems among Social Economy (SE) organisations, universities and local actors. Although in principle their specific objectives may differ from one project to another, they share a common vision: 

  • to address existing challenges related to SE fields and to have SE as its core, even if their purpose slightly expands to fields that are related to SE principles (such as the concept of sustainable development and community development);
  • to promote the collaboration of HEIs with SE organisations and/or local community actors
  • to advance the academic programs with real societal issues and to promote the exchange and co-creation of knowledge between universities and SE agents.

On a final note, although the mapping of EU projects promoting collaborative and multistakeholder relations in the field of SE proves that many initiatives have offered an added value for the promotion of SE principles, these are of relatively narrow SE scope and their total number still remains limited. 

Service Learning: an effective teaching methodology for Social Economy related studies’

The next part of the report sheds light on the Service Learning (SL) application in HEIs across Europe and beyond, with the main focus on university programmes of SE area. According to the gathered information, SL is in its infancy in European universities although it is acknowledged as “as one of the most suitable learning methods for social entrepreneurship education, as students gain real-life experience with a social venture as part of a Service Learning project while generating social value in their community”.  Regarding the SE area, SL seems to be recognised as an effective teaching methodology, as it incorporates a practical aspect in the learning experience, a reflective approach, a community-based service as well as a beneficial experience both for the student and the participating enterprise/SE organization. However, although SL and SE as concepts generally co-exist within the university environments, there is little or insufficient collaboration between these two approaches and SL is still not widely common in SE HEIs. 

Find the report here.

Country reports: state-of-the-art UK, FR, ES, IT, EL
22 September 2021

The first set of reports for France, Greece, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom covers the analysis of the current state-of-the-art in relation to the existing level of participation of SE organisations in teaching and in the co-creation of academic knowledge as a way to offer a pragmatic aspect by actors that implement SE approaches on the ground.

Find more information about the reports here. 

Or view them directly by clicking below.

Country report United Kingdom

Social Economy education in the UK: "It should be in the DNA of all modules, in all disciplines".

Find the report here.
Country report France

Strong HE provisions but the collaboration between HE and SE actors could be developed.

Find the report here.
Country report Greece

Limited collaboration between HEIs and the field of SE.

Find the report here. 
Country report Spain

A flourishing SE reflected in the field of education.

Find the report here.
Country report Italy

‘Participation’ the new key word for social economy training in Italian HEIs .

Find the report here.
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This mailing has been co-funded by the European Union. The content of this mailing is the sole responsibility of the region of the organisation sharing it and can in no ways be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.
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