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SocialB – Social Business Educational Ecosystem for Sustainability and Growth

Duration: 36 months
TUS Project Budget: €175,531
Total Project Budget: €917,963


SocialB will explore and address the skills gaps and training needs in current educational/training programs by establishing a framework to develop the competencies of students, social entrepreneurs and social enterprise (SE) practitioners through effective pedagogies for active learning, targetted at social enterprise practitioners.

The project will deliver a comprehensive assessment of the skills gaps and training needs in key areas critical for the development, sustainability and expansion of the SE sector. Based on this assessment, SocialB will design, develop and pilot 16-24 learning units which will incorporate an innovative mix of blended learning methodologies, to students and SE, to facilitate the development of critical entrepreneurial skills.

The learning units will form the primary content of the SocialB eLearning Repository, which will offer an accessible suite of educational resources to support individual learning, organisational training, and network development to support the longer-term sustainability of SEs.

SocialB aims to stimulate significant changes in HEI curricula & VET training programs by integrating a learner-centred approach oriented to real, problem-based learning and skills acquisition in the field of social entrepreneurship.  It is envisaged that the learning unit materials and methodologies will form the basis of a common EU-wide, HEI/VET approach to education and training in the SE field, and that they will be adapted in full or partially by a range of HEIs and VET providers across the EU. 

SocialB will implement the project through an innovative, multidisciplinary model of collaboration between HEIs, VET providers, social enterprises and SE-focussed business development agencies.  The SocialB consortium is comprised of 8 partners representing these key pillars, who will collaborate on all elements of the project design, delivery and dissemination, thereby facilitating the exchange and co-creation of practice-oriented learning to enhance the social entrepreneurial skills of students and practitioners, and the entrepreneurial skills and teaching approaches of HEI/VET staff.   In so doing, SocialB will enhance the innovation potential and skillsets of both HEI/VETs and social enterprises and strengthen the fabric of vital social economy ecosystems.

Objectives and Aims of the Project

SocialB seeks to enhance sustainability and employability within the social economy sector, by empowering existing and future social enterprise practitioners with critical competencies and skills, by promoting and imparting entrepreneurial and transversal skills to HEI/VET students, and by enhancing the practical and operational knowledge base and learning of HEI/VET institutions’ staff.

The objectives of the project are:

  • to build the social entrepreneurial mind-set and competencies of students interested in social entrepreneurship and employment within the social economy sector, by bringing real-world SE practice into their learning environments;
  • to enhance critical skills and competencies of existing and future practitioners currently involved in running social enterprises, based on identified gaps and challenges in existing social entrepreneurship education and training, by providing them with exposure to academic approaches and frameworks;
  • to develop a replicable partnership model between SEs and HEI/VETs to inform the development of state-of-the-art learning and educational resources and materials;
  • to develop an innovative, collaborative and multidisciplinary approach for teaching and learning competencies in SE capacity building, by integrating Problem Based Learning, Work Based Learning, E-Learning, and Gamification approaches, that can be implemented and replicated across the EU;
  • to facilitate a wide range of SE Stakeholders across Europe to utilize high quality, state of the art learning resources, available through the SocialB eLearning Repository (portal), so that common critical skills and competencies in social entrepreneurship are developed;
  • to raise awareness and exploit SocialB outcomes and products beyond the project consortium, and beyond the lifetime of the project, thus strengthening social economy ecosystems within the EU.
Contact Information

Marie Taylor
Project Officer

Funded by Erasmus+, KA2: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices – Knowledge Alliances

TUS Activities
  • WP1 lead – monitor and take overall responsibility for project management and coordination aiming to ensure quality outputs and outcomes are delivered within time and budget allocated, communication and reporting strategies.  Oversee the legal, contractual, financial and administrative management.  Responsible for project’s risk management strategy and coordination of any relevant adjustments, amendments and responses to challenges
  • On-line questionnaires to HEIs and VETs
  • Implementation of on-line surveys and in-person interviews (SEs, social partners, SE advisors)
  • Review of learning units
  • WP4 lead – Development of eLearning platform and review
  • Pilot training
  • Internal and external evaluation reports with BD
  • Creation and maintenance of project website
  • Development of e-newsletters every 6 months with BD
  • Integrate social media platforms
  • Organise 2 workshops
  • Disseminate the results and knowledge gained with relevant stakeholders and interest parties
  • Organise final 1 day conference with BD to disseminate, promote and discuss the outputs, outcomes and general findings.