Open Evidence in consortium with PWC, the Open University of Catalonia and the support of two European networks of social entrepreneurs (Euclid and Diesis) will conduct the project “Social networks and social entrepreneurship” for the European Commission (DG JRC-IPTS). The aim of this study is two-fold: (i) to create a European-wide network of social entrepreneurs to ultimately promote the social-entrepreneurial ecosystem; (ii) to test the central hypothesis that wide and diverse socio-economic networks within and across the Member States enhance social entrepreneurship.
The project will develop a social network where social enterprises from different European regions can interact, learn from each other and improve their businesses. For this, the social entrepreneurs selected will be supported by an online networking platform, business training and enhanced access to venture capitalists, granting institutions, entrepreneurial hubs, accelerator and incubator programs. The research aims at understanding the role of virtual social networks to promote social entrepreneurship and provide social entrepreneurs with access to funding. The impact of the intervention shall be assessed through a Randomised Control Trial (RCT).
The implementation of the project, the creation of a dataset of social enterprises and the results of the scientific evaluation of the project implementation may be used as support for policy-making and as bases for further future implementations to different sectors or studies.