Social entrepreneurship increasingly drives social innovation addressing social challenges in marginalised rural regions. Because social entrepreneurs are seen as promising new players with a capacity to tackle social problems, policies that effectively support social entre-preneurship counteracting challenges in rural Europe are very much needed. This Policy Round Table is based on the findings of the EU H2020 funded research and training project RURINNO that investigates the activities and ecosystems of social enterprises in rural Austria, Greece, Ireland, and Poland. It aims at strengthening the awareness of the social entrepreneurship approach in European, national and regional decision making bodies and stimulating the commitment of European, national and regional decision making bodies in order to establish supporting environments for social enterprises and social innovations in rural regions.
During the event the RURINNO project will be presented by the project leaders from the IRS, as well as the four case studies of the project in different rural regions in Europe. The project team developed a Policy Brief which summarises preliminary findings of the project and formulates policy recommendations that aim at strengthening the activity and the impact of social entrepreneurs in structurally weak rural regions. The three concluding recommendations for policy makers in the fields of social economy and rural development are: (1) assign social entrepreneurship a clear role in rural so-ciety and the economy, (2) facilitate sustainable business models for social innovation, and (3) reinforce voluntarism in social entrepreneurship as a mechanism for social inclusion in rural Europe. These findings and recommendations will be discussed with representatives from regional, national and european level in the second part of the Round Table event
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