The Municipality of Dodoni has the highest senior citizen rate in the country along with a huge problem of lack of services for their welfare, while the elders also confront the low accessibility to health infrastructure and benefits. Moreover, the municipality has the necessity of infrastructure for disabled people and for staff with expertise. On the other hand, there is a monumental cultural heritage that is not exploited to the maximum, whilst it constitutes a great advantage for Dodoni. Because of the above mentioned issues and because the existing social functions are unable to seize the possible potentials on their own, the Municipality of Dodoni has decided to support and promote the idea of the establishment of Social Cooperative Enterprises (SCE). The establishment and development of the social enterprises is supported by the Social Enterprise Ecosystem in Greece (SEE-GR) initiative. The ecosystem aims at providing financial and nonfinancial services such as seed capital in the form of a loan and specialized consultation services (mentoring) to the social enterprises during their first three years of operation. These initiatives will be supported by the Local Bank.
The project concerning the startup of Social Cooperative Enterprises offers a variety of opportunities for the improvement and the support of the aforementioned issues. The two proposed categories of SCE are: (a) “Social Care Cooperative Societies”, which are concerned with the production and provision of social welfare services to specific population groups such as the seniors and the people with disabilities, (b) “Social Cooperative Societies of Collective and Productive Purpose”, which concern the production of services to meet the needs of collectivity by promoting the local cultural heritage, promoting employment, strengthening social cohesion and strengthening local and regional development.
As the Municipality of Dodoni has the highest senior citizen rate in the country along with a huge problem of lack of services and infrastructure, the founding of a Social Care Cooperative Society for the seniors and the people with disabilities will:
- Provide care for the people with special needs.
- Provide creative employment for people with disabilities in all forms and degrees of disability.
- Provide psychological counselling and support.
- Educational programs for people with disabilities, environmental education, and intercultural education.
- Escort for senior people for day-to-day activities, cultural events and socialisation actions.
- Provide nursing services and buy medicines. Create new work positions.
As the Municipality of Dodoni has a great cultural heritage with the archaeological site and the monuments, establishing a Social Cooperative Society oriented in touristic will:
- Render touristic services
- Promote the local culture and products in a professional and more organised manner
- Create new work positions
Building on the sustainable and integrated approach
The strategy of the project for the startup of Social Cooperative Enterprises ensures a sustainable and integrated approach from the very start of the process. While the social system of the Municipality cannot cover the need that exists in social services, because there is a lack of funds, experts, infrastructure and personnel, establishing the SCEs with the support of the Municipality of Dodoni will fill in these gaps. The sustainability of the project is ensured while the SCEs are social and solidarity economy bodies which are non-single-person legal entities and are administered on an equal footing by their members.
All the economic activities are based on an alternative form of organisation of relations of production, distribution, consumption and reinvestment, based on the principles of democracy, equality, solidarity, cooperation and respect for man and environment. They apply a system of convergence in pay and quotas in the distribution of profits with the ultimate purpose of developing activities of collective and social benefit.
Based on a participatory approach
The Municipality has involved the local stakeholders and during the scheduled ULG meetings, that take place regularly in Dodoni, they gather for discussion and consultation in order to devise strategies for the implementation of the project. Using this participatory approach mixed with the know-how of the different stakeholders will gain notable outcomes and will foster possible future collaborations.
The focus of the meetings is in helping and supporting the processes. Each stakeholder will assist in their way, while the Municipality will provide for the locations which will be used to host the SCEs and for the promotion of the project while the local bank will provide for the funding of the project.
What difference will they make? How did the result indicator shift?
The startup of Social Cooperative Enterprises, which is promoted by the Municipality of Dodoni, will serve for the greater good of Dodoni. The SCEs will make a difference in the unemployment in the first place, as new work positions will be created.
On the one hand, the Social Care Cooperative Society for the seniors and the people with disabilities will provide care, support and help to the citizens who do not have a place to address to. On the other hand, the Social Cooperative Society which will be oriented in the touristic area, will make a great difference in the emergence and the highlighting of the wealth and the cultural heritage of the place.
Finally, there will be an awakening of the social communication for the city, translated in a significant number of news, in local and national newspapers and all the aforementioned will conclude in the support of the local development.
Why should other EU cities use it?
All EU cities could use this kind of approach as it will give them the opportunity to reinforce and develop their communities. These models of Social Enterprises use a sustainable approach to help the citizens and the municipality by responding to the demand, as well as, at the same time new work positions are created. In this way the costs, both economic and of Human Resources, for the administration is greatly reduced, if not completely, while the object of the action remains of public domain with all the advantages for the city related to this aspect.
The participatory approach in the process is also very important, as it raises the awareness of the citizens. The cooperation between public and private sector could be hard at times, but if it is successful it could bring great results to a city and its heritage in terms of innovation and sustainability.
Key Facts and Figures:
Start and end dates of case example
November 2018 – December 2020
Date of preparation of this case example
Who prepared the case example?
The Municipality of Dodoni with the consulting of external experts
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