On November 8, Social Enterprise Alliance (SEA), in partnership with World Vision Georgia, hosted the 12th Social Entrepreneurship Forum at the Stamba Hotel.
The Social Entrepreneurship Forum’s primary objective is to promote the idea of social entrepreneurship and disseminate information about the sector. This platform serves as an avenue to establish and reinforce partnerships between social entrepreneurs and representatives from diverse sectors.
The Social Entrepreneurship Forum has been a significant annual event since 2012, and since 2017, it has served as a platform for revealing the ‘’Social Enterprise of the Year” for appraising contribution to and success in the sector.
Around 150 representatives from the public, private, and non-profit sectors came together at the 12th Social Entrepreneurship Forum. The event featured a variety of discussions and formats. It allowed key players in the field to engage in panel discussions about the social entrepreneurship ecosystem, while also providing all participants with the opportunity to collaborate in small working groups. During the first part of the forum, speakers provided a recap of the past year’s highlights and discussed the upcoming prospects.
“For the development of the social entrepreneurship ecosystem, we believe a systematic approach is crucial, from both the side of the state and from the side of supporting organizations. We are pleased that the 12th Social Entrepreneurship Forum plays a pivotal role in this process,” said Salome Kusiani, director of SEA.
Irakli Giorbelidze, the coordinator of World Vision Georgia’s youth project, presented forthcoming opportunities in the realm of youth projects to the attendees. He introduced the key directions of the SKYENet project, focusing on the significance of social enterprises and youth engagement in this process, among them the diverse SKYE clubs empowering youth, and other non-formal learning opportunities.
Attendees had an opportunity to listen to speeches from keynote speakers, who elaborated on the topic of artificial intelligence and its application in enhancing work efficiency. New social enterprises that use technology to solve public challenges were also introduced.
The forum’s highlight was the announcement of the “Social Enterprise of the Year 2023.” After consideration by a seven-member jury, the finalists were “Free Space”, “Edena” and “Ikorta”
The social enterprise Ikorta earned the prestigious title of Social Enterprise of the Year 2023, determined through a confidential voting process during the event. As part of this recognition, they received financial support to further develop the enterprise.
The social entrepreneurship forum was held within the framework of the ongoing project “Advancing Social Entrepreneurship for Sustainable and Inclusive Society,” with the support of the European Union. World Vision Georgia was a partner of the forum within the EU-funded project “SKYENET- Skills and Knowledge for Youth Empowerment Network” implemented in Georgia, Armenia and Moldova. The project aims to accelerate the youth-driven social entrepreneurship, with a focus on green and digital economies, through the development of social enterprise business models, cross-border networking, and an improved business environment, as well as enhance opportunities and the capacity of young change-makers to transform their impactful ideas into sustainable social businesses.
The European Union has been actively strengthening the Social Entrepreneurship Forum and, in general, the field of social entrepreneurship in Georgia, making a substantial contribution to its development.