A summary of the SB workshop in Prato (Italy)

July 19, 2011 by SBW Team   Comments (0)

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general discussion, social business planning, social business financing, running social businesses, social businesses under development

On June 28, 2011 we attended a workshop organized by the YSBCUF. It has been a truly rewarding experience, particularly as SBW was used as a case study of a potential social business. Below we provide a synthesis of the workshop which we hope will transmit the flavor to all. 

The workshop was divided in two parts: the first part was formed of a series of presentations by experts, practitioners and financial institutions. This part was introduced by Muhammad Yunus himself, followed by Eugenio la Mesa, inspiring co-founder of Cure Thalassemia, one of the very first social businesses around. Both Prof Yunus and Eugenio were on video-conference. Engaging discussions followed staring with Paolo Carrara (founder of “Un raggio di luce”) who provided insights into his phylantropic experience. Barbara Pasini (from Oltre Venture) illustrated how venture capital might provide a promising source of start-up finance and assistance for social businesses. Finally, Roberto Randazzo (from R&P legal) described the legal aspects of social business.

The second part of the workshop was, in fact THE workshop. Participants were selected to work on one of three case studies. One of the case studies under scrutiny was your very own SBW! During the working sessions participants were asked to realize a Social Business canvas identifying the key elements of the social business under analysis, from the relationship with providers to the interaction with customers. A SWOT analysis provided the opportunity of identifying strengths, weaknesses and ways to address them.

In the case of SBW, the working group pointed at a number of key issues that deserve close attention. These include SBW’s capacity to engage active participation from members, particularly those not acquainted with the concept of social business, and the capacity to raise sustainable financing over time. These and other issues are up for discussion in the specific groups and blogs in SBW. So don’t wait and start throwing in your ideas, questions and comments! Light the Bulb and make it brighter!

As a last word we would like to express gratitude to the organizers Enrico Testi and Marco Tognetti, of YSBCUF. To them our best wishes for a successful time ahead and encouragement to keep up the amazing work!