On December 4 th 2023, PRIZMA, the Foundation for the Improvement of Employment Opportunities and the Regional Development Agency for Podravje – Maribor, as part of the 3P4SSE project, implemented virtual study visit “Creating Conditions for Social Economy and Social Innovation in Podravje region & Slovenia.” Through a two-hour study visit, Slovenian SSE practices were presented. Msc. Urška Bitenc, head of Social economy division at the Ministry of Economy, Tourism and Sport, introduced social economy normative framework in Slovenija. She presented social economy regulation and definition, the legislative framework, support for the development as well she outline key highlights of the social economy Strategy 2023-2033 that is the final stage of preparation in Slovenia.
Slovenian partners PRIZMA Foundation & Regional Development Agency Podravje Maribor presented the Social economy and social innovation support ecosystem – SocioLab that was set up and it’s operating in Podravje region & it’s governance and impact that the SocioLab brings in the region. SocioLab is a supportive ecosystem of social innovation and social economy (network of Podravje region based on partnership agreement – SE support organisations, social enterprises, public organisations (local development organisations)) and other stakeholders. Dušanka Lužar Šajt and Amna Potočnik said, that Sociolab has supported, in the startup, development, or growth phase, 40 different social enterprises, cooperatives, and initiatives in the Podravje region. This has led to the creation of “Stories that Transform” – stories of responsible (social) entrepreneurial and cooperative ventures, resulting in the development of 30 new socially innovative products/services that generate positive social and environmental impacts.
Via Vitae & Jeej! and Dobrina cooperative presented themselves as a product of their successful cooperation with Sociolab. Both cooperatives are examples of good cooperation with public and private partnerships. Aljoša Huber of Via Vitae & Jeej! and Danijel Zorko from Dobrina cooperative agreed that 3P partnerships are essential to start-up and sustain a social business and to scale up.
The virtual study visit Slovenia was ended with partners discussion and interactive feedback by partners and was followed by post VSV SWOT analysis.