Local Authorities' Incubator as a Tool Supporting the Synergies Between Companies That Apply Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Enterprises

Local Authorities' Incubator as a Tool Supporting the Synergies Between Companies That Apply Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Enterprises

Anastasios K. Sepetis (University of West Attica, Greece), Marilena G. Sanida (University of Piraeus, Greece) and George Pierrakos (University of West Attica, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3648-3.ch013

Abstract

The local authorities' incubator for social enterprises should be supporting the connection of local companies that apply CSR with social enterprises that are trying to succeed social value. The research in this chapter relied on a systematic literature review. After reviewing the literature, a methodology has been developed that describes the process of designing and implementing a local authorities' incubator and the synergies with social enterprises and CSR. The benefit of a local authorities' incubator in the field of social entrepreneurship is the facilitation of new social enterprises to overcome knowledge barriers and implement best business practices. Finally, in this chapter, it is suggested that the cooperation between local companies that apply CSR and local social enterprises under the guidance and support of local authorities' incubator could create synergies and produce new local certified PGI (protected geographical indication) or PDO (protected designations of origin) social/ethical/green/fair-trade products and services and promote the local economy.
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Introduction

The present chapter targets on how Local Authorities use Corporate Social Responsibility in order to reinforce Social Enterprises through the business tool of a Business Incubator. In a quickly transforming global economy, social enterprises are a steadily growing power for the enforcement of national economic development and employment. In the European level, the incubator is a common tool for economic strengthening and development of social enterprises. It is essential that Local authorities need to create and support social enterprises through incubators, especially in enterprises that focus on social innovation.

In the chapter entitled “The role of Local Authorities” is described how Local Authorities act as a coordinator between local stakeholders and businesses in order to contribute to supporting vulnerable social groups and aim to reduce unemployment through entrepreneurship. This particular role is not limited in providing subsidies but by making sensible use of Corporate Social Responsibility takes initiatives for the creation of a mutual support network between private and social businesses, aims at the development of social and economic environment. Within this framework, by taking advantage of financial subsidy tools and for the initial support of social businesses, Local Authorities create a supportive services network of social enterprises in their initial steps, which takes the form of an incubator. In the chapter entitled “Local Authorities Incubator” an extend reference is made in the incubator services and includes education, consulting, leadership and accounting support through concrete strategies. Part of the resources for the operation of the incubator comes from private local businesses in the framework of corporate social responsibility. Corporate Social Responsibility is an important part of businesses in their effort to gain an improved and better understanding of local society and their opinion for businesses that operate within their territory. See chapter Promotion of Synergies with Social Enterprises. It overcomes the plain term of corporate philanthropy and gets a business dimension in strengthening social capital that refers to social cohesion, social solidarity and social development. Supporting social entrepreneurship on behalf of businesses constitutes an important action of private businesses in the framework of corporate social responsibility.

This chapter has as a goal to: a) to support the necessity of corporate social responsibility that would work as a factor enhancing social capital of business organizations and entrepreneurship links with local society b) to highlight the role of local authorities as a regulator of the relationship between business action and social enterprises, c) the necessity to make good use of the incubator in supporting social entrepreneurship in its first steps, d) to promote actions for producing new local certified- PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) or P.D.O (Protected Designations of Origin) social/ ethical/green fair-trade products and services resulting from the cooperation and synergies of local businesses that apply CSR and local social enterprises in the context of the operation of Local Authorities Incubator.

Key Terms in this Chapter

PGI (Protected Geographical Indication): Mark designates a product originating in a specific place, region or country whose given quality, reputation or other characteristic is essentially attributable to its geographical origin and at least one of the production steps of which takes place in the defined geographical area.

PDO (Protected Designation of Origin): Mark identifies a product originating in a specific place, region or country, whose quality or characteristics are essentially or exclusively due to a particular geographical environment with its inherent natural (raw materials, environmental characteristics, location) and human (traditional and artisanal production) factors the production, processing and preparation steps of which all take place in the defined geographical area and in line with the strict production regulations established.

Local Authorities: The organizations which is responsible for the government of a local area.

Social Value: Social value is the relationship and the contribution of companies to the society as well as is larger concept which includes social capital and the subjective aspects of the citizens' well-being, such as their ability to participate in making decisions that affect them.

Social Enterprise: A social enterprise is defined as a business that has specific social objectives that serve its primary purpose. Social enterprises seek to maximize profits while maximizing benefits to society and the environment.

Business Incubator: Facility established to nurture young (startup) firms during their early months or years. It usually provides affordable space, shared offices and services, hand-on management training, marketing support and, often, access to some form of financing.

Corporate Social Responsibility: A company's sense of responsibility towards the stakeholders, the community, and the environment (both ecological and social) in which it operates.

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