Support of Social Innovations: Case of the Czech Republic

Support of Social Innovations: Case of the Czech Republic

Jarmila Šebestová (Silesian University in Opava, Czech Republic) and Zuzana Palová (Silesian University in Opava, Czech Republic)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2215-7.ch007
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The aim of this chapter is to summarize the theoretical knowledge from the field of social entrepreneurship and the creation of social innovation and highlight the impact EU funds have on the development of social innovation in selected regions of the Czech Republic. The authors assumed that there could be a positive link between the amount of financial support and the number of created social innovations within the chosen EU programmes. Classification of created social innovation according to type, creator, priority axis in relation to beneficiary etc. came under other objectives. Social innovations are created as a positive externality from other social projects. Finally, recommendation for sustainable support evaluation is provided.
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Social innovations are considered as “new ideas/products, services and models) that simultaneously meet social needs and create new social relationships or collaborations. In other words, they are innovations that are both good for society and enhance society’s capacity to act “(Murray et al 2010) or “new and better solutions which meet urgent social (or societal) needs, and, at the same time, they create new social interactions and cooperation” (Kadeřábková, Moghadam Saman, 2013). Dobele (2015) added, that social innovations should bring newness, create new changes in society, solve social problems, create benefits for the whole of society, offer social value, and should be based on social motives. Social motives and other factors were also mentioned as determinant of social innovations by Murray et al. (2010). The impact of social innovations, stemming from those definitions, is crucial for economic and social development, and thus for social welfare. However, their implementation still depends largely on public support, especially in less developed countries. The main problems, which have an influence on the practice of social innovation, are a lack of legal recognition of social innovation (the current definition is available as a “project” call of each Operational program), insufficient social innovation policy coordination as well as a lack of data for the measurement of output.

Regional socioeconomic analysis, which is related to the problem of output measurement is mostly based on three pillars, which assess the impact of actions on regional policy. These pillars are economic (dynamics of economic development), social (investments in social capital, the main indicator for societal development) and finally, environmental (eco-friendly approach, recycling). The main condition of social development is the maintenance of a balance between these pillars (Minařík et al., 2013). In this context, Kapstein and Kim (2011) presented a fully developed matrix of socioeconomic impacts on the local community and their model includes four dimensions: macroeconomic impacts (GDP contribution and other macroeconomic indicators), socioeconomic impacts and linkages (education, employment), community impacts (changes in settlement, social structure, migration), and environmental impacts (pollution, investment in environmental protection). Despite the differences, the inputs and outputs of the social innovation process clearly remain as a multidimensional phenomenon.

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