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Interview with Francisco Pizzaro (Business Development Manager), EU|BIC FUNDECYT-PCTEX & Rosa Méndez (Project Advisor)

We developed and established our human-centred methodologies for better social entrepreneurship support programmes. In all, people are in the centre. People are the solution to social problems; human interaction is the method to identify problems and design solutions.

To be more precise, at the centre of our methodology is an ecosystemic approach to impact-driven innovation, a quadruple helix approach to building a dynamic ecosystem, involving all members of society: public authorities, industry, academia, and citizens are brought in from the beginning of the innovation process, identifying opportunities and challenges, generating ideas that are incubated, prototyped and validated, delivered, accelerated and consolidated – aiding society and systematizing further innovation under the very same approach.

The more dynamic and inclusive your local social innovation ecosystem is more effective the business support programmes are.

FUNDECYT-PCTEX has been developing impact-driven social entrepreneurship Incubation and accelerator programmes since 2013. These include sustainable business model designing and our own methodological design of services directed at specific social challenges. We have two target audiences: firstly, entrepreneurs, and non-profit organisations that endeavour to start their first social enterprise and, secondly, traditional companies that seek to introduce social or environmental issues in their business model. Concretely:

The EFES project is a cross-border laboratory for innovation and social entrepreneurship. Its goal is to foster a social entrepreneurial mindset and impact-driven start-ups working with innovative sustainable business models.

It does so by stimulating agents involved in territories (both in Portugal and Spain) to cooperate and identify challenges and solutions. Then, through capacity-building services by experts in social entrepreneurship, and with collective work sessions and individualized tutoring, we work to consolidate innovative social enterprises in the EUROACE region.

Our sustainability advising service contributes to developing new business models with social and environmental criteria in traditional companies, and our circular economy pre-accelerator seeks to identify new ideas and innovative projects in an early stage of development and coach them to develop marketable solutions to sustainability challenges. The selected projects benefit from an adapted and tailor-made program that analyses potential target markets, determines their technical and economic viability, as well as optimizing and finalizing the technological development of their product or process.

Another program is the RAISE Youth project, an accelerator aiming to promote social entrepreneurship for young people in the rural world. The methodology we have created for this project offers an agile and deep itinerary that allows young entrepreneurs to design, define and set their entrepreneurship projects and the impacts associated with them, using a holistic approach that integrates their personal perspective and the necessities of their communities with nature.

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