Social & Sustainable Fashion Entrepreneurs
Date du début: 1 sept. 2015,
Date de fin: 31 août 2017
‘SoFE’ stands for ‘Social and Sustainable Fashion Entrepreneurs’ it is a pedagogical training programme in the fashion industry addressing the biggest challenges of the sector and some of the most burning issues of societies today. These being the protection of the environment, the work integration of young unemployed people and the return of the production of the fashion industry back to Europe. The objective of the training programme are twofold on one hand to promote co-creation and collaborative processes and on the other hand to promote entrepreneurship skills that lead to innovation, creativity, competitiveness, sustainability, ethics and social entrepreneurship in all facets of the fashion industry. The target population is primarily young unemployed prospective social entrepreneurs; whom we want to empower start-up their own sustainable and ethical fashion enterprises in collaboration with other people. We also want to promote a new mindset in the sector so we are also targeting existing and early start-up fashion entrepreneurs who will be trained in these new values and skills.
The partnership consists of 7 partners from 5 European countries capturing the various cultural groups of Europe including The UK, The Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Greece. All partners are strategically situated in the fashion industry and the social entrepreneurship sector having an intrinsic interest and a deep expertise in the area. The consortium captures all different aspects of the fashion industry from Universities expert in Sustainability, to Business Schools, social entrepreneurs, fashion incubators, and fashion producers.
The methodology of the project is firstly the conduct of an exploratory mixed methods research in all partners’ countries and through their networks, if possible, to the rest European countries. This will provide the framework based on which the content of the learning programme will be designed. Once the needs and challenges of fashion entrepreneurs have been identified the partners will create an inspiring and pioneering in its approach Handbook containing the learning that needs to be delivered. The modules will be designed from the Handbook to be offered electronically and the e-learning platform will be created. The pilot learning programme will begin after a pre-testing on the partners and on a small sample of the target population. The recruiting of the pilot will take place making sure that the right mixture of participants will have been recruited in all 5 partner countries. The training will last 6 months leaving time for reflection and application of theory into practice. Parallel to the Handbook and the E-learning platform the participants will receive 6 monthly individual mentoring sessions and will take part into two 3 day face to face workshops that will follow design thinking and action learning methodologies. The face to face workshops will support them in self-reflection techniques, in ideation, in business canvas modeling and in developing skills on how to pitch to attract investors and support. At the end of the programme the participants will take part in the closing conference where they will have the opportunity to pitch and showcase their work to investors and sponsors. They will also have the opportunity to be awarded one of the excellence sustainability and social entrepreneurship awards that will be given at the final conference.
The programme is expected to be delivered through the partners and other stakeholders after the end of the funding. The expected impact of the programme and its benefits are: work integration for the participants through entrepreneurship or employment in the creative industry sector for unemployed people; to empower participants to start-up and grow their enterprises, to innovate, gain competitive advantages and increase efficiency, up to date training on sustainability in the fashion industry; to promote a sustainable, ethical and socially responsible fashion industry; to develop and use sustainable materials; to promote co-sharing skills to be able to collaborate and jointly innovate new products, new materials, new production practices and techniques, new distribution channels, etc; to increase their creativity and levels of innovation; the development of joined cross-sectoral European proposal combining the approach and philosophy of innovation, sustainability, ethics and social entrepreneurship; protection of the environment; to create a network and an online forum on the fashion industry; and finally work integration opportunities for battling youth unemployment, structural unemployment, exclusion of vulnerable groups.
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