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Kick-starting the social economy


A massage session by one of the project participants

Poland’s Małopolskie region nowhas a flourishing social economy thanks to a project which provides support to the likes of cooperatives, non-profit organisations, charities and social enterprises.

The Academy of Social Economy Development Project (ASDEP) created an ‘Information and Consultation Point’, where social economy actors meet to share knowledge, undertake training and collaborate on promotional activities.

The hub is also a place where organisations can learn about relevant laws – including the recently enacted Małopolskie Pact for Social Economy – and get help with their start-up business plans.

ASDEP has in effect built the region’s social economy from scratch. Ultimately its work – and that of the organisations it supports – helps at risk individuals such as the unemployed, disabled people, the homeless and substance abusers.

More than 1 700 people have so far benefitted from the project’s activities, along with 245 social economy organisations and 126 local partners.

In addition, 208 newly established social cooperatives received financial subsidies thanks to the project’s success in creating a viable social economy support structure. ASDEP has also improved local residents’ understanding of the social economy and its value to society.


Project name: Academy of Social Economy Development Project (ASDEP)
Area of activity: Supporting social enterprise
Partnerships for Progress
Project duration: July 2008 – June 2015
ESF contribution: EUR 2 907 901
Total budget: EUR 3 421 060
Participants: 1 711 individuals and 245 organisations
Country: Poland
Organisation: Regional Centre for Social Policy in Krakow
Contact details: Wioletta Wilimska
+48 124268811