5 Participating countries:
Start: 01-01-2015 - End: 31-12-2016
Project Reference: 2014-1-UK01-KA202-001620
EC Grant: 119075 EUR

Programme: Erasmus+
Key Action: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices
Action Type: Strategic Partnerships for vocational education and training


he European Certificate in Community Enterprise (ECCE) is a new European-level vocational qualification being developed by partners from UK, France, Spain, Sweden and Romania. During the life of the project they will combine their knowledge and experience to create a relevant, flexible and needs-driven qualification to specifically support growth across Europe's Social Economy. ECCE also sets up a new Learning Network as a way of disseminating and mainstreaming ECCE and its specialist toolkit.

ECCE project partners will work collaboratively to develop the tools, knowledge and resources necessary to deliver a highly-effective, accredited social enterprise start-up programme. Each partner pools their knowledge and experience to establish a new vocational qualification to be used as a development path for people unaware of their potential to set up socially-responsible venture, which will contribute to the socio-economic wellbeing of their community, their peers and their countries

In turn these ECCE certificate-holders will inspire fellow social entrepreneurs and will enthusiastically encourage others to take up the training available to them through the partners. By targeting hard-to-reach communities through this project the ECCE certificate will also represent a vocational learning bridge between people with low educational standards and higher education. Demand for higher education focussing on social enterprise is likely to grow as a result of ECCE; a result that is likely to continue beyond the project’s funded timeline.

ECCE has the potential to drive significant social change. The partners develop the means for large numbers of aspiring social entrepreneurs to become enterprising and focused agents for change across Europe. It also allows each partner organisation to develop good practice within their own daily work.


Most Member States have introduced measures to try to overcome the current economic down-turn. Governments are reducing subsidies & cutting grants to NGOs who in turn have increased need to respond to growing local needs created by these cuts. This creates a needs-driven opportunity for NGOs to emerge as social enterprises; developing business skills that to date have not taken priority. But training is needed.


Balancing needs of clients alongside those of commercial enterprise causes problems for organisations with a social purpose. This is a challenge but it also creates a niche market for growth. Many NGOs have potential to become quality providers of jobs, supporting by the emergence of enterprise. Some of the world's best and most successful entrepreneurs have been excluded members of society in their personal past. Using their natural entrepreneurship "street-wise" skills are used to overcome poverty & disadvantage. Many have had no entry-level qualifications that would have allowed them to access HE. This anomaly exists across Europe. (EU Platform against Poverty, EU2020). Through links to previous projects the partners have recognised a need for a bespoke, practical and effective toolkit to help incubate new enterprise within the social economy. ECCE responds to that need.

Method to be used:

The partners strengthen links between VET & the labour market by designing the ECCE course & working with partners to draft the framework for a new vocational qualification based on the needs of the social economy. Lisbon Strategy includes developing VET par-excellence. Without capturing natural entrepreneurship the EU will not meet these targets.

The partners analyse each vocational system within their own country, compare and evaluate its strengths and weaknesses, take best elements from each, shaping ECCE. A report is published and preparation is made for mainstreaming.


1. To work with partners to analyse the training needs of social entrepreneurs across Europe.

2. To design a new vocationally-based Certificate in European Community Enterprise.

3. Carry out study visits and workshops to recognise and build on good practice and to transfer innovation to create new and bespoke learning opportunities to meet a niche market.

4. Pilot the new ECCE course containing a Social Enterprise Development Toolkit to be designed by partners and delivered to a transnational sample group of 24 social entrepreneurs.

5. To hold a final seminar as a major dissemination event at the of the project from which the final design of the new ECCE course will confirmed and the processes of accreditation as a new vocational qualification will be launched.

6. Transnational project meetings will be held, including visits to good practice, innovative examples of successful social enterprise. There will be a total of 40 Learners from partner organisations will be taking part in the project and the wider impact will include influencing the lives and employment prospects of many others.


Results for this project are not yet available. They might become available after the project's end date.


Social Enterprise Kent CIC

2B The Links, CT6 7GQ
Herne Bay

Organisation type: Other


Saint Clementin
Organisation type: Other
Action with Communities in Rural Kent
Organisation type: Non-governmental organisation/association/social enterprise
Asociatia ProVita pentru nascuti si nenascuti
Valenii de Munte
Sud - Muntenia
Organisation type: Non-governmental organisation/association/social enterprise
Stockholms län
Organisation type: Other
Comunidad Valenciana
Organisation type: Other


The European Commission is not responsible for any uploaded or submitted content. Such content expresses the views of its author(s) only.