Ecosystems and networking are built on trust

Networking and ecosystems are built on trust, knowing and commitment. In the international OBCD-project (Open Business for Community Development) -project, where Helsinki Business College is a partner, Social Enterprise (SE) ecosystems are highlighted. Ecosystems are systematically functioning networks of public actors, educational institutions, businesses, foundations and others.

What are the steps to build a supportive ecosystem for SEs?

Building a social enterprise ecosystem requires careful planning, collaboration, and support from various stakeholders. In OBCD project we started the ecosystem building by stakeholder analysis. We answered questions: Who are the stakeholders which should be invited along? Who should be interested in such an ecosystem? What is the added value of an ecosystem and who could benefit? What is their impact on society?

Stakeholder analyses and engagement

While building an ecosystem it is important to engage with various stakeholders including government agencies, non-profit organizations, businesses, investors, academia, and the community. Building ecosystem with large partnerships and coalitions can more effectively share resources and expertise.

Building an ecosystem is an ongoing process that requires collaboration and commitment from all stakeholders involved. Ecosystems are based on collaboration and networking, and they are built on trust. Getting to know each other and pitching ourselves in a prompt way is the key to success. This is what we learned in meeting in Helsinki, and speed-project-dating in Lapinlahden Lähde, a member of OBCD ecosystem. 

People in a room.
Speed-project-dating in Lapinlahden Lähde. Photo: Helena Miettinen

Social Enterprises ecosystem building and networking can be also fun. OBCD projects 3rd international meeting took place in Helsinki. Co-creation and learning together was guaranteed while working in great Lapinlahti hospital and SE Lapinlahden Lähde. 

Next steps for the project are to pilot the MOOC modules. In Finland we have chosen tree modules to test and pilot: Ecosystems and networking, SE Marketing and open business and innovations. We are just about to start marketing our MOOC piloting executed by Helsinki Business College in May-July. For those SMEs, start-ups, SEs, NGOs and all interesting in OBCD ecosystem, online training and interactive platform are welcome to join us. 

Piloting timetable: May-July 2024. Apply by the 24.4.2024.

Project funding: Erasmus+ Alliances for innovation

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More information

Helena Miettinen,