Anna Kucinska
19 May 2014

The Prague conference on innovative promotion of social entrepreneurship 'Social Entrepreneurship or doing business in a different way'

Current trends in social entrepreneurship in Austria and Belgium, Fair Trade, social entrepreneurship and corporate social responsibility, green businesses, social cooperatives, public procurement and economic and social sustainability of business were among many topics discussed at the conference.
 
The conference was held on 2 and 3 April in Prague, the Czech Republic. It was organized by P3 − People, Planet, Profit under the auspices of Táňa Fišerová, the President of the Czech Helsinki Committee, in co-operation with Ashoka the Czech Republic, the Association of Corporate Social Responsibility and the Ecumenical Academy.

Over 200 supporters of social entrepreneurship attended the event, attracted by a rich and entertaining programme. The conference was opened by Petra Francová, the P3 director, who introduced the concept of social entrepreneurship in the Czech Republic. Partners from Austria and Belgium presented the current trends of social entrepreneurship in their countries and gave examples of typical areas of operation, stories and insights from their regions. The participants discussed at various panels such topics as social innovation and social entrepreneurship, the relationship between social entrepreneurship and corporate social responsibility and the needs of social enterprises.
 
The afternoon workshops enjoyed huge popularity. During one of them the participants debated the issue of Fair Trade which seeks to introduce forms of fairness and partnership between countries of the global South and North. Kateřina Tschornová, the representative of Fair Trade coffee roasters Fair & Bio, presented a practical example of linking fair trade with a social enterprise. Other workshops focused on different ways to manage social enterprises, to promote social innovation and socially beneficial business in the Czech Republic as well as green business. The association Kom-pot shared the concept of social farming with the audience. Kom-pot is looking for new ways regarding food and agricultural management. The organization KOKOZA promoted composting and growing food in the city.
 
P3 social enterprise ambassadors held a workshop on social cooperatives, public procurement and economic and social sustainability of business. Other workshops were dedicated to socially beneficial co-operation between social enterprises and companies as well as the development of social innovations and social entrepreneurship at universities. Marie Dohnalová from the Department of Civil Society Studies, Faculty of Humanities, Charles University in Prague, and Jaroslava Šťastná from the Evangelical Theological Faculty elaborated on the latter topic. The project of Enterprising School, which helps Czech schools and universities establish educational programs aimed at developing entrepreneurial attitudes and skills, was introduced by Lukáš Policar. Georg Shon presented international non-governmental organization Ashoka, which creates an infrastructure for cooperation among social entrepreneurs, enterprises, investors and the academic sector.

Throughout the two full days of the conference free individual consultations were provided in the field of social enterprise. Photographs, documentary films and profiles on the social economy were screened on large screens. The event also offered the sale of products and the presentation of social enterprises.
 
For more information on P3 − People, Planet, Profit visit: http://www.p-p-p.cz/en/