CEPS is leading Montenegrin organization dealing with promotion and development of social entrepreneurship, social enterprises and social innovation. Social Business Development Program (SBD) has been developed by CEPS and the EFSE Entrepreneurship Academy to support entrepreneurs bring their business from seed and start-up stage into growth stage of their business circle.
The program is created to assess existing business models and empower businesses in their early stage to implement basic business planning principles and regularly assess short-term operational business plans, based on defined KPIs, as well as to enhance managerial knowledge and skills of key personnel. In this way we can support social entrepreneurs to impact lives and create meaningful change in their local communities.
THEORY OF CHANGE:
Social enterprises in Montenegro face numerous challenges, of which the greatest are: market sustainability and growth and development. Non-financial support (mentoring and consulting services) to enterprise growth and development in Montenegro is not developed, so entrepreneurs (especially those who lead social enterprises) are often left to themselves in the daily struggle for survival. The key problems that exist here are: 1) lack of necessary knowledge and skills due to insufficient human resources; and 2) running a business “by passion”, without a clearly defined business model. The Social Business Development Program (SBD) is addressing these issues – the ultimate goal of the program is to bring social enterprises and enterprises with the impact component from seed and start-up stage into growth stage of their business circle.
Although a large number of factors affect the business, the SBD program deals with three key issues: 1) improving the financial performance of the enterprise, 2) human resource development, and 3) standardization of the processes.
SBD encompasses a 12-month mentoring support program to individual enterprises, which includes two groups of activities: a) developing a customized business model; and b) enhancing managerial knowledge and skills of the organization, in accordance with the capacities and needs of each individual beneficiary.
Business model development is done through an assessment of the existing business model of the enterprise (which includes representatives of all key stakeholders), the definition of a new business model and its continuous adaptation to market challenges. On the other hand, the improvement of managerial knowledge and skills is done through continuous mentoring support, training, coaching, networking, etc.
CEPS has developed the Social Business Development Program (SBD) with the aim to support growth and development of enterprises that have a positive social impact. This one-year support program aims to provide standardization of the processes within the organization, by improving financial performances and available human resources of each beneficiary.
SBD includes at least 8 enterprises per a year, which will receive mentoring/counseling support for a 12 months period, in duration of 33 days individually.
The program aims to support social enterprises that include a clear social component in their business operations (improvement of the environment, social inclusion, support to local community development, employment of disadvantaged groups, etc.). Even though these enterprises (regardless of the legal form) struggle with market sustainability, due to their limited capacities, they still have significant potential for a positive impact on the community.
The program aims to help social enterprises move into a market-viable business model that has the potential to ensure growth and development of the enterprise and positively affect the community in which it operates.
The EFSE Entrepreneurship Academy, an initiative of the EFSE Development Facility, encompasses a range of programs to support startups throughout the EFSE target region. By working together with local organisations that drive incubation and acceleration projects, the Entrepreneurship Academy provides entrepreneurs and their new businesses with guidance, resources, mentoring, networking opportunities, the chance to receive financial backing, and other means necessary to turn good ideas into successful enterprises. In this way, the Entrepreneurship Academy and its partners help create an environment where entrepreneurs can thrive – driving the spirit of EFSE as “The Entrepreneurship Fund.”