What are the strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing social enterprises in Bulgaria

Какви са силните и слабите страни, възможностите и заплахите пред социалните предприятия в България

In continuation to the First Case Study Interviews conducted in April by the team of NASOR, now within the second Work Package of project B-WISE, there has been a follow-up in the “Building “Scenarios” and “Personas” for Sectoral Skills Strategy” activity. In the middle of July 2022, our NASOR experts followed the project guidelines and proceeded with the second Case Study in order to gather all the necessary input information by the WISEs in Bulgaria which are a subject of Phase 4.

The first case study`s (done in April 2022) reports and results helped to compile present and future skill needs analysis into “scenarios” as a baseline for strategy document to feed subsequent work packages for prioritisation and definition of lines for action. “Scenarios” successfully pictured the different types of WISEs in Bulgaria – with a focus on the use of technology – productive, trainings and social. In this way, the team of NASOR contributed to the mapping of the WISEs on a national level, and to present their current advantages and disadvantages, needs and future expectations by the social sector.

Now, thanks to the Second Case study, we receive even better pictures of the strenghts, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to the social enterprises in our country. NASOR`s specialists compiled present and future skill needs analysis into “Personas” as a baseline for strategy document to feed subsequent work packages (specially WP3 and WP8) for prioritisation and definition of lines for action. “Personas” will picture the different types of people working in WISEs for which skills gaps (with a focus on the use of technology) have been identified in the different scenarios. Using methods such as SWOT analysis, on-scene activity monitoring, staff interviews, as well as online ZOOM meetings, we have established an in-depth perspective on the WISEs latest developments.

Regarding personas, there is a need to go beyond a “category-based” approach and place skills strengthening programmes, especially digital ones, in the actual biographical paths of people, whether they are disadvantaged workers or managers of the organisation. For example, with regard to disadvantaged workers, beyond the category of disadvantage (e.g. substance addiction, presence of disabilities …), it is
important to understand how capacity building fits into the career path of a well-educated young person or a worker over 50 with low education and a discontinuous employment history.

The team of NASOR`s experts carefully selected the WISEs to be included in the research, after which a continuous correspondence was maintained, production facilities and social enterprises sights were monitored closely in order to get a better picture of all day-to-day activities, issues, work-related challenges, as well as personal struggles of the employees. The interviews which followed have provided us with the chance to ask questions focused on these organizatios` development and internal structures.

Based on this data, NASOR`s team of experts, who work on the B-WISE project has managed to provide the lead partners with important information, analysis on the WISEs essentials, and focus their attention on the main challenges that stand in front of the social enterprises in Bulgaria. Next, all information provided by the rest of the EU partners countries is to be summarized and analyzed, and discussions will take place later on in September. It would be a great opportunity to compare how the WISE models have developed and what can be improved on national and international level.

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