Social Investment and Social Innovation in Greece

Undoubtedly, social innovation is a concept that surpasses the boundaries of academia, business, and the public sector. Under the current conditions of the world market and the modern business needs, it would be very useful to use a more social approach worldwide.  World needs more social innovation and everyone who aspires to solve the world’s most worrying problems—entrepreneurs, leaders, managers, activists, and change agents—are now called to find new ways of creating social value. So, we have to bear in mind that the goal is to continue connecting entrepreneurship with social wellbeing. The low dynamic of Greek entrepreneurship has been surely affected by the financial crisis, but there are some other factors to take into account as well. The structural weaknesses of the country because of bureaucracy and the non-availability of promotion and support of entrepreneurship mechanisms have a great impact on Greek entrepreneurship, too.  Due to the lack of funds, many Greek foundations enter into partnerships with other foundations abroad such us prestigious universities. However, the emergence of Social Innovation has started to become a reality. On a monthly basis, incubator organizations offer specific training programs on social innovation.  Specifically, four Greek initiatives organized by some widely known educational organizations are presented below:


E-learning Program in Social Economy, Social Entrepreneurship and Microcredit at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens:

This program aims at a wide audience of professionals in the field of entrepreneurship, bank executives, social entrepreneurs and students in the social economy. The program can be very useful to those who will attend it in their professional and personal life. It deals with key theoretical issues and all the legal forms of social entrepreneurship in Greece, as well as ways and steps of creating viable social enterprises. At the same time, it affects issues of corporate social responsibility and female entrepreneurship.

It is based on the tutor lecture book, 100 video lectures and group discussion, daily electronic communication, assignments and exercises.

This e-learning course starts at May 29, 2018. Its duration is 3 months (65 hours).  The fees are 600 euros, with the possibility to pay in 3 instalments. The E-Learning of the University of Athens’s Education and Lifelong Learning Center has implemented the European Credit Transfer and Training System (ECVET) since 2015. In all of their programs, ECVETs are awarded, while graduates receive both the certificate and the Europass Certificate Supplement.


E-learning Program in Social Innovation at University of Piraeus:

The goal of the program is to define new roles and strategies for ambitious entrepreneurs, public and private sector executives who want to support the creation of social business and sustainable development. The successful completion of the online course means that the trainee will be able to understand the complex dynamics of social entrepreneurship as a global phenomenon.

Moreover, learners will be able to recognize and critically evaluate alternative ways of developing business while creating social value.  The acquirement of necessary skills, financing and sustainable development of the social enterprise is going to be thorough.

The starting dates for the courses are January, April, July and October. The Duration is 3 months. At the end of the quarter, trainees should deliver a 5-10-page paper with a short business plan based on the mission-based business plan. Trainees should submit this plan for a social enterprise or an innovative social project.  This plan involves a profit-making or non-profit organization serving a community, the arts, the environment or some other social purpose. Trainees can optionally submit their work in video format.

The fees for this program are 380 euros. At the end of the program a Certificate of Attendance is provided.


International Diploma in Social Economy and Entrepreneurship at FREE Studies:

The Postgraduate Program of Specialization in Social Entrepreneurship addresses the ‘ordinary’ people. It aims at both those who are active in the field of Social Economy and those who wish to update the informal knowledge gained in the subject. Also the attendees could be adult unemployed, workers or professionals of all ages who are interested in acquiring the necessary knowledge for social and environmental problems of the local community through Social Entrepreneurship.

Freestudies.gr gives you the opportunity to attend Free Masters Degree Programs, Vocational Training and Personal Skills Development. Curricula have been developed by established educational institutions and professors.

It consists of 10 units and the duration is estimated at approximately two hours and fifty-two minutes. Regarding the cost, it is 190 euros. After the end of the course, you are required to attend the final examinations for the “International Diploma in Social Economy and Entrepreneurship” through the examiny exam method (www.examiny.gr), supported by the Vellum Global Educational Services certification body.


Coming soon: Training Program in Social Entrepreneurship at Athens University of Economics and Business:

This training program is suitable for everyone who wants to acquire knowledge and skills within the social enterprise ecosystem. Athens University of Economics and Business has created the Social Entrepreneurship Unit (USE).

It is about the only training program in Greece that focuses on Social Entrepreneurship. This is a diploma and it occurs at the Vocational Training Center of the Athens University of Economics and Business. USE is the first research and academic entity in Greece to promote social entrepreneurship at national and global level.

The enrollment dates have been started and the program will take place in 2018, October until 2019, June.

Within this program, Athens University of Economics and Business developed an Educational Program in Social Entrepreneurship. It gives you the opportunity to develop your own social enterprise in the practical part of the program and check its viability. The program approaches, analyzes and discusses the creation and management of social impact initiatives. At the same time, it focuses on business approaches and skills that make it easier for people to maximize the social impact of their actions. Actually, it remains the only educational program of annual duration in the Greek market.

It provides a certificate with practical application as it helps in the creation and management of social impact initiatives. The trainees will be practiced with many projects. The total cost for attending is 2.200 euros. At the end of the program, trainees will have an excellent knowledge of ‘Social Innovation’.


Coming soon: Social Innovation Academy

Conclusively, what we need in today’s demanding reality is the concept of social innovation that provides an important opportunity to step back from a narrow way of thinking about social enterprises. Social innovations are not only good for society but also enhance individuals’ capacity to act. Informative training programs listed above help business people and professionals to gain experience and practice with new methods. However, the number of people attending these progrmmes is limited. So, the solution came from Limitless, Foundation and 3 other partners that have started a project aiming to develop the first online Social Innovation Academy in Europe (Social Innovation Academy) which has a focus on social innovation key issues.  Why Social Innovation Academy? It is necessary for entrepreneurs and for people who intend to use social innovation practices to gain a thorough understanding of what social innovation has to offer. If you are interested in keeping up with this project, you can subscribe to our newsletter, become one of our Friends, apply to join our Global Advisory Board or follow us on social media (LinkedInTwitter and Facebook). We welcome all requests for collaboration here.



The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsi­ble for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


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