Even before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the European Commission had indicated the need to speed up the transition of the Union’s economic and social system towards two major objectives: environmental sustainability and social inclusion.
As a consequence of that, companies must be ready for the challenge. In the light of these considerations, this project is linked to the need to support the transformation of the European economic and social system. In the knowledge that Member States experience different situations (as will be extensively described in the following boxes), the project aims to support the elaboration of the Benefit Corporation (BC) business model, indicating by this comprehensive definition a business model which combines the goal of profit with the purpose of creating a positive impact for society and the environment.
The Benefit Corporations operate in a transparent, responsible, and sustainable way. In order to become BC, a company have to amend its articles of association, including in the object clause the aims of common benefit that it intends to pursue. This means that the company will not only pursue the profit, but also the specific purposes of common benefit that it has inserted in its articles of association.
The Benefit Corporation can be placed at the crossroads between the for-profit and the non-profit: it is neither a social enterprise nor a non-profit organisation, but rather an evolution of for-profit business to take on the challenges announced from the European Commission and bring about common benefits for society and the environment. Until recently, the idea of a for-profit company pursuing social good at the expense of shareholder value had no clear protection under European corporate law, and certainly no mandate. Companies that believe there are more important goals than maximizing shareholder value have been at odds with the expectation that for-profit companies must exist ultimately for profit above all.
The transformation towards the new business model of Benefit Corporations can be achieved only through a deep evolution of Human Resources. However, while the skills and abilities of management roles are already being updated, there is no adequate plan for training and updating the professional figures who will have to implement the transformation within companies
At the Outcomes level, it is expected that the project, thanks to the planned training actions, will generate a change in the corporate culture towards the Commission’s objectives . Therefore the expected project results are:
- R1. Analysis on Benefit Corporation Model at EU level and a training needs map. The analysis aimed at examining how the BCs can become European key players following the European Commission Policies. The document will contain at macroeconomic level, a list of potential and positive spin-offs in line with the E.C. Policies; at educational level: a review of best practices and educational gaps of BCs.
- R2. Training Course and related Curriculum of Operation Specialist for BCs: a Training Course consistent with ECVET System organized in Training Units and divided into Modules. Each T.U. will contain the training objectives and the minimum duration. From the methodological point of view, the training course will comprise indications on the knowledge, skills and abilities that each participant must acquire:
- Business organization of BC
- Technical aspects of BC
- Legal aspects of BCs in the different countries
- Strategic aspects of BCs
- European and International dimension
- R3. Piloting and ‘Exploitation Strategy of new ‘Operation Specialist for BCs’ qualification. A clear and multimodal tools and teaching materials for Operation Specialist for BCs in 5 EU languages. Pilot Tests with 30 participants (15 in PT,15 in IT); Exploitation Strategy’ to spread the Operation Specialist for BCs at EU level. In addiction: Internationalisation Strategy closely related to the Exploitation Strategy
- Short-term joint staff training events (during the Pilot Test of the Operation Specialist for BCs vocational training course) in order to train 14 Vocational Trainers;