Interview with Giannis Vikas

What are the main characteristics of existing training and learning on social entrepreneurship?

Public and private bodies Facilitators on social entrepreneurship: Giannis Vikas – Trainer – Mentor/member of “Epihiro Kinonika” Athens -
Giannis Vikas – Trainer – Mentor/member of “Epihiro Kinonika”

The “Epihiro Kinonika” (EN= I socially attempt) is an initiative of the Development Company and Tourism Projection of City of Athens (EATA) and has already completed the support (in 2015) both cycles of new social enterprises, addressed both to existing operators already active in social entrepreneurship as well as to individuals and groups that have a mature business idea with a social purpose and want to practice it.

Currently, we’re implementing the investment readiness program for mature social enterprises that want to extend their business and aims at networking social enterprises through financial instruments. This program will be completed in late June 2016.

The piece of group and individualized tutoring referred below as the two first cycles that have already been completed.

The group counselling program aims to explain basic concepts and tools of “social business” as well as in the formation of a single social business culture that emphasizes social and business dimension, the social footprint as the place and role of social enterprise in society. This creates a common basis for all participants, so be prepared and equipped for personalized advice below.

The training program prepares a social enterprise to present, analyze and assess the social footprint is the community in which it operates, and potentially the wider community. Simultaneously introduces the business tools will support and will lead to achieving sustainability.

The advisory group will include training in the establishment and operation of a social enterprise and the development of specific social and entrepreneurial skills of social entrepreneurs-business. The 6 sessions lasting a total of 30 hours, covering the sections of the social economy and social entrepreneurship, strategic planning and social value, legal forms and the creation of social enterprises, organizational structure and business planning, human resources and governance , finance and funding issues, and communication and public relations.

The networking of business ecosystem of social enterprises and social economy organizations and understanding of the challenges and opportunities of the sector is another target of the training module of group counselling. In this context place and visit to mature social enterprises, in order to transmit practices, experience and knowledge.

The seminars are supplemented by the targeted two-day bootcamp which analyzes the depiction of the social impact of social enterprise and leadership issues and participatory governance through interactive workshops.

Detailed program

  • 1st Meeting – Introduction to Social Business
  • 2nd Meeting – Methodology and social impact
  • 3rd Meeting – Organizational Structure and Business Planning, Financial Management
  • 4th Meeting -Legal Forms and Social Enterprises Recommendation Financing
  • 5th Meeting – Communication and Public Relations, Purchasing and Marketing
  • 6th Meeting – Human Resources and Governance Networks and Synergies
  • Visit Social Enterprises


Day 1 – Social footprint, social value, social capital, social ‘accounting’ and ‘control (social accounting and auditing)

Day 2- Team collaboration and leadership (Team Leadership)

What do you expect from training/learning?

Upon completion of peer counselling and diagnostic needs, the beneficiaries had acquired a common framework of knowledge that would help them to faster monitoring and better understanding of individualized counselling. During the first meetings of individualized tutoring, key advisers informed of the essential characteristics of the beneficiaries and their activities, so less time is required to understand their needs and their function. Based on the needs previously identified, the main consultant chosen and qualified consultants in modules such as finance, human resources, legal issues, tax consulting and accounting issues, as well as marketing, costing and development of social impact. Overall, each beneficiary had 25 hours of personalized counselling in which was developing all the above sections and prepared its business plan.

What are your needs?

Most beneficiaries had the most basic need to prepare a business plan and identify potential funding sources, and had relatively good knowledge of their business and their business social dimension. However, even under the social dimension were unable to express clearly their social impact and supported in this piece. A basic need of those not already in operation was the establishment of social enterprises and the legal and tax consulting / accounting support during the initial stage of operation. Most beneficiaries (especially the Urban Non Profit Companies GSSE) had the need to create a viable business operating model, so you do not have a high dependency on donations and third injections. The general trend of business was to turn to the market to generate an income for their sustainable operation, which is a key program approach for “Epihiro Kinonika”.