Ergani center was created to fight unemployment especially among women, youngsters and social vulnerable groups. It is a GP that offers support & networking.
The problem addressed by the GP is high unemployment especially among women, youngsters and social vulnerable groups. The GP reaches its objectives by providing complementary services: information, advisory, personal and group consultation, training, incubating, mentoring and networking to the beneficiaries in order to find a job, start-up a business, start or develop a cooperative business or association.
Between 1995-2010, Ergani Center built an important expertise in the field of supporting cooperatives through its work with women rural cooperatives in Northern Greece. Based in the recent Greek law for Social Economy, Ergani Center started to work as a Community Center, supporting the starting-up and development of this new type of social cooperatives. Ergani prepared tools, trained staff and provided a number of services to new or existing cooperatives.
Between Aug 2015-Jul 2016, Ergani implemented a project, funded by a private donor. During this time, it has supported more than 150 persons and 60 groups or Social cooperatives.
Key actors are:
-The partners of Ergani Center: Municipality of Neapoli-Sykies, Anatoliki SA, Association of Exporters -Northern Greece, University of Western Macedonia, Alexander Technical Educational Institution of Thessaloniki
-The partners of the project “Women in Network” (NGO) & the “Earth Spiral” (Social Cooperatives)
- The “Social Cooperatives Network of Central Macedonia”, created by Social Cooperatives supported by the project.
Ergani operated in early years (August 2015 - July 2016) under the 70.000€ offered by a private donor. It still offers its services funded by own budget and with the help of volunteer work.
Evidence of success
The GP achieved to stimulate a lot of people and lots of partners to this project.
-Services offered to 180 people and 32 groups.
-Creation of 15 new social cooperatives; (12 more under creation)
-Support of 26 existing ones
-Creation and support of the regional Network of Social Cooperative of Central Macedonia with 35 members
-Cooperation with 26 more organization from the region of Central Macedonia and 12 from all over Greece
The main problems were the bureaucracy of the donor procedures and the short period of time between the system design and its operation. But Ergani overcame effectively the lack of time, due to the wide experience of its partners and achieved to operate before the official start of the project.
Potential for learning or transfer
The project was well structured and addressed to real needs of the society, so Ergani continues to provide the same services even 2 years after the official end of the project (Aug 2015-july 2016). The main services have the possibility to be duplicated with local adjustment .