The Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition is an activity within the framework of the UNESCO Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

"Aste-Gi"- A Collective and Productive Social Cooperative Enterprise (SCE)

Published on July 3, 2014 um 12:24

Summary of your idea

Over the last decade, it is observed a continuous increase in the number of homeless people, especially in the city of Thessaloniki, who having nowhere else to go, trying to find a temporary shelter. This phenomenon is exacerbated recently because of the difficult economic situation in Greece. "Aste-Gi" (which means homeless people in Greek language) is a Collective and Productive Social Cooperative Enterprise (SCE) founded by three students of the School of Agriculture in Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 2014. It aims at a social rehabilitation of people who belong into the vulnerable group of homeless, long-term unemployed and students facing serious financial problems. The mission of SCE "Aste-Gi" is to assist its beneficiaries, who are homeless, to restart their lives. The main concern is to employ members of these vulnerable social groups in "Aste-Gi" and help their reintegration into economic and social life. The "Aste-Gi" will be placed in an abandoned building, property of Hellenic Red Cross, in the historic Centre of Thessaloniki, which will be renovated by achieving the engagement of local public authorities and research (e.g. AUTH, Municipality of Thessaloniki) as well as volunteers participation. Its operating revenues will be generated from a special configuration for space as hostel for students who pay for accommodation. In the building, there is a polymorphic place which will be used as an event hall and a conference room. Also, other central business elements of the company will be a restaurant in which the tenants of SCE could be employed as employees. A local retail store of traditional local products, as it is highly mobilized on this vulnerable group of people, is designed to operate inside the restaurant. Furthermore, a psychologist, a social worker and a doctor will be working in the enterprise for the smooth reintegration of the homeless.

Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development

The most important strength of "Aste-Gi" is its social impact. This can be achieved through the social cohesion created by the integration through employment of homeless people and the long-term unemployed after a long absence. Moreover, "Aste-Gi" company gives to poor students the opportunity to be accommodated and continue their studies. Furthermore, the restoration of the old building is important for the preservation of cultural heritage of Thessaloniki City. In this way, the culture of this underdeveloped district will be upgraded. Furthermore, "Aste-Gi" enterprise is supplied raw materials from local producers of Thessaloniki in order to promote their goods. Finally, the engagement and cooperation with local authorities ensures the social work of "Aste-Gi" enterprise and sensitizes the world on similar topics.

Plans for implementation and sustainability

Regarding the feasibility of the enterprise, the initial capital needed for the realization of the idea will be contributed by Business Angels and crowd-funding. The "Aste-Gi" is a novel and innovative Collective and Productive SCE, and after an extensive research there is a no similar organized and integrated organization or business in Greece, for the care of the vulnerable group of homeless people. Despite the economic situation in Greece the recent years, "Aste-Gi" believes that the residents of this city will help this vulnerable social group and may inspire others in the future to imitate it. In the future plans, another critical goal is to reach agreements with local producers, small and large food processing industries (potential sponsors) in order to work there the homeless members of "Aste-Gi". As a result of this movement the homeless members are acquired some experience and so its more likely to be absorbed into jobs, driven to their independence after two years, when the residence contract in the company expires. The ultimate goal of "Aste-Gi" is the synergy with well stated networks and other EU social enterprises for the care of homeless people. In conclusion, it is emphasized that the existing situation of homelessness is particularly difficult and for this reason the problem seems to be intractable. Nevertheless, "Aste-Gi" manages to give an optimistic note on facts and a different culture through its Business Plan (which also includes S.W.O.T. analysis, Consumer analysis, Market analysis, Competitor analysis and the choice of the location of "Aste-Gi") for the first three years of operation, which promises the sustainability of the enterprise and the attainment of profit through its services.

Your profile

Our team consists of three members: Melissas Stergios 24 years old, Lappa Nasia 25 years old and Thanasoulias Ioannis 25 years old. We are all students of the School of Agriculture in Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, in Greece. Our idea of "Aste-Gi" won the first prize in the International Conference for Social Entrepreneurship: A tool for addressing local development, youth unemployment and social needs, which took place in the city of Heraklion (Crete) in Greece, on 10-11 June 2014.

Stage of Idea

conceptual stage

Your idea has a positive impact on

education, poverty reduction, sustainable trade, youth

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Comments

July 21, 2014 12:55

Congratulations! great idea! GOOD LUCK!

July 16, 2014 14:11

. , . . !

July 14, 2014 11:38

!!!!

July 9, 2014 02:56

bravely, go ahead!