On 12th and 13th of December 2022, in the framework of the #NetWorksProject, participant networks met in Budapest for a project meeting hosted by Galileo Progetti. During the first day, partners exchanged on the latest developments of the project, reviewing the recently finished peer to peer review sessions and works in different parts of the project. For most participants, the discussions were interesting and useful as they allow to see similarities despite different situations and to learn about the different approaches depending on the members and their needs.
Furthermore partners exchanged about the MOOC being developed in the framework of the project, and also about other aspects of the Project, such as reviewing the repertory of financial sustainability practices and the sustainability roadmap.
Sessions were complemented with a study visit at the WISE Ízlelő Étterem.
The second day of the sessions was dedicated to exchanges with experts from arbeit plus (Austria); Kooperationen (Denmark) and Réseau d’Enterprises Sociales (RES-Belgium) about networks creation, developments, and sustainability, under the moderation of Irish Social Enterprise Network. During this meeting, experts agreed that WISEs normally have a more holistic approach compared to sheltered workshops, as they also aim at work integration, so they provide work-based adult education, while sheltered workshops are basically social services.
Afterward experts debated about differences among countries. For example, in Denmark no subsidy coming from the state is supporting WISEs. Though, there are still some municipalities supporting, financially speaking, WISEs or SEs in general, provided that they recognise their added value. Furthermore they shared experiences about the functioning and financial sustainability of different networks, comparing for instance how in the case of arbeit plus only 1 % of the overall income is composed of membership fees and the rest covered by projects, while by contrast in the case of Kooperationen 70 % of the overall income is composed of membership fees, around 15-20 % by projects and the rest is made up of services.