The meeting was held in the cities of Rosario, Justiniano Posse and Bell Ville during the dates 5-14 of October 2019. During the first day of the training course participants had a chance to walk along the “Recreational Street”, an entrepreneurial initiative that takes place on Sundays.
“Recreational Street” and the riverside promenade constitute is the largest entrepreneurial circuit in Rosario where numerous of local social entrepreneurs gathers to exchange ideas, sell their ethically produced products and guided by the municipality. Interesting fact, is that entrepreneurs who congregate on the waterfront are part of the informal economy and therefore do not pay taxes on their income.
The main goal of a day though was to visit “Almacén de las 3 Ecologías”. A space made up of various local producers who organize and sell their strictly ethical products. Community of “Almacén de las 3 Ecologías” highly believes in importance of personal relationships between the community members. Besides that, group strongly focuses on ethical issues related with consumption and consumerism and general respectful behaviour towards nature and planet.
Next day started at “El Costurero de LyF”, a sewing co-workspace, where women can attend sewing classes, develop their own ventures and make garment arrangements. The family business aims to empower women through sewing as well as spread the awareness on ethical clothing consumption and material reusability.
In the seamstress the participants held a sewing workshop where they learned to make their own shirts. After the workshop visited “Esquina Santa Fe”, a public space managed by the municipality of Rosario, where different social organizations and entrepreneurs can freely hold their meetings and have consultation or trainings on different topics related to social entrepreneurship. In the meeting that took place in “Esquina Santa Fe”, four women entrepreneurs from the city shared their experiences and their difficulties when it cames to entrepreneurship. A common denominator of women entrepreneurs at the meeting was that they all carry out their ventures personally while still maintaining formal employment.
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Next day, entrepreneurship initiatives were acknowledged in slums and in the town of Pérez. Among the ventures that were visited are “La Bloquera” and the “Huerta de Santa Lucía”. These ventures not only generate alternatives of production and labor insertion of its members but also spaces of social and emotional containment since the shortcomings of these people are not only economic but also social and emotional. The day culminated with the visit to the “Mercado del Patio” a market of local entrepreneurs who accompanied and trained by the local Ministry of Social Economy were able to leave the informal economy and make their transition to more lasting legal and commercial forms.
During this day some members of the group visited “La Mutualidad” a collaborative project management space, where citizens can join in collaborating either cutting wood, building orchards, toys or costumes which are then delivered to local communities that need them. Another part of the group began to work on the design of the web page for “El Costurero de LyF” in order to improve the institutional image of the enterprise and its scope. In the afternoon the participants moved to the city of Justiniano Posse in the Province of Córdoba for new explorations.
The fifth day of the training course in Argentina were full of visitations. While the town of Justiano Posse is famous for it’s cooperative initiatives, different initiatives related to this legal form were visited during the fifth day of the training course in Argentina.
Cooperatives are societies formed by producers, sellers or consumers in order to produce, buy or sell in a way that is most advantageous for everyone. Unlike companies, cooperatives are governed by their own associates who join their efforts to achieve the objectives and where each one has the same rights and obligations. In other words, they are organizations of free and democratic participation. While the main objective of a company is to obtain economic gains, the objective of cooperatives is the provision of a quality service in accessible price. Cooperatives have as fundamental values: mutual aid, democracy, equality and solidarity. In addition, their partners have personal values as honesty, transparency, social responsibility and concern for others.
Besides the cooperative organizations, team of delegates met the team of “Fiordoliva” local organization that produces bags and wallets.
One of the city’s highlights’ – city’s recycling plant that is an innovative social initiative to improve the quality of life of the inhabitants of Justiniano Posse.
The day culminated with a meeting at ACA Joven group premises, where youth are being trained to act cooperatively while creating a social value.
After the official activities, delegates prepared an intercultural night where all countries shared their customs and cultures. Local community members from ACA Joven group was very excited to join the night and interact with the contingent of foreigners since it is not usual for small cities to have international guests.
During the second day in Justiano Posse delegates visited local schools and lively interacted with youth. Besides presenting each of the country and giving a little touch to it’s cultures, delegates were trying to inspire youth for cooperative act in social field as well as kept focus on escalating the importance of learning languages, as in reality not all young people in Argentina have the economic possibilities or personal motivations to do it. Undoubtedly, the visit was very inspirational for local youth who could not
contain their excitement and enthusiasm.
Later, participants left Justiano Posse and headed to a town of Bell Ville where they visited “Manos Unidas” enterprise, a civil association that works for the labor inclusion of young people with functional diversity through the bakery trade.
Sunday was fully dedicated for “Manos Unidas”. Participants together with the members of this community collaborated in sales of products in the city centre. In addition, it was agreed to make a web page to promote their entrepreneurial initiative. During the afternoon some participants participated in the production that “Manos Unidas” had to deliver. It was a very enriching experience because beyond the linguistic barriers a collaborative production line could be perfectly organized. The participation of the international contingent was of utmost importance for the finalization of products. While some participants produced, rest of the crew started working on digital appearance of the organization.
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