In the six European local communities involved in the project, seniors created 16 initiatives: five in Sofia, three both in Aarhus and Paris, two each in Sabadell and Shrewsbury, one in Pau. Five initiatives have been created and developed by more than one senior cooperating between them: one initiative in Shrewsbury and two projects in Sabadell have been created by two seniors and two initiatives in Aarhus by three seniors. Using a Social Entrepreneuring approach, seniors started the process for developing their local projects by detecting social needs in their local communities. They identified a range of different social needs to address, based on both specific characteristics of their living/local contexts, and their individual attitudes, interests and motivation.
The impact of the project has been very positive as the seniors took the stage and they were the main stakeholders of this project and drove the activities. In our opinion the project has been a success, which is visible by the ongoing activities and the sustainability within the initiatives. The participants exchanged interesting ideas, good practices and observed the work of partners on spot.
The project creates or promotes social change in different scales and with different stakes, which helps not only the senior to feel useful, but also to be useful to others, whether it is the local community or other communities like one of the initiatives with asylum seekers.
The Erasmus+ project SSE has been an important stepping stone towards understanding the importance of seniors’ active role in the local community. In the future seniors are expected to play a bigger part of the agenda for engaging citizens in the local community and bringing citizens together. It will be a strength toward the senior entrepreneurs and the citizens involved in their initiatives.
However, the partners find it interesting and a bit concerning, how the volunteering agenda plays an even bigger part in some European areas than before, where some tasks, which used to be the states or municipalities, are being withdrawn and carried out by volunteers and NGO’s.
´Senior Social Entrepreneuring´ produced a very positive contribution in terms of social changes and solutions, to address important social needs in the local community. Big or small the impact of this may have been in terms of involved beneficiaries or people in general.
The initiatives created by seniors have produced a social value with a very modest outflow of economic resources, and concerned for instance fighting social isolation, loneliness, food waste; support multicultural integration and social engagement; improve work-related skills of older people and not only, and all of them are characterized as important social needs. Most of the solutions implemented by senior social entrepreneurs highlighted positive results in local communities for the benefit of other seniors and citizens even building networks (at different degrees) with key stakeholders.