The Social Business City Program

Local systems usually face a wide range of obstacles that prevent the emergence and development of social businesses. This is why the Yunus Social Business Centre University of Florence (YSBCUF) and ARCO (Action Research for CO-development) created the Social Business City Program (SBCP), an initiative that aids in removing these barriers and creating an enabling ecosystem for social businesses. The Program lasts a minimum of three years, but a longer commitment might be required.

“It operates at the local level…

Our activities focus on local factors for several reasons.

Identification of social issues and solutions

A city-focused approach allows us to identify and tackle social problems in a more effective and efficient way, since each territory has distinctive features and socio-economic dynamics.

Coordination of local actors

Shared geographical and socio-economic backgrounds ensure effective interaction among a wide variety of actors and target groups, while also facilitating coordination and co-planning activities.

Monitoring and evaluation

The process of implementing the Program can be better monitored and evaluated at the local level.

…involving the community as a whole…

The Program involves a wide range of stakeholders, addressing different components of the local community, including:

  • > High school and university students
  • > Entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs
    > Local authorities
    > Citizens and civil society organizations
    > Banks and financial institutions
    > Chambers of Commerce and business incubators

…with a participatory approach…

The SBCP involves local actors:
> in identifying the various obstacles preventing the creation of an enabling ecosystem
> in the planning of interventions to remove these obstacles
> in the development of a social business-oriented entrepreneurial culture

…and networking at the international level.”

The SBCP promotes international and local experiences in order to encourage networking, favor the exchange of knowledge, and identify more effective methods of tackling social issues.
Social businesses in different territories usually have similar business models, but some of these organizations have distinctive features or come up with innovative practices that can improve overall efficacy and efficiency. This is why exchange at the international level – especially among Social Business Cities – is strongly promoted.


Social Business City

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Social Business City

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Social Business City

Learn more