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KWC Social Enterprise & Sustainability Good Practice Visit to Slovenia

Learning from the Best: Kilcooley Women’s Centre Visits Zalec, Slovenia for Social Enterprise  and Sustainability Expertise

Kilcooley Women’s Centre recently had the incredible opportunity to embark on a good practice visit to Zalec, Slovenia. This visit was aimed at engaging with European experts in social enterprise, sharing insights, and gaining valuable knowledge to enhance our initiatives back home.  Hosted by the NGO, UPI, the team met up with long term European partners from Romania, Italy, Germany, Greece and Ireland. 

Why Zalec?

Zalec is renowned for its innovative approach to social enterprise and community development. The town has successfully implemented numerous projects that have significantly improved local economies and social cohesion. Learning from such a progressive community was a key motivator for our visit.  UPI our hosts, facilitated a number of good practice visits and meetings with key social enterprise organisations, with opportunities to discuss future collaboration.  

Engaging with European Experts

During our stay, we met with several leading social entrepreneurs and organisations. These interactions provided us with a wealth of knowledge on best practices in social enterprise, sustainable development, and community engagement. We explored various models of social enterprises, from community cooperatives to environmentally sustainable businesses, each offering unique solutions to common social challenges.

Key Takeaways

  1. Innovative Business Models:

    • We learned about creative approaches to social enterprise that balance profitability with social impact, offering us new perspectives to apply to our projects.
  2. Community Involvement:

    • The importance of involving community members in the decision-making process was a recurring theme. This inclusive approach ensures that initiatives meet the actual needs of the community.
  3. Sustainability Practices:

    • Emphasizing sustainable practices not only benefits the environment but also enhances the long-term viability of social enterprises.
  4. Cross-Cultural Collaboration:

    • Building networks with European experts opened doors for future collaborations, enriching our projects with diverse ideas and strategies.

Moving Forward

Armed with these insights, Kilcooley Women’s Centre is excited to implement new strategies and refine our existing projects. Our goal is to create a more robust and impactful social enterprise ecosystem within our community, reduce our carbon footprint and immerse sustainability in all that we do.

We are grateful to the experts in Zalec and Biserka and her team in UPI for their hospitality and willingness to share their knowledge. This visit has undoubtedly inspired us to elevate our efforts in empowering women and improve sustainable community development.

Stay tuned for updates on how we incorporate these learnings into our work. Together, we can build a brighter future for our community.

Kilcooley Women’s Centre is dedicated to empowering women through innovative social enterprises and community-focused initiatives. Our visit to Zalec, Slovenia, marks a significant step in enhancing our impact and fostering sustainable development.