The S.E. Diaries

The Social Entrepreneurship Diaries are a series of audio podcasts about social entrepreneurship and social enterprise (SE), focusing on European practices and research.

Season one started on March 9th 2016 and features six episodes hosted by yours truly.

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Let me tell you how I discovered social entrepreneurship. I came across a project called Fruta Feia in the newspaper. Fruta Feia means Ugly Fruit in Portuguese. An environmental engineer named Isabel Soares created a consumers cooperative that provides its members with ugly fruit and vegetables. Those are the crooked carrots and stained apples that usually never leave the farms because supermarkets only buy standardized produce. Instead of being wasted, some of those non-complying fruits and vegetables, which amount to an average 30 percent of food crops, are now making their way into the co-operators kitchens. Cheap healthy food, less waste, what a great idea. I thought: I would love to be part of something like this. And then I realized “this” was called social entrepreneurship.

I started exploring the field, and the Diaries are the result of that quest.

Social entrepreneurship and the related social enterprise concept are getting a lot of attention nowadays, from public agencies, politicians, companies, social scientists and the general public. We believe this surge of interest to be potentially very fruitful and our podcast series is one way of contributing to this movement and debate.

In Europe, there is a fascinating diversity of practices and reflections in the field of social economy and social entrepreneurship; but because of its patchwork of countries and languages, it is sometimes hard to communicate this diversity and learn from it, as it is hard to establish a sense of community within the many European citizens, thinkers and entrepreneurs who are active in this field. This podcast series wants to contribute to building that bridge.

The show is co-produced by se.lab, the EMES International Research Network and Impact Hub Amsterdam. Producers provide advice and support at various levels, including access to knowledge and practice as well as production and communication expertise.