We have secured involvement in several knowledge transfer projects. The one most closely aligned with our mission – which part-‑funded this HEIF project – is an Erasmus+ project (“European FairShares Labs for Social and Blue Innovation”). During the HEIF project, we have embedded FairShares intellectual property (IP) into documents describing the methodology for creating FairShares Labs in Hungary, Croatia, Germany, Netherlands and the UK. We have secured further funding to support pilot FairShares incubators (including one in Sheffield).
Concurrently, the IP created to support FairShares Labs is being used by practitioners in other countries to create FairShares companies, cooperatives, associations and partnerships. During this HEIF project, 16 new organisations prepared rules to incorporate social enterprises in Canada, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, UK, USA and Zambia. There are now ten cooperative projects, seven proposed companies, two partnerships and one association applying the FairShares Model.
FairShares IP also supports work with local cooperatives and social enterprises. Firstly, a FairShares Rules generator and a FairShares Diagnostic tool is helping Faithstar LLP in Sheffield to convert itself into a FairShares partnership. Secondly, learning and development tools for FairShares Labs are being used with The Co-working Co-operative CIC in Sheffield to enhance member participation within a new cooperative governance system. The HEIF project helped us secure funding through the Sheffield Innovation Programme (SIP) managed jointly by Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sheffield. We are negotiating further SIP projects during 2018 to assist local social enterprises.