Action Plan of ECS Business/Blended Consulting Team (D6.4)
The Business Consulting Team (BCT) Action Plan is a description of activities that are going to be undertaken by the ECS Business Consulting Team during the lifetime of the project. Based on the findings of several workshops and discussions with Edible City Solution Initiatives (ECSI) and other activities and meetings the BCT is broadening their activities to so called “blended consulting”. This term was introduced within the EdiCitNet Consortium and in the workshops with the ECSI to reveal the intention to stabilize both ECSI working in the field of financial and social capital. It will also be introduced to a wider scientific community. When we talk of business consultancy in this deliverable this should mostly be understood as blended consultancy paying attention to the large community of ECSI working as non-profit oriented organisations that often seek. public funding opportunities and subsidies within and from the City Administration. At the same time also profit-oriented ECSI, which were the main target audience in the Description of Action (DoA) were addressed. A first deep insight that has changed our understanding of ECSI’s work in the last months and underpins the experience from (informal) interactions with many ECSI and the Marketplace survey is that ECSI do not perceive themselves as being a “real” business. What these organisations need is a hybrid system of different supporting activities integrating also their need for stabilization beyond their profit and growth.
Therefore, the discussion and research on this have led to the term “blended consultancy”. In the present deliverable we provide an overview of the role of the Business Consulting Team and the milestones included in the Action Plan. The “B” in BCT can thus stand for Business or Blended. The Action Plan covers the internal organisation and is structuring the work of the ECS BCT. Furthermore, we provide here a conceptual and strategic plan which shows the approach to the topic of blended consulting for ECSI regarding urban re-generation and resilient cities. We also demonstrate the economic and social growth of ECSI and their contribution to the transformation of the agricultural system and the transformation of the conventional agri-businesses and their value chains. The project EdiCitNet, funded by the European Commission specifically by the European Agency for Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME), seeks for innovative small-scale solutions in order to contribute to resilient cities and sustainable economic ecosystems. The huge financial crises were at that time the initial point to set up think tanks for concepts which contribute to the transformation of the conventional economic system yet the agricultural industry as part of it. Edible City Solutions thus contribute to tackling social and environmental challenges in cities, but have also proven to have a huge and positive impact on the economic yet social system in cities. ECSI are one tool to drive transformation in cities in general but also regarding the economic micro-system. As Edible Solutions they also provide support to the food system and thus to the agricultural transformation. The BCT will therefore support the business activities in general and also specifically tackle needs and demands from the ECSI in their respective status quo. A variety of services will lead to concrete questions and concrete answers on the basis of an ECS Business Model Canvas. A wide range of services will be developed, from FAQs and helpdesk to monitoring the impact of the BCT's work. This will contribute to a vast pool of services provided by the EdiCitNet project and will be available under edicitnet.com beyond the project time. The Marketplace (D.6.3) plays a crucial role here as a visible and tangible online platform supporting the local and regional networks of ECSI all over the world. Together, these Deliverables form the complete offer for ECSI in EdiCitNet.