• Active Aging: Social Entrepreneuring in Local Communities of Five European Countries

      Socci, Marco; orcid: 0000-0001-9093-2167; email: m.socci@inrca.it; Clarke, David; email: clarke.d@chester.ac.uk; Principi, Andrea; orcid: 0000-0003-3701-0539; email: a.principi@inrca.it (MDPI, 2020-04-03)
      Building on the active aging framework, the aim of this study, carried out between 2016 and 2018, is to analyze concrete experiences of older individuals acting as key players of social change in six local communities of five European countries (Bulgaria, Denmark, England, France, Spain). The 19 seniors involved in the study, according to social contexts, individual past experiences, knowledge, and motivations, acted as senior social entrepreneurs, trying to build a pathway towards social solutions for unmet social problems they detected in local communities. Data were collected via templates and questionnaires and analyzed using the thematic analysis. The results highlighted that the 16 local initiatives created by seniors concerned social problems such as food waste, social isolation, multicultural integration, etc. The social solutions implemented by seniors seemed to have the potential to produce social value and, to different degrees, encouraging results and impact. Since this “social experiment” provided evidence that senior social entrepreneuring could be a driver to solve societal problems, policy makers should sustain the spread of both social entrepreneurial mindset and practices at the European level, for catalyzing the active potential of older people for the benefit of European local communities.