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Barka Foundation for Mutual Help

Founded by Barbara and Tomasz Sadowski in 1990, the Barka organisation is passionately committed to social development of marginalized groups, providing a chance rebuild their lives by creating a program of mutual assistance, education, entrepreneurship development in civil society and in particular in the new accession countries and the countries which have been regaining independance.

Franchise Details

Sector: Social Work

Key social purpose:

Until today, Barka Foundation has helped to establish and sustain 40 new farms, with the goal is for each to become a fully self-sufficient cooperative. The longer term objective of Barka is to create a fully developed eco-system of support for integrating excluded groups. Financial support from the ESF Initiative EQUAL was instrumental for Barka in scaling up its operations and pioneering in establishing a conducive eco-system, which today mobiles more than 5000 people. Its key elements include, in addition to the therapeutic communities:• More than 150 Centres of Social Integration, which help disadvantaged people to create their own employment by becoming self-employed or setting up a social co-enterprise, by providing l training and developing vocational skills such as sewing, gardening, book binding etc., in and giving advice in legal, organisational, market and financial questions.• About 100 public-private partnerships for social economy established in local communities across Poland. The partnerships bring together civil society, local authorities and enterpreneurs to develop local solutions for combating poverty and unemployment based on the tools worked out by Barka over the years (social integration centres and social cooperatives and enterprises). - Through the work of the Barka Foundation, over 300 social cooperatives have been established in Poland. They work work places for formerly marginalised individuals. • New cooperation structures and pacts between social enterprises, social integration centers and local authorities for committing stakeholders and for utilizing resources of local authorities (land, buildings and procurement) to create job opportunities.Barka represents a live laboratory for social innovation by linking complex system of social economy initiatives addressing the multiple needs of excluded people (social re-integration, work, housing) and promoting local development. It operates also in the Netherlands, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, France, the UK and the one is now being set up at Vancouver, Canada. (with a focus on re-connecting stranded migrants with their families and communities in Eastern Europe as well as supporting migrant workers into employment in the hose countries), and has started to collaborate with African communities in Kenya and Ethiopia to share Barka’s experiences on preventing social exclusion through the partnership and the development of social enterprises. The Barka model is also being replicated in Eastern Europe eg. Lithuania, There has been interested in the Barka approach from Latin American and Asian countries. In Poland Barka Foundation has been instrumental in designing a new legislation on vocational education for vulnerable adults, social enterprises, affordable housing and public-private-social partnerships for social market economy. The four pieces legislation had been enforced by the Government of Poland during 2000 - 2004.

Key elements of your franchise offer:

Barka Foundation cooperates with its franchisees in every step of the business development. In Poland Barka Foundation has been commissioned by the Government of Poland to share its methodology and good practises with other organisations and local authorities across Poland. Therefore for the last 5 years Barka Foundation has been building local partnerships for social marekt economy bringing social, private and public partners together and helping them form local partnerships. The partnerships have a formalized structure and they provide an umbrella for new start-up social cooperatives and social integration centres (vocational training schools for the unemployed individuals). Barka Foundation works with each partnership for a year or more if needed. Part of the work is organising study visits and work placements for newly formed franchisees to Barka's projects and institutions in Poland and abraod. Barka Foundation provides formation training for management staff of the franchisees such as social integration centres, social cooperatives and others.Barka has six websites that assist the social franchises

What support is provided by you to franchisees:

The franchisees have not been established in one day; it has been a process. Each element of the operation has been thought through carefully. The franchisees are independent entities, however they are linked with one another and with the franchisor by a joint idea and a joint history. The franchisor (Barka Foundation) organises regular formation sessions and integration meetings with its franchisees. Even though the franchisees are autonomous legal entities, they often consult their strategic decisions with the Barka Foundation. The long term goal of the Barka Foundation growing its franchise network is to develop new social structures and institutions which now, after regaining independance by Central and Eastern Europe, can be developed in a modern way following the principles of social market economy.

Do you have a franchise prospectus?:
Do you have an operating manual?:
Year established?:
Number of franchise units?:
What is the overall start-up cost/investment required by franchisees?:
£ 100 thousand Euro
Are ongoing fees to be paid by franchisees?:
Number of employees (banded)?:
< 10
Percentage of employees with a disadvantage (banded)?:
Turnover (banded)?:
£ < 100k

Contact Details

Contact Name:
Contact Number:

Ewa Sadowska
+44 7907953348