Social Entrepreneurship Training

Social Entrepreneurship Training

SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP EUROPE

On one very early October (year '17) morning a couple of young (prospective) Latvian entrepreneurs met in Riga International Airport and flew over whole Europe to join Erasmus+ project SET (Social Entrepreneurship Training). The training was held in Uzana – a small village in the very middle of Bulgaria - surrounded by forests, mountains, and goats.


The training lasted for 9 days, so participants had a plenty of time to investigate, brainstorm, discuss
and exchange ideas regarding social entrepreneurship. First few days were devoted to getting to know each other and immersing into the deeper understanding of the topic (the participants were brought together from 11 countries, so it’s not hard to imagine how diverse mindsets, opinions, and backgrounds we had!). Ice-breakers, name games and discussions helped us to open and get closer to each other. The middle part of the training was filled with fun and leisure activities: we went to the town nearby, climbed up the top of the mountain and went on walks around the beautiful area. During the city visit, we went to Social Bakery in Uzana. Its mission is to inspire individuals and communities to
discover their creative potential and cooperate across all ages, economic opportunities, disabilities
and trauma, ethnic backgrounds etc. Also, we visited museum of humour (very specific I must say) and open-air museum where we could walk around, taste their extremely sweet candies (sweeter than sugar, believe me!) and imagine how typical Bulgarian village looked like a few hundred years
ago.


On the last couple of days, we reflected on what we have learnt so far and came up with our own
ideas for social enterprises. Here we found useful tools we already learnt on previous days: SWOT
and PEST-ELD analysis cycle of social change, competency model of a social entrepreneur, business
plan development, development of entrepreneurial ideas and so forth.


To sum up, it was an amazing chance to break barriers between cultures and nations, even the
closest ones (as in who would ever think that Estonians could be so friendly, active, and talkative!).
We got an insight into the local practices of social entrepreneurship and realised our abilities to
come up with innovative solutions to major social problems. Also, we improved our skills and
increased the motivation to initiate social change through social entrepreneurship initiatives.
Overall, I have three conclusions:
1. Social entrepreneurship is the path I would like to choose and in my opinion all enterprises
should be with some sort of orientation to social change;
2. The mountainous nature in Bulgaria is breath-taking and very different to the one I’m used
to;
3. Bulgarians eat goat cheese all the time every day with everything. Embrace yourself!

 

Tīna Pētersone

Participant of training course ''Social Entrepreneurship Training''

 

You are kindly invited to enjoy the video featuring thoughts of trainers Ognian Gadoularov and Maya Dreamcatcher Doneva who guided youth participating in the training activity that took place in a wonderful place Uzana, Bulgaria.
The project ''Social Entrepreneurship Training'' is aimed for preparing youth workers to apply the concept of social entrepreneurship in their organizations and communities by developing their entrepreneurial skills and competencies. Furthermore, to identify the entrepreneurial potential of people and organizations involved to provide examples of successful businesses developed by young social entrepreneurs. Support young people in their personal and professional development, facilitate their social inclusion and full contribution to the community and its development.
 

Translation of the song from video can be found here.

Information of the involved organizations can be found further.

Baltic Youth Way (Latvia) CET Platform Bulgaria (Bulgaria) Asociacion Deses-3 (Spain) European Youth Centre Břeclav (Czechia) Eurohugs (Lithuania) Youthnet Hellas (Greece) C:E:T platform (Serbia) Sinu VitaTiim (Estonia) CIVILNA, EDUKATIVNA I TRANSPARENTNA PLATFORMA (Croatia) TDM2000 Polska C:E:T platform (Republic of Macedonia).

 

The training course „Social Entrepreneurship Training“ was implemented in Uzana, an area near the city of Gabrovo, Bulgaria. 37 youth workers from Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Poland, Spain, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Greece, Croatia, Macedonia and Serbia had the opportunity to participate.

 

The project focuses on the link between the economic phenomenon "Social Entrepreneurship" and youth work, thus supporting the social and professional development of young people. Social entrepreneurship is an opportunity for young people to find innovative solutions to major social problems, to realize their potential and assert their identity. It is also one of the tools for sustainable fight against youth unemployment and social exclusion of young people.

 

The project aims to prepare youth workers to apply the concept of social entrepreneurship in their organizations and communities by developing their entrepreneurial skills and competencies. Furthermore, the project aims to identify the entrepreneurial potential of people and organizations involved in the project to provide participants with examples of successful businesses developed by young social entrepreneurs, develop knowledge about the process of development of social enterprise. During the training, the participants will plan how to transfer entrepreneurial skills and practices to young people they work with. It will support young people in their personal and professional development, facilitate their social inclusion and full contribution to the community and its development.

 

All of the activities and methods contributed to the process of non-formal learning. The methods in the program follow the model "Learning by doing" - debates, simulations, energizers, ice-breakers, communication games, activities for exploring and sharing, group discussions, coaching sessions, creativity, reflection and self-reflection, open space and others. The activities are based on the principles of experiential learning and Kolb Cycle.

 

In order to achieve the objectives, the project is aimed to engage partner organizations based in countries where there is an identified need to develop the capacity of youth organizations to work with the concept of social entrepreneurship and implementation of innovative methods and approaches for youth work. The target group of partner organizations is both countries with record levels of youth unemployment in Europe and challenges in terms of social inclusion of young people and countries which are becoming hubs for the development of social enterprises and innovation.

The project includes topics such as: basics of social entrepreneurship, SWOT and PEST-ELD analysis cycle of social change, competency model of a social entrepreneur, business plan development, development of entrepreneurial ideas and etc.

 

The expected outcomes after the implementation of the project are: increased capacity of the organizations to work with the concept of social entrepreneurship and its application in youth work, building competencies in youth workers to be ambassadors of social entrepreneurship and support young people they work with to develop entrepreneurial skills aimed at support of community and sharing experience with other young people (direct youth work), NGOs (networking), and Europe as a whole (international projects).


The long-term benefits of the project are aimed at young people, which will in future participate in programs and initiatives implemented by the partner organizations will gain valuable skills and increase their motivation to initiate social change through social entrepreneurship initiatives. This will contribute to positive and sustainable development of local communities by consolidation of ideas to solve common challenges through innovation. Social entrepreneurship can be the key to solving complex social problems, and young people can be the driving force for that to happen!

 

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.