What is the difference between a project and a Social Entrepreneurship?
How can NGO’s start to become Social Entrepreneurs?
If we want to start our own business- is it possible to get public funding?
How do we start?
How can we motivate ourselves and the young People we are working with?
How walks an entrepreneur?
These and other questions were in focus during the Training Course ‚The Change Makers – Youth Generating Inclusive Growth- Social Entrepreneurship Through Non-Formal Education’ from 23.05.-31.05.2014 in Weimar, Germany. The project was organized and implemented together with 14 partner organizations from all over Europe by CULTURE GOES EUROPE (CGE)- Soziokulturelle Initiative Erfurt e.V. CGE Erfurt e.V. invited 30 young people, youth workers, trainers, young entrepreneurs, project manager and trainer from Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania, Spainand Turkey, to the European Youth Education and Meeting Centre in Weimar (EJBW), to learn and share nine days how european youth work can use the concept of Social Entrepreneurship.
After getting to know each other, the group and the way, the group wanted to work together, the participants faced a very intensive input day. They got to know various definitions and approaches of social entrepreneurship, specified with practical examples. While already thinking about own business ideas, the participants learned to identify and to have in focus the needs of the society and their own local community. Therefore they made little surveys with the inhabitants of Weimar to discover more about their needs. Can SE give an answer to the situation of young people in Europe? Are we the new Change Makers? To get a step further with this, the participants focused to develop and give a structure to their own social entrepreneur ship idea. This process includes also becoming aware of ethical aspects, to develop an own enterprise philosophy etc.
To get more inspired by already existing ideas, we met Social Entrepreneurs and policy makers from the area of Thuringia. Andreas Siegmann explained us how his foundation supports children companies to strengthen the entrepreneurial spirit of the young people (http://www.dkjs.de
). Thomas Koch (Ministry) gave us an inside in the political development in Thuringia- by focusing on a sustainable development. Martin Arnold and Steffen Präger shared the concept of Werft 34, a public space like a HUB for young sociocultural activists and a place for young entrepreneurs to share experiences, skills and to network (http://www.werft34.de
). Participants had the chance to ask questions and our guests got in touch with the concept of Non-Formal Education. The last day was focusing to inform about existing resources for project development and SE and to evaluate the over all project.
The whole learning process was facilitated by two experienced and very inspiring trainers, Evelina Taunyte and Gianandrea Salvestrin. Evelina is amazing with inspiring young people while telling one of her billion traveling experiences, to create a pleasant learning atmosphere and to have the flow of the group as well as the project in mind. Gianandrea is specialized as a trainer in the field of Social Entrepreneurship, and so he has to share many theoretical and practical useful ideas, facts and tips what to have in mind by starting an own business. For example the group learned from him the Business Model Generator.
By exchanging opinions, ideas and knowledge, the participants gained competences in the field of SE, in creative, independent and non-traditional ways of thinking and acting in business prospects- all the skills, knowledge and attitudes a change maker needs. The methods used by the trainers are based on the principles of non-formal learning, includingvarious activities as energizers, group work activities, role games, reflection rounds, inputs, intercultural activities and many more. Next to the individual learning process of the participants they focused on creating a creative, sustainable enterprise, which tackles some of the needs of the society.
The Training Course was supported by the Youth in Action program of the European Union.