LEARNING AND TRAINING FOR SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP.
The Multiplier Event/Workshop in Germany took place on the 12 May 2016 in Hamburg. Over the course of the day, different experts from the different fields like ICT, entrepreneurship and education commented, discussed and worked on the future training platform SETTLE. Established social entrepreneurs and future social entrepreneurs got together to learn from the SETTLE project and to give their input with regards to the demand of social entrepreneurs and the best way of how to incorporate this into a European open online platform.
We experienced keen participants and a lot of support for the SETTLE platform with likewise highlighting potential risks and challenges.
-PD Dr. Mark Euler, Project Director of the Entrepreneurship Hub and Entrepreneurship Education expert, Leuphana University of Lüneburg
-Adalbert Pakura, ICT expert of the Entrepreneurship Hub, Leuphana University of Lüneburg
-Frederik Peters, mela ware (social company in the textile industry)
-Hannes Hinkelmann, CAU University Kiel
-Harald Habermann, Heldenrat e.V.
-Michael Kellenbenz, fahrradgardrobe GbR (social company in the event industry)
-Marian El Achkar Machado, SowFair (social company in the food industry)
-María Carolina Cuesta Mora, Hamburg University
-Sajjad Haider, CAU University Kiel
-Tatjana Timoschenko, Design Thinking and Idea Creation expert at Entrepreneurship Hub Leuphana, Leuphana University of Lüneburg
SETTLE Project/Domhan Vision:
The participants were divided into three groups with four persons each, developing inputs and pathways with the following focus:
One group focused on brainstorming on all three areas, trying to get a grip of the different target groups:
They highlighted the importance of getting the target group right and suggested a “toolkit – how to become a social entrepreneur in five steps”. Contents and methodologies can be arranged around this basic idea. They highlighted the importance of collaboration and interaction.
The second group focused on a potential gamification aspect of the online platform to get and keep people involved:
The idea was to have a constructed social enterprise idea as a first path, where each participant can learn the basic steps and challenges of a social business. In this path, it is not yet important to have a perfect team in place, as it is a simulation game with contents as you go along the path.
After that you can enter the second path with your own social entrepreneurship idea. This path is based on the first one and adds real experts, discussion partners and mentors to the “journey”.
This group highlighted the importance of having a local team to work with, as well as the usability of the online platform. At least have a mobile version, but better though an app to go along the two paths. The platform must be up-to-date and state of the art technology.
This group focused on how to get the contents on the side and make it worthwhile coming back:
They stress that the contents have to be presented with different methodologies and highlighted the importance of having practical examples to keep the educational material alive.
Other results and discussions
Suggestions for an open online platform:
- Concentrate on limited contents, e.g. define the target group carefully, it cannot include everything: information, collaboration, moocs…. ?
- Although one could use training materials that is still out there, one has to focus it towards the target group
- Collaboration, mentoring, coaching and real life team work was highlighted
- Use gamification and usability! Make it look nice!
- Facilitate meeting other social entrepreneurs with similar topic: make use of the European approach: two social entrepreneurs will not be competitors when they offer similar local products in two different cities
- Use the potential scaling and imitating effects: matching? E.g. one social business is copied in other countries – franchising?
Suggestions regarding the financial sustainability:
- Charge fees for certificates
- Charge fees for further, more detailed training materials
- incorporate a membership fee like an alumni system
- membership fee when it comes to using the mentoring system
- integrate a membership obligation: membership is free, if you agree to be part of the mentoring system when you have founded your social business
- little traffic: use existing national networks
- little recurring users: make use of either exclusiveness because of the best speakers or very good gamification in order to keep people involved
- platform is not used, because of lack of usability – instead social entrepreneurs will meet elsewhere in the social media
- not enough funds to reimburse social entrepreneurs and supporters/trainers
- not to reinvent the wheel….!