Around 35 students from seven different European universities with various academic and cultural backgrounds came together in Bucharest from the 12th until the 21st of May 2016 to take part in an intensive workshop on social entrepreneurship for local change. A team of around 20 organizational and visiting staff supported the students in their tasks throughout the whole workshop. After doing an urban safari to explore the local situation in Bucharest, the students formed seven working groups addressing different social challenges they identified in the city. Each group was asked to conduct further field research and to come up with a concrete business model framework for a social enterprise related to their topic. During the work process, students could be inspired by theoretical inputs about designed thinking and the theory of change as well as by social entrepreneurs who introduced their own social enterprises to the students. At the end of the workshop, each group handed in a poster and their business plan and presented their idea to a larger audience.
Implications for SETTLE
SETTLE-team member Verena from Domhan Vision in Germany participated this workshop and picked up the most important aspects and notions of becoming a good social entrepreneur. One aspect that stood out during the entire workshop was that financing a social enterprise seems to be the most challenging task for social entrepreneurs. Social entrepreneurs also expressed their interest to connect beyond national borders and several students showed great curiosity in learning more about how to set up their own social enterprise. This is where SETTLE could come in, offering opportunities to foster exchange among social entrepreneurs, and providing ideas for financing and learning materials for new comers in the field. Yet, it might be useful to bear other existing websites in mind like Babele.co, in order to not create something too similar with SETTLE.
The intensive workshop is part of the larger International Study Programme “Social Entrepreneurship for Local Change” taking place from March-June 2016. The International Study Programme furthermore consists of an online course and is funded by the ERASMUS+ Programme of the European Commission.
- HfWU Nürtingen-Geislingen (coordinator), Germany
- Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Germany
- Heldenrat e.V., Germany
- Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Romania
- Odaida Creativa, Romania
- Estonian University of Life Sciences, Estonia
- Estonian Social Enterprise Network, Estonia
- Van Hall Larenstein, The Netherlands
- Verena Himmelreich, CAU University Kiel, Germany