21 September, 2017

Interested in Social Entrepreneurship ? Here's a Training Manual


After two years of work the time has come to share the outputs of an interesting European project.
As part of the Erasmus+ project in Sustain Your Life through Social Entrepreneurship, three 5-day training courses were developed and delivered in three different countries, gathering 28 participants per venue.

Each of the three training courses that were delivered had its own theme, its own training objectives and activities as well as its own trainers. All this and more, you can find in the overall training course descriptions that were compiled in a training manual together with a good diversity of valuable internet resources for further reference.


The overall goal was to give a comprehensive introduction to social entrepreneurship, to equip participants with the tools and resources for setting up their own social start-ups, by providing them with the resources to gain more in-depth insights into this innovative approach to social change, to turn needs into action, to demonstrate different (business) models of social entrepreneurship, to show sustainable strategies for building momentum for social entrepreneurship activities, to learn from the tips and tricks in order to be an effective change maker in their field of interest, to elaborate on possible ideas (and passions) for starting a social enterprise or launching a venture, or adding a social entrepreneurship-oriented perspective to an existing entity. The ulterior drive behind all of the training activities has been to support young people realize their dreams of a better world.


  
The teaching materials and resources of the training courses are displayed here in the manual (as well as in the open learning portal on www.sustainyourlife.eu) in such a way that they provide experienced trainers with solid information as well as flexible educational tools and handouts, which may be utilised and adapted according to their specific needs. The specific training activities of each of the T C’s have been described in detail. They can be used in part, according to the needs of the trainers, work settings and the time available. In other words, feel free to pick and choose your own educational / training activities from the 50 + that are displayed here in the Training Manual below.


Feel free to download the manual free of charge.

We hope it will provide you with lots of inspiration for your training activities to have young people sustain their lives through social entrepreneurship.
 

Disclaimer: The EC support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

04 September, 2017

MedArt produces a methodological guide

As the end of the MedArt project is approaching, it's time to share the results and output.
The MedArt project was formulated to create a space where the different participating organisations could share and exchange their practices and learn from each other. The process consisted of a series of transnational meetings in partner countries and on top of that, a week long exchange of practice with staff in order to share their methodologies. Those methodologies included games, exercises and other non-formal learning approaches based on the current work of each organisation and their (target) groups.

These were the seven partners creating community theatre in different countries and in different contexts while working with people with a wide range of vulnerabilities:


  • acta Community Theatre, UK – working with vulnerable young people and adults 

  • Asociacon Acunagua, Canary Islands, Spain – working with women prisoners, young people   

  • CSC Danilo Dolci, Sicily, Italy – offering a range of opportunities and education to refugees, young people

  • Divadlo bez Domova, Slovakia - working with homeless people, disabled people, mentally challenged people, ex-prisoners and others in need.

  • Drustvo ProSoc, Slovenia – theater of different excluded and vulnerable groups

  • Magyar Vöröskereszt Budapest Fővárosi Szervezet  AHA Színpada (MVKBP), Budapest, Hungary – theatre with homeless, former homeless and vulnerable adults

  • Teatr Grodzki, Poland – theatre with disabled, deaf and disadvantaged people in Bielsko-Biala.

The eighth partner, Hogeschool Rotterdam, Netherlands, has been responsible for project evaluation and creating a framework for the methodological guide.


In the course of the two-year Erasmus+ funded project the partners learned that they share a number of common aims: first and foremost, the desire to make positive change in the lives of vulnerable and marginalised people, and secondly, a passionate belief in the power of theatre as an effective tool to enable these positive changes to take place. Moreover, all the partners share a belief in the importance of life-long learning.

However, the way in which each of the organisations worked towards these goals diverged. It was the richness of practice that was gradually discovered along the way, resulting in enhanced practices in the partner organisations. Exercises created to work in one context proved to be easily translatable to another as the language of theatre, and community theatre in particular, is universal. It is this richness and adaptability of the methodologies that the MedArt partnership is now sharing with anyone through the methodological guide that they de
veloped. Here you can find the publication:



(Alternatively, if this doesn't show up properly, here's the link to the guide.)
Hopefully, this guide will help you develop your own rich and effective methodologies that work in your context. Good luck with your journey !

Disclaimer: The EC support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

26 August, 2017

What is social entrepreneurship ?


This is the question that we put to the participants on the final day of a training course held in Rotterdam, autumn 2016. The Training Course was organised within the framework of a European project entitled Sustain Your Life through Social Entrepreneurship. The project was co-funded by the Erasmus + programme of the EU.

Here's what some of the participants said:

video
This video, as well as the following two, was edited by Jeroen Wouters, lecturer at Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences.

Here's another videoclip giving you a glimpse of what the participants to the T C saw during the course by way of field visits.

Finally, this is where you can hear some of the participants expressing what they learned during the training course on social and cultural entrepreneurship:


video

Curious to read and see more ? Here's a link to the open e-learning portal website that resulted from the project as one of the outputs.
If you click the button Training Programmes you get access to all of the activities that were provided to a total of nearly 80 participants during three organised training courses held in three different countries across the two years' run of the project.

Disclaimer: The EC support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

13 March, 2017

update on Sustain Your Life through Social Entrepreneurship

Within the framework of the Erasmus + project “Sustain your life through social entrepreneurship” a new group of 28 youth workers joined the experience of the third and last international pilot training course dedicated to theme of  “A Sense of Initiative and Entrepreneurship”.


The training course was organized by Freguesia de Cascais e Estoril, the Portuguese partner of the project, and took place in the beautiful city of Cascais (Portugal) from the 22nd to the 26th of January. This 5 days' training course approached social entrepreneurship and innovation from a very practical point of view. There was a strong focus on learning by doing, especially since the topic is very much linked to the transversion of ideas into actions.

The training course aimed to give a practical approach to social entrepreneurship. Planned in accordance with the principles of non formal education it had four main stages: “Chaos & Order” - from creativity to organization; “Balance” - work within a group; “Into the practice” - developing a project to put ideas into action (Tree of problems/Dragon Dreaming); and rounding off with “Opening towards the future”. Designing the course in this way was meant to provide insights and learning opportunities to all the participants.

A strong aspect was the opportunity that was offered to the participants at several moments during the week to wear a “meta-hat” and analyse the activities and process from a youth worker's point of view, establishing how they could use the exercises and approaches in their local contexts.

This experience was built on both individual and group learning, always respecting participants' needs. Every single day reflection groups were set up in order to enhance and reinforce what had been learned that day.










Upcoming
By the end of this March project partners will meet in Cascais to discuss project progress and agree on the most appropriate tools to share results with a wider audience of youth workers and stakeholders.

More updates on a regular basis can be found on the Facebook page of Sustain Your Life through Social Entrepreneurship.


16 November, 2016

TC Rotterdam, in retrospect




First of all a big thank you to the trainer, the speakers and the participants for turning the training course held here in Rotterdam, within the school of social work, into such a wonderful experience for all involved.
It was a truly astonishing event.

 
The aim of the training course was to equip participants with the entrepreneurial tools and basics of business and financial management models for social enterprises. By visiting a diversity of good practices in Rotterdam and its surroundings participants got acquainted with the decision making processes of the social entrepreneurs involved.  By comparing and contrasting the participants established what the key success factors are for sustainable social and cultural entrepreneurship in order to achieve lasting positive social impact.

 

The stresses currently experienced by various social systems around the world regarding health, welfare, pensions, education, and so on, present a wide range of opportunities for social business to innovate in core products and services. Young people or the millennial generation will increasingly be required to define new initiatives grounded in social purpose and decide on business models that deliver sustainable, profitable growth creating positive impact to solve the complex challenges that our planet faces.

 
The 28 participants from Romania, Lithuania, Spain, Portugal, Italy and the Netherlands learned how to proceed from  a personal passion or personal needs to a realistic business plan or model with social value, knowing what steps to take and expect the unexpected.

 
   

Although all came with an open mind, they were far from empty-headed: they shared their expertise, exchanged ideas, debated key issues and built on each other's plans and projects. 


 

Here are some of the participants' statements:

Of course there are some differences between the countries, but in reality the core values and the motivation that all the people in this room have are the same, the strength and the will to be part of the change and improve our work. In this training course we are learning (and that is very important) to be practical. (Italian participant)

 
This training course has given me the possibility to see a different point of view, to create a  new method that is useful to become more active in my work. The EU has given me the opportunity to see what there is outside of my own country.(Italian participant)

 
This TC is bringing me new skills, new contacts and new networks, to develop a stronger core value proposition for our association in Spain so that we can become more sustainable and face the new challenge of reaching Europe within 3 years. This TC has opened so many new doors for me personally and also for my project. I really believe we can do better together. (Spanish participant)

 I had a great experience, learned so much and had a lot of fun with you! This international group has helped me a lot because different people have different ideas. (Dutch participant)

Hi everyone :) I hope all of you are now safe back home and relaxing from this complex and full immersion week! I wanted to thank all of you for voting for Portugal on the final project presentation through choosing my project and personal dream :)  I hope to
able to invite all of you in the future one day. When I will open this centre for the community, I'll have all of you in mind for sure. It was a great pleasure to meet so many interesting people and an inspiration to be with you all this past week. I already miss the walk from Witte de With to go to the Uni in the cold morning =)  Thank you amazing team!
I wish you all great success and new social business to pop up soon :)

(Final message from Portuguese participant)

  Guess what, next Sunday I will facilitate a 2h workshop about social impact of social entrepreneurship. Now ...after my Rotterdam experience I have input!
(after returning home, from a Romanian participant)

For our Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences it was a great experience to host such a dedicated group of youth and social workers from around Europe. That makes me think of something Margaret Mead once said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world.”

Note added about a month later:
here's a message from one of the participants. "Dear people! I just wanted to share with you that a foundation just gave us a grant to develop a social entrepreneurship formation during 6 months in rural areas with design thinking techniques. So I will try my best inspiring new people to "sustain their lives through social entrepreneurship".