Social Enterprise: Next Generation
From 18th to 26th October, Centre of Technical Culture Rijeka gathered 25 young people from five European countries around the topic of social entrepreneurship.
Social entrepreneurship has been a very popular term lately, as many see it as the exit from accumulating problems of today, such as unemployment, poverty, breaking of human rights, environmental issues, etc. There are many definitions of the term, but the simplest one states that social entrepreneurship is a form of entrepreneurship that, apart from profit, also aims at social usefulness. What distinguishes social entrepreneurs from other entrepreneurs is the fact that, with their action, they complement services that public institutions or private profitable enterprises are not able to do on their own. Social enterprises also contribute to balanced usage and sharing of available resources for the sake of the local community, generate new work places in their areas of action (sometimes with special accent on integration of long-term unemployed people), encourage social cohesion and contribute to the growth and development of social capital, as well as extend support to the institutionalization of informal entrepreneurial activities in the private profit sector.
Social entrepreneurship has also been recognized as a potential solution by the European Union. “Europe 2020” Strategy highlights social entrepreneurship as one of important factors for restructuring economies in order for them to remain sustainable and take into consideration the community and the people. Therefore, it is not surprising that the European Commission decided to finance the youth exchange “Social Enterprise: Next Generation” through the Youth in Action Programme.
Youth exchange covering the topic of social entrepreneurship
In Centre of Technical Culture Rijeka, we believe that, in this period of crisis when youth unemployment is a burning issue in Croatia and other European countries, social entrepreneurship could be the possible solution – solution that will give the young people ideas about new ways of conducting business that can be financially successful, as well as socially and ecologically responsible.
That is how the idea for the “Social Enterprise: Next Generation” took form. It was developed as a youth exchange financed by the European Commission through the Youth in Action Programme. During the course of one week, young participants learned about social enterprises, developed their business plans and learned how to create a movie and maintain a web page. At the end of the exchange, in Rijeka’s City Hall, participants were given their Youthpass diplomas, stating all informal knowledge, skills and abilities that they acquired during the exchange.
During the exchange, young participant created a movie about the exchange, as well as one about the educational game Rijeka City Game that helped them learn more about Rijeka. Information about the youth exchange, its participants and multimedia content can be found on the web page of “Social Enterprise: Next Generation”.
Project partners are four non-profit organizations from Europe: Uluslararası Doga Genclik ve Spor Klübü Dernegi (Turkey), Young Effect Association (Italy), Association “Professional Forum for Education” (Bulgaria) i Stowarzyszenie Tea Club (Poland).
„Social Enterprise: Next Generation“ youth exchange was implemented with the support of the Agency for Mobility and EU Programmes under the Youth in Action programme financed by the European Union.
Other donors of the project are: Primorsko-goranska County, City of Rijeka, Rijeka Tourist Board, Kvarner Tourist Board and KD Autotrolej.