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13 Apr

Social Entrepreneurship in Youth Work network

In Blog by Magdalena Jakubowska / April 13, 2021 / 0 Comments

Last week we took part in a an online conference Social Entrepreneurship in Youth Work in the frame of our EU project “SEYW”.

During the conference we had a chance to listen to a number of case studies, examples of social entrepreneurship projects from Luxembourg, France, Italy, Bulgaria and Estonia. It was impressive to see the engagement of young people in their contribution to the just society with smart ideas that can offer employment to themselves and the others!

 

SEYV2SEYV 

Project financed with Erasmus Plus Program of EU.


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13 Apr

What if …. Imaginarium Project

In Blog by Magdalena Jakubowska / April 13, 2021 / 0 Comments

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Climate change, future of work, food, sustainability and environmental pollution : What can we expect? 

Many dark narratives are being created and even if the situation is for sure dramatic, some young people are feeling overwhelmed and are losing the belief in being able to create change by themselves. 

In this situation the citizens, entrepreneurs, teachers but especially young people need to be assisted with different ways of thinking where creativity and creative problem solving plays a central role. We need to revive the imagination of young people for inventing positive future scenarios as well as support their creative courage to be able to be the protagonists of the imagined future. How to proceed?

In the project “Imaginarium”, we are going to introduce creativity using Design Thinking and Futures Thinking methodology. By “teaching” the future, you can engage young people in thinking and projects that motivate them to learn, equip them to face uncertainty and challenge, empower them to envision a preferred future, and develop agency to bring it about. Therefore “futures thinking competence is becoming a necessity today, and not just an interesting intellectual exercise. 

The project will take place on 12th- 13th June 2021 in Esch sur Alzette. More details soon! 

This project is financed with support of FNR.

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03 Apr

Study visit in Larissa- Greece in the frame of SEYW project!

In Blog by Magdalena Jakubowska / April 3, 2020 / 1 Comment

Art Square ASBL travelled to Larissa in Greece from february 11 to 13, 2020 for a study visit in the context of the SEYW Erasmus+ project on“The added value of social entrepreneurship in youth work” co-funded by the Erasmus+ Program of the European Union.

 

We were welcomed by our host iED – Institute of Entrepreneurship Development, a research organisation committed to the promotion of innovation and the enhancement of the entrepreneurial spirit. iED also develop research and provide innovative solutions that facilitate the growth of healthy entrepreneuship and promote employment.

Located on the banks of Pineios river, the city of Larissa has contantly been inhabited since the prehistoric times. The town was the heart of commercial life during the ottoman occupation and this tradition was preserved over the years while the city and its market continued to expand towards the valley.


We had the privilege to visit different cases of social entrepreneurship from education to culture, art and women entrepreneurship.

Our first visit starts with the Social Care Partnership Horripos, a Center for Education, Diagnostics, Sport and Therapy which offers comprehensive support and services to children in particular financially vulnerable groups and with the aim of integrating children with disabilities. As we learnt from the beautiful work performed by the people within this organisation, we also understand that they surely need more support from the state.

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PHOTO-2020-02-17-10-58-28The second visit at Exandas, a Social Cooperative Enterprise born out of the need of educators to create the conditions that will allow children to work with dignity, imagination and a creative spirit, distancing from any form of competition that promotes both market and degree.

Recognizing the difficulties that the modern school, which is systematically disrupted, with ever-changing systems, has to deal with, they come to support the students at all stages from elementary to high school.

We were very impressed by the devotion and the passion of the educators for the kids and the creativity spirit around the work space from robotics, computer to art and writting.

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Early in the evening of the second visit’s day, we were impregnated within the great history of Larissa during our visit at the Museum of the Mil of Pappas.

The exhibition displays the stages of the technological progress of the Mill, the secrets of the industrial processing of wheat as well as the people who created an important flour milling industry in the heart of Thessaly region. We were guided by a representative ofNoon Egno, a Social Cooperative Enterprise founded by a group of young people who design and implement cultural, tourist and educational activities. The aim is to create a fruitful dialogue with young and old, through historical paths, alternatives and experiences.

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Our final visit ended wonderfully in Gonnoi one hour from Larissa, within Agricultural Women Association of Gonnoi, a cooperative, which produces and sell traditional products and food. We are able to witness that empowering women entrepreneurship can only lead to success. The women cooked for us traditional dishes and deserts of Greece.

We also had the pleasure to visit the Folklore Museum of Gonnoi, which presents collections of over 7,000 items of considerable value and of particular interest.

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The visit in Larissa was deeply instructive and inspirational. All the social entreprises visited have successes but more challenges as we can’t expect less from social entreprises.

However there are definitely common points between all such as determination, unity and altruism.

Many thanks to Institute of Entrepreneurship Development for hosting and organising this inspirational visit!

#seyw #erasmusplus #socialentrepreneurship #socialinnovation  #EU #socialresponsibility

10 Jan

6zero1 first incubator for social entrepreneurs in Luxembourg!

In Blog by Magdalena Jakubowska / January 10, 2020 / 0 Comments

6zero1, the pioneer of social enterprises in Luxembourg helping entrepreneurs launch social enterprises of their own, has been a part of the quickly changing landscape of social impact companies in Luxembourg over the past few years.

 

In 2010 the government created the social solidarity department and established the first action plan to discuss the law and legal framework around the sector, and in 2016 a vote was taken towards having a law and incubator to support social enterprises which were the two main goals of the Minister. Six European ministers gather, plus the Tunisian minister, to create the Declaration de Luxembourg to promote the social economy.

6zero1

The social economy in every country is closely linked to national economy, some countries where co-operatives important and some not so important. A monitoring committee for the mutual recognition of certain social values such as reinvestment was erected to oversee what each country defines as a social economy and social enterprise to find common ground. In Luxembourg you can become a social enterprise from first day, whereas in France it can take up to three years. Luxembourg collaborates and has a lot of contact with Bulgaria, as the Bulgarians want to build a platform for entrepreneurship and know that Luxembourg has an existing platform to be used as a best practice exchange.

 

The “Societal Impact Company” status, or SIS, is an accreditation in Luxembourg given to companies who have agreed to reinvest some or all of their profit into the economy. In 2016, 6zero1 decided to publish a guide covering all questions and answers regarding the law to be used as an easy tool for those wishing to become a SIS. Assisting social entrepreneurs who have projects intended to become a SIS has been the main goal of 6zero1 since the beginning; they help define a future company’s social purpose, impact and business model and have shifted from an incubation program of 12 months with fixed training dates to an individual program. 22 entrepreneurs with diverse profiles anywhere from engineering, banking and insurance have passed through 6zero1’s program.

 

The program offered by 6zero1 underwent a considerable change in that its aim became focused on support, rather than classes, starting with an assessment procedure of soft skills followed by individual coaching to give a platform for business modeling using the compano tool for a business’s impact. Furthermore, another significant change is that the program fee was dropped to just 300 euro, and entrepreneurs are selected through an open call and can register at their own convenience.

 

On average, 6zero1 supports seven projects per year from individuals of all ages and skill, however, those accepted are beyond the ideation phase (which usually happens at Nyuko) and are ready to consolidate a business plan to become a company.

 

The benefits for a company to go social include a tax exemption, except VTA, of up to a 100% fiscal exemption if all profits are reinvested into the Luxembourg economy, a company can however receive donations. One of the main barriers for companies, especially startups and individual entrepreneurs is that their accounts will be to be properly audited, which means money for an auditor must be accounted for in the business plan. 6zero1 is currently working on solution to get auditors at a lower cost. At the moment a lot of services are ASBL, but not official social enterprises. Another factor hindering the take-off of social entrepreneurship in Luxembourg come down to priorities, they government has emphasized space mining and other talents over the social economy, although many are hopeful for greater inclusion in this sector due to the Ministry of Social and Solidarity of the economy was created two years ago. The first transnational cluster for the social economy was installed by the Ministry for the greater region, and Germany has showed interest in joining.

 

6zero1has expressed that Luxembourg is not a country of entrepreneurship, nor are they pushing for SIS, and most people reaching out for 6zero1 and Nyuko help are not Luxembourgish, but those from abroad. It can be said that the entrepreneur spirit in Luxembourg is rather low perhaps because it is not part of the education curriculum. 6zero1 hopes to collaborate more closely with Nyuko because people tend to go to my-guichet.lu to get info about SIS and either think it is too difficult to obtain or are afraid of the auditing costs, and with greater communication with Nyuko, 6zero1 will be able to direct entrepreneurs wanting to become a SIS through a process which is much simpler than many think!

 

09 Jan

Partners Meeting in Sofia- SEYW project “The added value of social entrepreneurship in youth work”

In Blog by Magdalena Jakubowska / January 9, 2020 / 0 Comments

Art Square ASBL traveled to snowy Sofia, Bulgaria to meet the partners from the SEYW project on “The added value of social entrepreneurship in youth work” funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union. It was a fruitful day of exchanges between the Greek, Estonian, French, Bulgarian, Italian and of course us Luxembourgish partners, where each representing organisation presented the list of activities that were held in 2019 on the topic of social enterprises. Art Square ASBL gave a presentation on the most recent study visit for the SEYW project which took place in Bordeaux, highlighting some favorite social practices from businesses like fab lab Sew & Laine or Eco-Lieu Jeanot. We took a short lunch break to eat some traditional Bulgarian food at restaurant “Happy” and indeed resumed our afternoon meeting full, happy and excited about the upcoming study visits in 2020, which will kick off in Larissa, Greece in February. Art Square ASBL will host the partners for a second time in Luxembourg next summer so dates were discussed for this future meeting. Our day was finished at a typical Bulgarian eatery called “Shtastliveca”, where we enjoyed fresh food and our final words before parting our ways back to our countries!

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#seyw #socialentrepreneurship #erasmusplus #sofia #Bulgaria #KA2 #partnersmeeting