Continuous education and cooperation of policymakers and social innovators, entrepreneurs and intermediary organizations, a combination of online and offline education, as well as synergies between similar project and initiatives are key for sustainable support and thriving of social entrepreneurship in the Danube Region, it was concluded in the Policy Learning Dialogue meeting within Finance4SocialChange project on October 19th, 2020.
„ When it comes to education on social entrepreneurship, there are no definite answers but there are areas which can be improved with stronger involvement of stakeholders“, said Gorgi Krlev, Ph.D. at Center for Social Investment at the University of Heidelberg, adding that policymakers and decision-makers need continuous education too, in order to create effective ecosystems for social entrepreneurship to thrive. During the presentation of #AIRMOOC, an online educational platform designed within the F4SC project, that has over 70 tutorials for business development designed for social entrepreneurs, Krlev outlined the importance of feedback from entrepreneurs, as well as, maintaining online education platforms active, even upon ending of the project.
Davide Fava from Fondazione Demo center presented project #Social(i)Makers and shared experience on the education platform dedicated to spreading the support to social innovators which was used by over 7500 students in 78 countries. Michal Stefan from Dex Innovation Center presented the InnoSchool project which introduced education on social innovation in secondary schools through a game designed to engage students through online quizzes, scenarios, case studies, and open tasks. The education program which has been combined with classic education tools is to be tested in 90 secondary schools among 1800 students in 9 countries.
Michael Hagelmüller from Ashoka Austria, pointed out the importance of networking when it comes to making the change and the importance of credibility when communicating with Impact investors and social entrepreneurs while Irina Detlefsen from UniCredit Germany presented the Social Impact banking initiative which presents part of UniCredit’s social commitment to a sustainable society. Since 2019, UniCredit in Germany has held 73 workshops in 16 German cities dedicated to financial education in order to provide financial basics for vulnerable groups i.e. students, young adults, migrants, and people with cognitive impairment. One of the projects implemented with great success was Workshops "Entrepreneurship inclusive" with Pfennigparade where HVB volunteers were mentors for students with a handicap which then further developed business ideas for social start-ups.