19 јуни 2015

24 enthusiastic young people gathered in “impossible-to-pronounce-even-for-estonians” Väiko-Härmä village to discuss about

theIMG_0627_ possibilities of social entrepreneruship and together initiate ideas which could be developed into reality.

The aim of training course “Via you to yOUR youth” was to support youth initative through increasing the competencies of youth leaders in the field of social entrepreneurship.

During this week the participants were able to concretize the meaning of social entrepreneurship (SE) and discover its different possibilities.  After realizing the concept of SE they were able to mapIMG_0424 the needs in their community. This was the base for starting to develop an idea for SE. Session about exploring social needs allowed us to see that even though the main hot spots are quite similar in these three countries – Estonia, Portugal, Macedonia – there are still some remarkable differences. For example,  Macedonians and Portuguese didn’t mention alcohol abuse as a problem in their community whereas Estonians clearly declared this as one of the major issues. Suprisingly it came out that in Macedonia the chance of getting a job is severely related with voting on elections for certain party, thus being politically independent is decreasing job opportunities. For Portugal the main issues were mentioned as youth unemployment and insufficient support for small enterprise sustainability.

IMG_0444After mapping the needs of the community, participants started generating their own solutions for the problems which finally formed as a social enterprise. Meanwhile they got skilled in developing and filling in a business plan; setting up the goals and expected results of their SE; as well as determined the market needs.

Two case studies based on successful business models and visit to aIMG_0461 SE (eco-friendly hostel Looming in Tartu) aimed to give more realistic overview about the possible obstacles to face when starting with SE as well as to motivate and encourage young people taking their ideas into reality.

IMG_0419The participants were introduced to tools for successful social enterprise.  This comprised for example communication skills, including tips for catchy presentations, and practice for trying to sell their service or product.  At the very end of the training the working groups presented their SE and future steps. Hopefully at least some of these brilliant ideas become reality!

IMG_0636All these hard-working and topic focused sessions alternated with brief breaks which were used for doing some refreshing outdoor sports, chatting with others or enjoying the peaceful silence of Piusa primeval valley. Hopefully these 24 young people from Portugal, Macedonia and Estonia got a boost for making their ideas happen.


This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. 

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