This is a reference for Inese Minsi

Social entrepreneurship training "Change Laboratory"

The training activity took place
in Riga, Latvia
organised by Room of Fulfilled Dreams

Aims & objectives

Main aim of this project was to promote active participation of young people and to contribute to developing the capabilities of civil society organizations in the youth field through gathering knowledge in social entrepreneurship area and through development of competencies essential for initiation of social entrepreneurship activities
by non-governmental non-profit organizations.

Encouraging self-initiative and developing the capability to analyze obstacles and opportunities within a social sector and to identify potential strategies to effect change were other important objectives of the project.

The first part of the course introduced the participants to the concept of social entrepreneurship and its various applications across sectors and organizational forms. Furthermore it examined the success factors and conditions of setting up social enterprise.

Through the program participants created community projects with potential to stimulate transformations and improvements in their chosen area, whether that is education, health care, economic development, environment, arts or any other social field - participants developed plans for local or international social entrepreneurship entities or innovative projects, partnerships or other arrangements that would have a positive impact on social outcomes.

Course was created to address the need of non-profit non-governmental organizations to find funding sources that would provide their independent and sustainable action.

Target group & international/intercultural composition of the group & team

Course gathered 29 third sector representatives, leaders of non-governmental organizations, fundraisers and social workers, from 11 countries: Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Hungary, Portugal, Romania and Greece.

Training methods used & main activities

Simulations, creative thinking techniques, presentations, group work, group discussions and debates, site visits, case studies and open space.

Outcomes of the activity

Participants developed their creative skills and entrepreneurial mindset, knowledge about social entrepreneurship, as well as ideas, concepts and draft business plans for social ventures that might be created in their own organizations and communities.

''It was first time I saw myself as a social businessman. This training gave me courage to dare, to share, and think big things about myself and the world. Trainers broke my way of thinking and made me think differently, they took out my imaginations. That's the meaning of a teacher. To make you think differently, and for me they made it in the best way.'' - Fotis, Greece

"I've been planning to start my own business for 2-3 years and 10 euro exercise finally made me to start it. I like what I am doing, I gathered knowledge and information which I needed and my 10 euro practice will turn into the business after this training course. I will continue and build in on the basis what I have learnt here." - Radvile, Lithuania

"Since we came back from ''Change Laboratory'' we have learned continuously and participated in various events related to entrepreneurship. We didn't abandon the idea of children's education and the dream of bringing joy in the faces of kids. Riga was a source of inspiration for us. We came back with a positive attitude, energy and a huge motivation to commit something great. ''Change Laboratory" fulfilled its purpose and made a change in our personality. We dreamed, we analyzed, we tested and most importantly, we acted. Besides courage and hard work we put so much soul and passion that nothing can stand in the way of success. We wanted to show that entrepreneurship could be done without money, each of us have available a lot of resources and opportunities that need to be used with great reason and wisdom! We started a small project ''EduJoc'', which now begins to scale and that turns it into a real business.'' ''EduJoc'' is the first online shop and cafe with educational toys in Moldova. It promotes inventiveness, creativity and skills' development among children." - Victoria and Igor, Romania

Training course had second part which was implemented in Macedonia, in 2013, involving also partners from South Eastern Europe.

More information:
This project is included also in the EC publication about European good practice projects "Focus On: Youth and Entrepreneurship":

Your tasks and responsibilities within the team

Participants' and partners' needs assessment, formulating learning objectives, designing program, facilitating sessions in cooperation with two other trainers and guest speakers, evaluating activities and outcomes, elaborating promotional materials of the project, overall management of the project.

I worked on this training for 8 days as a full time trainer.

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