Social entrepreneurship can be understood as the pursuit of sustainable solutions to neglected problems. It has the potential to serve community interests and support new ideas, leadership, teamwork and creativity.
On one side, it addresses the urgent need for alternatives to dominant economic systems. On the other side, it values solidarity and democracy and engages vulnerable people. Doing so, it contributes to social cohesion and development of skills that support employment and reduction of inequalities.
In youth volunteering, it can drive young people to creativity, initiative taking and leadership. Furthermore, it enhances their engagement within the local community for their own personal and professional growth and the collective growth of the community.
This represented the main topic in the Erasmus+ Key Action 2 project implemented by 13 National Committees of the volunteering federation ICYE.
About the project “Young Leaders for Social Change: Entrepreneurship through Volunteering”
The project involved ICYE National Committees in 13 countries and 12 international volunteers, who learnt about social economy and entrepreneurship. They planned and implemented projects and activities over 8 months for and with the beneficiaries of their host organisations. International volunteers led entrepreneurship projects or worked in organisations tackling social issues and creating alternative economic opportunities.
As an outcome of the project, the involved associations created a handbook. In particular, it contains the necessary non-formal learning and social entrepreneurship methods and skills, useful in different contexts and settings.
It represents a useful tool for staff, youth workers and facilitators of volunteering organisations to train volunteers during their international voluntary service. But also, for the volunteers engaged in diverse community development host organisations across the world.
SEEDS2: social entrepreneurship for the youngsters