TURIN, 10 November 2017 – Twenty-five social entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 have completed an intensive ten days of training to strengthen their knowledge and skills and improve their use of business, legal and fundraising tools so that they can successfully pitch their business ideas to potential investors. The training is the first stage of Entrepreneurs for Social Change (E4SC), a United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) project funded by the Savings Bank of Turin Foundation (Fondazione CRT). E4SC provides support to young social entrepreneurs to bring about positive social change in communities of the Euro-Mediterranean region and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals.
“Entrepreneurs for Social Change offers the new generation of youth the opportunity to be part of a community of practice which sees in Fondazione CRT and UNIDO two fundamental partners at the international level. E4SC allows participants to develop and grow their start-up, it allows them to seize and understand the intercultural challenges of our time sharing an in-depth experience with their peers, presenting their projects to potential investors, become role-models for future entrepreneurs”, said Massimo Lapucci, Secretary General of Fondazione CRT.
After receiving more than 500 applications from 26 countries in the Euro-Mediterranean region, 25 social enterprises from 17 countries were selected, and representatives attended the training, held in Turin from 27 October to 5 November 2017. The training provided a unique learning experience for participants, combining an intercultural approach to social entrepreneurship, with business-development training, promoting peer-to-peer support and networking at the same time. Building on the skills acquired during the training, the social entrepreneurs will receive 12 months of mentoring to support them in realizing their full economic potential while generating measurable positive impact in their communities to address pressing environmental and social challenges. This includes the creation of opportunities for decent jobs.
“Millennials are getting engaged to make the change they aspire to see through social impact projects”, says Gerardo Patacconi, Officer in Charge of the UNIDO Agri-Business Department, “Social entrepreneurship projects allow them to be drivers of change and to create, for themselves and for other young people, sustainable and decent jobs…we’re building a community destined to last”.
While the social enterprises selected covered a wide range of industries, including agro-industries, creative industries, green business, clean energy, and education, a focus was placed on their economic feasibility and the demonstrated social impact they can have.
“With UNIDO’s technical expertise, and through a network of alumni and mentors, we will be able to improve our business and financial models, while maximizing our social impact,” said Rosemary Romanos founder of Lebanon’s SunRay Energy, which facilitates access to electricity in rural and marginalized communities. Anja Carapic, co-founder of UrbiGo, which aims at promoting sustainable food consumption and production through smart vertical gardens suitable for urban living spaces, confirmed that “E4SC can support scaling my business and multiplying its impact in the next 12 months”.
For more information on the programme: www.e4sc.org
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