Social Startup in Berlin brings Social Entrepreneurship into schools

Social Entrepreneurship is gaining more and more attention worldwide, and so is Social Entrepreneurship education. Most of the offers are MOOCS or at university level, usually addressing people who already heard about the concept. A Berlin based social startup started by introducing the topic to younger people by facilitating workshops in high schools and during youth camps.

Why is it important to teach youth about social entrepreneurship?

Addressing the increasing social and environmental challenges in our societies will require a generation of social innovators and change makers. The future has to be more sustainable and we need to be able come up with innovative solutions to solve them.

Social Innovation Meets School teaches youth about social entrepreneurship as a way to promote sustainable development, but also to foster competences and skills like problem-solving, teamwork and collaboration, empathy, creativity and entrepreneurial thinking. That is because young people at school rather learn to pass their exams than for life after school. They want to enable schools to apply practical learning and discuss real-world issues.

How do they do it?

Social Innovation Meets School developed two workshops formats. One introductory workshops focusses on career orientation and one where students actually develop their own ideas to problems. For this, they use design thinking principles to help students learn how to approach a problem and develop solutions. The challenges they work on during the workshops are either identified by the students themselves, challenges the school faces or challenges the school picked for the students, or local challenges.

The social startup also offers students to interact directly face-to-face with local social entrepreneurs. Through this direct contact, students get to know the person behind the social enterprise, they can ask questions, learn about the motivations of the social entrepreneur and get an idea of how a day-to-day life of a (social) entrepreneur looks like.

What are their future plans?

For the next six months, the social startup is planning to grow their team, expand their school network and run fifteen more pilot workshops with students aged between 12–16 in Berlin. After that, they plan to develop teaching and learning materials as well as trainings for educators and youth workers. With that approach, they hope teachers can incorporate social entrepreneurship in their class, reach more students and have a bigger impact in a shorter time. The founders wish is to also design and run social innovation youth camps with creatives and musicians one day.

If you like the idea, you can now support the team directly as they started a crowdfunding campaign as part of the EDUplus Matchingfonds initiative for innovative education. A fund of €50.000 is available for all participating projects which will be divided according to the numbers of supporters by Friday, 15th of September 12:00 o’clock. The crowdfunding campaign continues until Saturday, the 30th of September 2017.

And if you are into the topic, you should check out the report just recently published by the British Council “Social entrepreneurship education — empowering the next generation to address societe’s needs“.