The second seminar training of the strategic partnership “OpportuNEETies” was called “Fostering social entrepreneurship and leadership in education in European mobility for NEETs” and was organized by YouNet.

Twelve participants from Germany, Spain, and France took part in the training in Bologna, from 19th to 25th June 2017.

The aim of the course was to equip participants with the needed skills to deliver social entrepreneurship and/or leadership skills or to integrate some learning activities and approaches fostering entrepreneurial mindsets and assertiveness in their current activities. The general aim of this course was to foster excellence in education by empowering youth workers, teachers and trainers to teach entrepreneurship and leadership while sharing best practices and experiences with colleagues from France, Germany, Spain, and Italy as well as meeting with local realities in Bologna.

The focus of the first part of the training was on the development of effective leadership skills. During the activities, conversations, and debates, it was discussed that leadership doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all definition. We all have our own ideas about what it means to be a good leader. For example, some people think leadership means guiding others to complete a particular task, while others believe it means motivating the members of your team to be their best selves. But while the definitions may vary, the general sentiments remain the same: leaders are people who know how to achieve goals and inspire people along the way. We investigated the concept of vision and we agreed that vision has a variety of definitions, all of which include a mental image or picture, a future orientation, and aspects of direction or goal. It serves to inspire, motivate, and engage people.

The second part of the week of training was dedicated to Entrepreneurial Mind-Set and social entrepreneurship. We discovered how social entrepreneurship is the application of entrepreneurial action to develop, fund and implement solutions to social, cultural, or environmental issues and that this concept may be applied to a variety of organizations with different sizes, aims, and beliefs. Thanks to the investigation of social entrepreneurs and enterprises, we discovered that a social enterprise is an operator in the social economy whose main objective is to have a social impact rather than make a profit for their owners or shareholders. By using the Social Canvas business model, we were able to understand how the social enterprises operate by providing goods and services for the market in an entrepreneurial and innovative fashion and use their profits primarily to achieve social objectives.

In order to better understand all the concepts investigated during the training, YouNet organized some meetings with local realities operating in the field of Social Entrepreneurship. In the first days, we visited YouMob front-office which YouNet manages in collaboration with the Municipality of Bologna and Europe Direct. The service aims to promote the idea of Europe and European citizenship among young people, involving them in volunteer projects abroad, youth exchanges and European initiatives. The meetings with Kilowatt and with Iusta Res social cooperative founder were among the most appreciated activities of the seminar since they gave the participants the possibility to enter in contact with social business and to ask questions and understand better how social enterprises work in Italy.

Finally, on the last day, the group had the opportunity to know about Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme. The meeting with a young entrepreneur gave the opportunity to the participants to know more about the programme and its possible outcomes, for example, to consider it as a chance to encourage NEETs to take action and realize their aims, or as a possibility to create a social enterprise active in the field of youth work.