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International Social Innovation Competition for Students and Adult Learners
Start date: Sep 1, 2014, End date: Aug 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

According to the EU’s definition “Social enterprises seek to serve the community’s interest (social, societal, environmental objectives) rather than profit maximisation. They often have an innovative nature, through the goods or services they offer, and through the organisation or production methods they resort to. They often employ society’s most fragile members (socially excluded persons). They thus contribute to social cohesion, employment and the reduction of inequalities.” We are surrounded by a number of urging social issues today: social exclusion, poverty, high unemployment rates, aging population, deteriorating environment and many more. These problems are unfortunately present everywhere in the world, and we are faced with them in our immediate vicinity as well. Our project aims at raising the awareness of university students to the most important problems of their regions, and at urging them to think in a socially responsible way, so that they become active and committed actors of their homelands. The main objective of our project is to - based on the co-operation of universities, regional and sectorial development organisations - create a multipliable methodology that continuously provides new social innovation solutions for Europe. In order to accomplish this goal, we are to introduce an International Social Innovation Competition for Students. Through this initiation we further aim to: - promote the concept of social entrepreneurship and social innovation - draw the attention of university students to various social issues - urge students to think in a socially responsible way - encourage them to find solutions to social issues using entrepreneurial concepts - create a competition concept that can easily be replicated anywhere in Europe - improve entrepreneurial skills of students - enhance international cooperation between students For the elaboration of the proposed activities, a well experienced Consortium is formulated from six expert groups, representing five countries from the European Union. Two universities, one adult education provider, two non-governmental and one public organisation responsible for regional development, teamed up for this work. The Partnership will elaborate the following activities: - Compilation a set of best practices of enterprise and student competitions, - Adaptation of social entrepreneurship and social innovation workshop materials, - Organising pre-selection regional and one International Social Entrepreneurship Competition for Students, - Compiling the International Social Entrepreneurship Competition Kit for the support of universities and other organisations interested in joining our initiation. As a main result, we expect: - the concept of social entrepreneurship to be more widely distributed, - the emerge of creative, new social innovation / entrepreneurship ideas and - the continuation of our initiation with educational institutions and development bodies joining our contests, organising their events with the help of the Competition Kit. On the longer term, this initiation could help to widely disseminate the concept of social innovation and encourage young people to use their talents for the support of disadvantaged groups.

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