European projects are high in the Agenda of Found.ation. We support the development of Europe’s startup companies as well as individuals coming from underrepresented groups, by designing, planning and supporting special online educational programmes, as part of our role in the Erasmus+ projects we undertake.
One of the most important factors for success of a start-up is the entrepreneurial knowledge, skills and will of its founder or entrepreneurial team. Re-enter addresses the needs of entrepreneurs over the age of 45 for improved entrepreneurial skills and support in different stages of their entrepreneurial ventures; from developing a business idea to strategic planning as well as the company’s first steps in the market.
By providing an innovative and inspiring learning environment through ICT that includes creativity exercises, diversity management and other tools, Re-Enter aims in creating direct and virtual networking opportunities.
The project addresses the need for a practical, accessible and adult learner-oriented entrepreneurial training and support, which would help starting entrepreneurs acquire necessary skills and enable them to start successful businesses of those who with more risk of exclusion on the labour market, i.e. people over 45 that are unemployed or at risk of becoming redundant in their enterprises.
Based on that, the goal is, through the interaction with young entrepreneurs, to take full advantage of intergenerational learning, and thus create multifaceted benefits for the economy, and the foundation for properly educating the next generation of professionals.
Social Innovation – defined as innovation that is social both in terms of its ends and its means – has been increasingly perceived as the answer to the rising number of European societal challenges, such as the refugee crisis, growing social disparities, youth issues and unemployment. While the European authorities, leading academics, policy experts, business people and activists agree that social innovation is the key to a better future for Europe and the world, it is extremely difficult for professionals to obtain high quality training on what social innovation actually offers, and more importantly, how it can be applied in the real world.
Even more interestingly, the boom of digital education approaches such as e-learning, OERs (Open Educational Resources), MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and the resulting popularity of platforms such as Udemy, Coursera or Khan Academy, shows that the public is hungry for free and easily accessible knowledge, and already capable of independent learning online.
Socia will directly target the managers at NGOs/civil society organizations and intermediaries (hubs, incubators, labs etc.) as well as aspiring social entrepreneurs willing to learn how to set up and run social innovation initiatives, with the goal of harnessing the power of collaborative creativity and thus solving the most pressing societal challenges of our times.
In effect, Socia will increase the practical social innovation skills and competencies of its target audience, raise awareness about the importance of practice-oriented social innovation training in Europe, and ingrain it in the activities of various stakeholder groups.
In today’s increasingly competitive environment, companies need to find that ‘added extra’ to stay competitive to retain existing customers and attract new customers. One way to do this is to encourage innovative and creative behavior within the organization i.e. to encourage intrapreneurs. An intrapreneur is a person within a business or corporation who takes direct responsibility for turning an idea into a profitable finished product through assertive risk-taking and innovation.
Intrapreneurship can therefore be defined as any entrepreneurial activity performed within an organization. Intense global competition and fast changing consumer needs have put the pressure on traditional companies to diversify, increase productivity, and develop new innovative practices.
Intraprise was an innovative program that offered specialized intrapreneurial training in the ICT sector addressing three key elements: managers, employees, and the overall organizational structure. Its focus concentrated on the ICT sector in particular because it is among the leading sectors in Europe.
The program developed training material tailor-made to the needs of the learners and provided the VET trainers with more user friendly didactic methods (such as videos, animations, interactive scenarios). Overall, the project was based on an approach that was demand-driven, solution-focused and scientific while at the same time ensuring that the training program matched the exact skills needs of ICT intrapreneurs and managers.
Intraprise has been identified as a good practice example by the Erasmus+ programme.