Social Entrepreneurship – Perspectives for the Socially Disadvantaged

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A digital training program teaches socially disadvantaged people skills for social entrepreneurship. It is precisely with their experiences that these people can develop solutions to social problems.

Social entrepreneurship can be a pioneer and open up new perspectives for marginalized people. In a European cooperation project, Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences is developing a digital training and mentoring programme that helps socially excluded people to develop entrepreneurial skills. In doing so, they gain practical experience in founding and running a sustainable company.

Digital training program and learning platform

Acting independently as an entrepreneur, out of social and ecological responsibility – this innovative type of entrepreneurship can be found in social entrepreneurship. Ideas for this can be found in all people. Six European cooperation partners have set themselves the goal of supporting people with social disadvantages and disabilities in particular and equipping them with entrepreneurial skills. In the Erasmus+ project “LeArNing CEnters for Social Entrepreneurs in the digital era”, they are developing a digital training programme and an online platform to provide socially excluded people with access to suitable learning materials and teachers. This gives them the opportunity to develop new entrepreneurial solutions to social problems where they have to deal with them on a daily basis.

Guide and Best Practices

Social entrepreneurship as the basis for this is a driver of innovation that motivates people to leave familiar ways of thinking. Six partner organisations from Germany, Italy, Romania, Greece, Ireland and Slovakia, including Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences, are initially developing an innovation handbook that will serve as a guideline for the learning modules. Best practices show how existing social enterprises operate. For Germany, for example, an organization is presented that works with mentally ill people and helps them to develop their entrepreneurial potential.

Finding, designing, implementing ideas

Subsequently, the training modules and an online platform will be developed and tested. The e-learning courses provide learners with hands-on experience of running a sustainable business in the digital age. The high-quality and innovative learning opportunities help to find and shape ideas, prepare entrepreneurial activities and legal frameworks, and develop personal skills. Each project partner also develops country-specific modules that meet the legal and social conditions on site. The pilot of the course modules will then take place with 20 young entrepreneurs in each of the six countries. From these, six champions will be selected in each partner country. All participants receive a training certificate.

Citation: Kolhoff, L. (2022). Social Entrepreneurship – Perspectives for the Socially Disadvantaged. Wissen hoch N.

Prof. Dr. phil. Ludger Kolhoff


Address: Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences, Wolfenbüttel Faculty of Social Work


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