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CREED opens doors to promoting social entrepreneurship in Europe

Group  Open-Mind-Logo

Breaking down barriers to business creation – the Centre for Regional Economic and Enterprise Development (CREED) is joining eight organisations from across Europe in piloting a digital course in social entrepreneurship for women and students from non-business studies backgrounds.

The initiative, called Open Mind, is an Erasmus+ project which over two years will develop a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in social entrepreneurship; a gamified online platform which serves as an inspiring learning environment, and an impact assessment report. Members of CREED, Dr Robert Wapshott, Dr Chay Brooks, Kate Penney and Prof Tim Vorley, attended the kick-off meeting in Athens with other academic partners. Tim said: “This is an excellent EU project drawing on CREED’s collective experience in entrepreneurship teaching and research. We are excited to be part of the partnership, aimed at developing new ways to foster entrepreneurship for social change.”

This project is key for social and economic progress in Europe. Despite the positive impact that social enterprises have, the majority of entrepreneurship courses are offered in business and economic studies so most students can’t take part. Data shows that two-thirds of young people and women in EU believe they do not have the knowledge or skills to start a business – the outcomes from this project will address this gap.

Kate said: “The MOOC will introduce students to the fundamentals of social entrepreneurship, as well as covering areas such as identifying opportunities, creating a business model and business plan, attracting investors and getting your enterprise off the ground. An e-book featuring 50 inspiring female start-up entrepreneurs will also inspire the learners.

“The game elements incorporated into the learning environment will create a participative environment where students can explore business concepts, develop key skills and work on real-world case-studies. It will also operate in five languages, expanding the reach of the project.”

At the end of the two-year development stage, the team will outline the project’s major outcomes and establish support to sustain the project.

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EU-Erasmus

Project No: 2016-1-BG01-KA203-023754. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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