#PlayEurope, the European project to become a Social Entrepreneur

Europe has been marked in last decades by a reduction of participation in social life, above all among young people. A lower participation and activism will bring people to the flattening of a whole generation that will not be able to recognize their rights and call for their respect.

Furthermore, the unemployment rate, an important measure of a Country or region’s economic health, is still high in the European Union Countries, even though it is falling from the 2013 peak. In order to contrast this trend, European Union supports entrepreneurial initiatives as long as they have a social impact and generate profit either for entrepreneurs, either for the entire community.

#PlayEurope- EduGames for Active Citizenship is the European project developed within the Erasmus+ Programme that acts in this context as promoter of active citizenship. #PlayEurope uses the social entrepreneurship and the cooperative enterprise model to provide a concrete pathway to enhance interest of youth in social issues and to contrast unemployment. In fact, the project offers a set of tools in order to support young people in developing their competences to run a social business and to become better citizens as well.

#PlayEurope partners have different backgrounds and they come from all over Europe:  VITECO (Italy), Varna University of Management (Bulgaria), Marketing Gate (Macedonia), Eurosuccess Consulting (Cyprus), Catholic University of Murcia (Spain), Action Synergy (Greece), Group of the European Youth for Change (Romania), PEIPSI (Estonia), K-Veloce (Spain). In spite of different economic and social contexts, their joint effort is to find a common solution young people could benefit from.

In order to foster young professionals to begin the Social entrepreneurship’s journey, the starting intuition was to raise their motivation. For this reason, the first output of the project has been the Manual of Success Stories on Social Entrepreneurship, ten business adventures across Europe that have young entrepreneurs as protagonists, with their strengths and weaknesses, fears and experiences. Strong challenges turned into social enterprises as instrument of inspiration for young people who want to set up their own business, helping disadvantaged people and involving communities.

The launch of the Manual of Success Stories happened on June 2018 and it has been a great success reaching a wide audience throughout Europe. The Manual has been welcome by hundred of entities and incubators that work in the field of social entrepreneurship and they are integrating the stories within their training programmes to motivate their users as well.

The catching layout, the easy language to be understood, the chance to read the stories on line or to download the PDF version for free allow to share the inspiring stories of social entrepreneurs that passed through difficulties and obstacles, finding their own way to be successful in life. Meaningful lessons learned of people like somebody else that found the courage to bet on themselves.

The second output of #PlayEurope project is work in progress at the moment. The Step‐by‐Step Guide – Become Social Entrepreneur in 7 days will be available also on the website of the project and will contain both theory and EduGames for learning crucial basics of soft and hard skills, important to set up a social enterprise. The edutainment approach aim to be the starting point for raising awareness among youth about the importance of participating in the community through the engaging solution of running a business with ethic values.

To find out more about the project visit the website https://www.playeurope-project.eu/

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