The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and the CRT Foundation launched the 3rd cohort of Entrepreneurs for Social Change (E4SC), from the 18th to the 25th October 2015 in Torino, Italy. E4SC supports young social entrepreneurs from the Euro-Mediterranean region, aiming at creating new employment opportunities through their work and be a powerful motor of economic development and social inclusion.
The program offered 8 days of intensive training to 20 social entrepreneurs selected from more than 1,200 applications from 26 countries bordering on both sides of the Mediterranean. The selected participants (10 women and 10 men), were aged between 22 and 35, and came from Albania, Algeria, Egypt, France, Israel, Italy, Macedonia, Morocco, Palestine, Portugal, Serbia, Spain, Syria, and Tunisia.
Ten experts delivered training sessions addressing several elements: the construction of business and financial models, fundraising strategies, communication and storytelling, intercultural dialogue, not to mention key issues such as the involvement of local communities, overcoming barriers and developing intercultural marginal areas.
The training gathered the attention of local authorities, represented by the Mayor of Torino, Mr. Piero Fassino, as well as very extensive media attention. One of the media reports about the program was published by the major Italian newspaper La Stampa.
One of the participants, Regis Pradal from France, summarized: “Last week a rare thing happened. I had the chance to grow my family bigger. I was part of the 20 social entrepreneurs selected for Entrepreneurs for Social Change, an awesome program organized by United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and Fondazione CRT. I was really proud to represent InternsGoPro. I feel extremely lucky for having met these beautiful people. They all have amazing projects; they are full of skills, hopes, great values, and bright ideas. I realize now that I consider them like brothers and sisters in arms for building a better world. Let’s make this family massive, it’s easy to join because, like we say in this short film made in a couple of hours: “It is not about where we are from, but where we are deciding to go.”
As of today, throughout the following 9 months, experienced mentors from the roster of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations will support the social entrepreneurs as they approach potential investors, develop their business plans further, and assess the social impact of their social enterprises.
This program supports the strategic priorities of the UNAOC, as laid out by the High Representative, Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, when assuming office in February 2013 and throughout his two and half years in office.
Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser said: “Social entrepreneurship has been introduced as an innovative model that can address persistent problems of unemployment and inequality by harnessing the potential of youth to fuel economic and social growth – especially in the Euro-Med region. The UNAOC believes that it has proved successful in introducing new reforms to improve education, health outcomes, community development, gender issues, economic growth, and more. We have been very impressed by the quality and scope of work of the participants of the E4SC program and are wishing them the best of luck in their future endeavors.”
At the UNAOC Group of Friends Ministerial meeting, the United Nations Secretary General mentioned E4SC among other UNAOC projects: http://www.un.org/sg/statements/index.asp?nid=9086