What do you know about social entrepreneurship? Are you interested in starting your own business?  Have you ever passed online learning courses?  I asked all these questions myself and got an answers within the Erasmus+ Mobility for Youth Workers „Youth Social Entrepreneurship Education for All with MOODLE“ (YSEEAM).

I became a part of this Project together with participants from Ghana, Italy, South Africa, Denmark, Greece and Vietnam. The Project is funded by the Erasmus+ KA2 Program – Strengthening skills in the youth sector in ACP countries and took place from 4-12 June 2022 on the coast of Northern Sicily, small village Castel di Tusa, with about 1 thousand inhabitants. Its scenic beauty and landscape gave me inspiration to discover more about local social enterprises.

During the Training we had a learning session on Social Entrepreneurship and its initiatives, developed skills for analytical thinking, leadership and social Influence, discussed best examples of countries national cases, networking, worked on digital and technical know-how for using the Moodle platform as an innovative way of youth work; developed entrepreneurial knowledge (lab-styled learning, digital youth work). Also, we had intercultural exchange with peculiarities of the cultural heritage of our countries.

For me important element of Project was involvement into community within study visits, as we an opportunity to share experiences, integrate into the local life and develop our soft skills. Thus, we learned about successful examples of social enterprises of Castel di Tusa:

– “Casaleni” Natural Bio Farm with a leader Placido Salamone, which dedicated to the organic production (extra virgin olive oil, cereal products: durum wheat, barley, oats and fodder).

– Municipality, where we met the council chamber by the Deputy Mayor, Angelo Tudisca, and discussed the youth policies and work, marketing and business, tourism and food.

– “ASD Libra” with taekwondo classes as a great example how to involve community into sport and a healthy lifestyle.

– Snail farm “Fratelli Miceli” which continues family business for years.

Through a mixture of field visits, workshops and non-formal learning we discovered what it is to embark on social entrepreneurship by successful examples of social enterprises of Castel di Tusa: a great entrepreneurial ability, inclination to welcome and involve the community and dedication and passion of people who made social enterprises a sustainable reality. We learned how a social enterprise can be established to promote innovation and growth in the community.

As a result of Project, we exchanged our visions of entrepreneurial solutions according to local issues and presented a course from national teams for YSEEAM Moodle Course. In particular, we created tools for online learning «Start Your Own Business», structured according to non-formal education methodology and aims to help young people consider the vision of Social Entrepreneurship and explore available opportunities. We’ve provided infographics and glossary to clarify Entrepreneurship terms, gave successful examples of Greek social enterprise with knowledge check, reflection and documentaries.

With the result in the production YSEEAM plans to held a final Full Moodle Course of the project, and the project Handbook “Moodling Youth Work” detailing how to use Moodle to do Youth Work.

I would like to Thank my sending organization “United Societies of Balkans” for the opportunity became a part of this Training, support and help during the mobility as well as hosting organization “New Horizons” for warm welcoming, hospitality and taking care of our stay.

The article was prepared by Sana Lisova – journalist, researcher, public activist