ODB Brussels organized a training "Social entrepreneurship: New approaches to small and medium business development" for participants of the Fair of Entrepreneurial Initiatives, held in Bykhau district (Mahileu region, Belarus). Representatives of civil society organizations and local authorities, as well as entrepreneurs from Bykhau, Slauharad, Klichau and Krasnapolsk districts, were introduced to the concepts of social entrepreneurship and corporate social responsibility, and discussed application of new approaches in local development.
Maksim Padbiarozkin (on the left), ODB Brussels
The Fair of Entrepreneurial Initiatives is held in Bykhau district within the framework of the project "Public-private partnership for sustainable development", which is funded through the Small Grant Programme of the U.S. Embassy in Belarus and implemented by the International Fund of Rural Territories Development.
Siarhey Tarasuk, Director of the International Fund of Rural Territories Development
According to Siarhey Tarasyuk, who heads the Fund, this training helps local leaders take a look at businesses from different angles: "Those who earn money and do it in a sustainable, socially friendly way, are better recognized by local communities". The training is primarily aimed at local development. The director of the International Fund of Rural Territories Development stressed that participants of such meetings get a unique opportunity to discuss local problems and ways to resolve them, and find support for it.
Participants of the training studied CRS best cases, ways of using them to strengthen small and medium-sized businesses at the regional level, and examples of social enterprises in Belarus. Participants showed interest in a number of issues, including how to improve the image of regional companies, lower the unemployment, resolve local problems, etc. In addition to studying social business cases, participants also discussed promising areas of development and opportunities to create new social enterprises. Participants were also introduced to inclusive and environmental requirements imposed on modern business companies, and acknowledged the importance of private initiative for local-level sustainable development.