On November 18, the first annual social entrepreneurship training programme Biz4all came to its conclusion. The final event brought the 25 participating teams together in the conference hall “Tsmoki Minsk”, where they pitched their projects to a professional jury.
All the teams who took part in the pitches (short, up to 3 minutes, presentation of the project to potential customers) are considered to be finalists and have received certificates confirming that they have completed the training course. 12 teams selected by the jury will continue to work with their mentors and take part in the grand final in summer 2018. Pitches of Biz4all social teams were evaluated by Zhanna Statsiuka, a deputy of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus, Aliaksandr Bulakh from the Centre for Entrepreneurship Support “Start-up Technologies”, Ihar Kolchanka, Director of the PR studio “Sette”, Olga Mzhelskaya, PR manager of the crowdfunding platform “Ulej”, wine bar “Svabody 4” and Children’s Art Workshops of “U” gallery, Zhanna Philipava, Director of “New Eurasia”, as well as Yunelia Salnikava and Aliaksei Halantsou, representing the international organization PACT.
|Jules Maessen, entrepreneur from the Netherlands, member of the jury|
Jules Maessen, an entrepreneur from the Netherlands who was also part of the jury, noted that the teams’ pitches left no doubts about the social component of their projects, but that many still had a long way to go in terms of their business part.
In October 2016, more than 200 teams applied to take part in the Biz4all programme. The organizers, ODB Brussels (Belgium) in partnership with the TNU Network University (Netherlands), within the framework of the и EU-supported “Social Entrepreneurship Incubator” programme, selected 64 teams to participate, with 25 of them coming to the finish line. All in all, 102 people finished the course (32 teams).
|Participants of the Biz4all final in Minsk|
|Jury of the Biz4all final: Zhanna Statsiuka, a deputy of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus, Aliaksandr Bulakh, the Center for Entrepreneurship Support “Start-up Technologies, and Ihar Colchanka, Director of the PR studio “Sette”|
12 teams who were selected by the jury to go to the grand final:
• “VEHA” (“Milestone”): preserving the visual history and passing it on to future generations;
• CarbonFreeTravel: neutralizing CO2 with a few simple taps;
• “Azbuka Zaboty” (“The ABCs of caring”): professional training on caring for the elderly, critically ill patients and people with disabilities;
• ”Grandma’s socks”: warm emotions;
• “Ya Ryadom” (“I am near”): caring for the health of loved ones from a distance;
• Regional Cultural Centre “Cultivator”: decentralization of culture;
• Yelena Dziamidava with a project of a café for older people;
• Preserving National Traditions with Tea Parties: Social Enterprise “Phytochaynik” (“Herbal Tea Kettle”) in Zhytkovichy;
• “Matyliok” (“Butterfly”): modern accessories with a national flavour;
• “Adnaulenne” (“Renewal”), rehabilitation camp for people with mental disabilities;
• “Pelenashka”: assistance with children’s development.
|Masha Cheriakova, social entrepreneurship consultant from the Netherlands, during the final event of Biz4all in Minsk|
Masha Cheriakova, social entrepreneurship consultant from the Netherlands, said that the Biz4all program included 27 online modules on how to work with an idea, develop it into a business, and solve social problems. “As a result, participants could create a minimally viable product and learnt how to sell it. We also had offline trainings on sales, marketing, pitching and organization of team work. The programme had many valuable elements to it, and the knowledge has helped and is still helping the teams develop their social projects in Belarus,” underscored Masha.
Many participants of the school of social entrepreneurship noted that during this year of joint work they had not only received valuable business knowledge but also grew to become a big family and a professional community.
|Gerd Junne, professor of the TNU Network University, Netherlands, during Biz4all final in Minsk|
Gerd Junne, professor of TNU Network University, underscored how impressed he was with the participants’ pitches. “Almost all the teams have made a huge leap forward since the start of the programme. I would like to note that the initial idea does not always turn out to be a success in practice, and it is very important to know how to adapt your idea and your business to real social needs. Many Biz4all teams have successfully adapted their ideas, and I hope that this will lead to a successful business”.
The final Biz4all event has been an outstanding and large-scale event. It brought together organizers, participants of the programme and members of the jury, as well as mentors from all corners of the world who supported the participants throughout the course of their training.
|The goal of the programme is to develop a package of social entrepreneurship training programmes in Russian using innovative international practices, as well as the experience of Belarusian diaspora representatives who have become successful entrepreneurs in European Union countries and the USA.|
The publication was prepared within the framework of the "Social Entrepreneurship Incubator", implemented by ODB Brussels in partnership with TNU Network University (Netherlands), Belarusian Youth Public Union "New Faces" and International Civil Association "Union of Belarusian of the world “Motherland", with the fiancial support from the European Union.