SOCIAL ENTERPRISES AS A TOOL FOR CHANGE
In this project, Grenzenlos aims to raise awareness of Social Entrepreneurship as a useful concept for Social Change through volunteering. To achieve this, Grenzenlos plans to host a number of workshops to inform participants about the concept of Social Entrepreneurship as well as to train them to develop entrepreneurial skills and introduce tools to develop a social entrepreneurship projects. The Ecuadorian volunteer Sebastián Paredes will have the opportunity to put his learned skills to practice by implementing a project together with his host project Wohnheim St. Martin. A crucial learning aspect is the educational trips to a number of social enterprises in Vienna in order to promote a better understanding of this concept and its diversity. To further increase the visibility and recognition of Social Enterprises and this project, Grenzenlos accompanies all the activities with promotion on social media.
Grenzenlos will host a number of workshops to train local and international volunteers on social entrepreneurship and develop their social entrepreneurial skills.
The first workshop, held at the start of the volunteering activities in Austria, included a session on social entrepreneurship, in which the volunteers learn about the characteristics, values, aims and objectives of social enterprises through examples of established social enterprises in Austria.
The second workshop provided on methods and tools that serve to transform an entrepreneurial idea into a project. The participants were able to try out different methods.
In order to create visibility for the project through traditional media, Sebastian Paredes participated in a Radio Workshop organised by Frauensolidarität. He learnt core tools on producing a radio feature and together with other volunteers had the opportunity to talk about his volunteering experience, which will be broadcast on a free and multilingual radio station called „Radio Orange“ that reaches a wide audience (https://o94.at/ ; http://www.frauensolidaritaet.org/about-us-text).
Trips to social enterprises
During the Social Entrepreneurship project, two trips to different social enterprises in Austria were organized in order to provide inspiration and show the diversity of these types of enterprises in Austria. This allowed the volunteers to get to know the different forms a social enterprise can take on.
The first trip was to “Dialog im Dunkeln“, (En: Dialogue in the dark) a museum and social enterprise focused on making seeing people experience the world like a blind/visually impaired person. It employs people with sight disabilities as guides for visitor-tours through the dark (https://imdunkeln.at/)
The second trip in November was to “Vollpension”, (https://www.vollpension.wien/) a café and coffee house in central Vienna with the overall mission to create an environment where young and old can meet and interact. The café employs elderly and attracts the young, providing a space for different generations to come together.
After the visits to local enterprises, the next stage was for the volunteers, in particular Sebastian Paredes, to use this inspiration and put his learned skills to practice by implementing a small project together with Wohnheim St. Martin and in close cooperation with the local community.
“Through their lens” – The volunteer’s own project
With the above mentioned enterprises and projects as inspiration, the volunteer of the Social Entrepreneurship project, Sebastian Paredes, created a photo gallery with photos by the clients in his project. He organized creative meetings and excursions with the clients where the pictures were taken.
On this foundation two exhibitions were carried out, one in the house where the clients of Wohnhaus St. Martin live and work, inviting clients, colleagues and family members of the clients. After, the photos were on display at the Grenzenlos Office.
The mission of this project was to show the clients’ point of view and connect them with the outside world.
Social media updates
You can find updates on the SE-project in Austria through the following social media channels:
Facebook: Grenzenlos and Melange Vienna