SocialErasmus and ESAA Entrepreneurship Incubator, Erasmus – pan-Europe
Erasmus– pan-Europe, 2008 – present
‘Participants can give something back to the local community, and really leave their mark’ - Gizem Altun, International project coordinator.
ESAA Entrepreneurship Incubator – pan-Europe and global
Erasmus – pan-Europe and global, 2011 - present
‘Business is becoming more social and social ideas need to be more business-like to thrive.’ - Stephanie Raible, instructor of cultural entrepreneurship.
The SocialErasmus and ESAA Incubator projects help participants of Erasmus programmes to ‘leave their mark on local communities and achieve long lasting social change’. Through engaging in social projects, international partnerships are forged.
SocialErasmus encourages Erasmus exchange students to take part in projects in their host country and help address local issues. Promoting active citizenship and fostering change in society, exchange students are invited twice a year, through SocialErasmus Week, to join ESN volunteers. Popular activities include language courses, animal shelter and environmental protection. According to international SocialErasmus project coordinator Gizem Altun, the project demonstrates that ‘we are far more than just what is printed on our passports’.
The ESAA Incubator helps entrepreneurship, including social and cultural entrepreneurship, in Europe and beyond to flourish by teaming up Erasmus+ students and alumni from across Europe and further afield in innovative internationally-minded projects. The key benefit of the ESAA Incubator is that ‘it creates a connection among participants from all over the world and underlines the strength of Europe as a broad concept, advocating unity and cooperation’ said Stephanie Raible, an instructor of cultural entrepreneurship and an organiser of the ESAA Incubator since 2013. Successful projects to have emerged from the incubator include a wide range of professional networks, product lines, social movements, and service organisations.
In this way, both the ESAA Incubator and SocialErasmus are incubators not only for innovative social ideas to benefit communities but also for European values of unity and cooperation.