Social enterprises key driver for innovation and economic growth in Europe

Brussels: November 18, 2011 – JA-YE Europe in partnership with INTEL Corporation and FERD are launching a pan-European Social Enterprise Programme to inspire young entrepreneurs to build a better tomorrow.

The programme will guide 7000 students aged 15-19 over next 2 academic years in taking a business idea from concept to reality. They will form their own real social enterprise, and discover first hand how such a company functions and how they could develop a business based on this new model. 

The Social Enterprise Programme is a direct response to trends in entrepreneurship education, multiple requests from schools and enquiries from business and the European Commission. In recent years, there has been a lot of emphasis on responsible business practices and the importance of raising young people’s understanding of environmental and societal impacts. However, education in social entrepreneurship aims to push further and encourages students to develop businesses whose whole aim is to solve a social challenge that they see. The programme is a full year course with specifically designed add-on activities such as peer-to-peer networking for teachers, work with business volunteers, international competitions and online tools.

“The Commission's Social Business Initiative to create an ecosystem conducive to developing social businesses and to facilitating their access to funding can only become a reality if we plant the seeds in school. We need to provide solid social enterprise schemes and encourage young people to experience it,” said Caroline Jenner, CEO of JA-YE Europe.

“Our hope is that by encouraging young people to apply their entrepreneurial talent in this direction, we can make the world a better place for future generations,” said Dr. Thomas Osburg, Director of Intel Corporate Affairs – Europe.

“Social Entrepreneurship is a good example of an approach to business that is both responsible and contributes to growth and jobs. It is terribly important that the business community engages with education in this effort. It’s about inspiring, finding and implementing new solutions to social problems but also about equipping young people with the attitudes and skills they will need down the road,” said Johan H. Andresen, Owner and CEO of FERD.

A good example of young social enterprise is Young Care Sweden, a company which tackles the problem of short term employment for young people and taking care of the elderly. “My partner and I started a social enterprise to make a change, we wanted to make retirement homes more social in Sweden,“ says Oscar Lundin of Young Care Sweden age 23. “Our goal is to give young people their first job, maybe inspire them to choose a future in healthcare and also to connect generations. Today we employ 570 young people,” concluded Oscar.

 

 

NOTES TO THE EDITOR:
For more information please contact:
Diana Filip at Diana@ja-ye.org or + 32 2 735 97 20

 

ABOUT US
JA-YE Europe (www.ja-ye.org ) is Europe’s largest organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy, reaching 3.1 million students in 37 countries in 2011. Funded by businesses, institutions, foundations and individuals, JA-YE brings the public and private sectors together to provide young people in primary and secondary schools and early university with high-quality education programmes to teach them about enterprise, entrepreneurship, business and economics in a practical way. The JA-YE Company Programme is recognised by the European Commission Enterprise Directorate General as a ‘Best Practice in Entrepreneurship Education’. JA-YE Europe is the European headquarters for JA Worldwide®.

Ferd is a family owned Norwegian group with industrial activities in the form of active and long-term ownership of strong companies with international potential, and financial activities carried out through investments in a broad range of asset classes. Ferd has 5 business areas and among them is Ferd Social Entrepreneurs. Currently there are 9 social entrepreneurs in their portfolio, including JA-YE Norway and Europe. Ferd is wholly owned by Johan H. Andresen, Jr. and family members. www.ferd.no

Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) is a world leader in computing innovation. The company designs and builds the essential technologies that serve as the foundation for the world’s computing devices. Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com/pressroom and blogs.intel.com. To learn more about Intel in education, visit www.intel.com/education and the CSR@Intel blog at blogs.intel.com/csr. To join Intel's community of people sharing their stories with the hope of becoming a catalyst for action and a voice for change in global education, visit www.inspiredbyeducation.com.