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(08/2020)
Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs












Social Entrepreneurishp in South Italy







The why
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A search for knowledge, and a desire to explore the field of social innovation, brought me to the former European Capital of Culture, Matera. As a designer and an aspiring social entrepreneur, I am often tempted to check the limits of my flexibility and adaptability. New contexts, cultures, and communities create perfect conditions for those kinds of experiments. Becoming a temporary citizen adds another dimension to the experience of learning about the given culture, making it possible to immerse and witness the dynamic of the place.




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The context


Social Innovation seems to finally make it into political agendas as more and more funds are being dedicated to the development of projects with a positive social impact. Businesses around the globe start to improve and implement their CSR Strategy (Corporate Social Responsibility), supporting the communities and natural environments that they are connected to. With this program, I hope to improve my business plan, and support businesses in the process of transitioning into socially responsible organisations, that have a positive impact on the well-being of people and the planet.

       










The how


Casa Netural is a unique organisation, with people and their well-being at the heart. Since the COVID-19 lockdown hindered interactions among the community members, we set out on a mission: to find non physical ways in which we can connect and sustain the intentional community. Together with the Casa Netural team, I've co-created new services and helped move the already existing ones online. Those include; Online "Netural School" - based on the peer-to-peer learning concept, Online Board Game meetings, English Tea Time Conversations, and food donation services. Being part of that process was rewarding and exciting; both because it integrated me with the team, but also because I could support the community that I had become part of.














Last weeks 


The last weeks of my Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme were marked by fulfilment, surprises, and a sense of belonging. I extended the stay, as the COVID-19 restrictions began to loosen up, and the chance to realise projects such as physical workshops arose. After many months of online work, observation, and getting to know the team, I was ready to run workshops and other events, that allowed me to test some of my business ideas.









The legacy