Social Entrepreneurship and Voluntary for Students

Since the last decade, the sector of Social Entrepreneurship has been growing and spreading worldwide. The pitch that’s actually offered in the EU shows a sector that employees around 12 millions of workers and constitutes more than 10% of the European Gross Domestic Product (GDP)[1]. This would be enough to grasp the importance of this sector, but European data also reports that 1 out 3 new enterprises set in Europe belongs to this fast-growing sector, defining which is the line that people are following for entering the entrepreneurial world. Moreover, Social Entrepreneurship has a peculiar object underpinning its activities, which makes this sector also different from the normal and well-known old companies. For instance, Social Enterprises focus on addressing social, economic and environmental challenges while promoting growth, sustainability, social inclusion and equality, objectives that are the goals of the future.

In this framework, which role can new generations, and young students, play? They are those foreseen to reach the abovementioned goals, and in order to make them able to accomplish such efforts, they need tools that schools, as main place of their personal development, could provide. At the same time there is another important sector that blends very well with the growing on of the Social Enterprises[2]. Voluntary sector constituted, for the old generations, the chance to offer their work with the aim of fulfilling noble goals, such as helping unluckier people, like homeless ones or migrants, animals or other members of their community in general, like elder people. Because of its voluntary nature, not many features were required to the profile of people willing to offer their work. On the other hand, people participating on constant basis in the voluntary sector most of the times developed knowledge and skills that they didn’t have before, so many started recognizing the formative capability of such work.

Social Entrepreneurship sector shares with the voluntary one the aim of fulfilling noble goals but with a different approach. Indeed Social Enterprises are companies and a skilled profile is actually required for working in there. Therefore, Social Entrepreneurship sector can be seen as a continuum of the voluntary one, or better like its evolution. A practical proof in this regard is constituted by some old and active volunteers who developed enough skills and knowledge to run by themselves social business, such as nursery schools.

Considering the importance that Social Enterprises are getting in our society, students, for being ready to the new challenges they might face, are willing to get the Social Entrepreneurial skills which got high importance and formative content. Schools in this regard are the first place where they can start to approach such a sector, getting not only the vision of it but also a chance to imagine their future.

[1] For further details see The Social Business Initiative of the European Commission. 2014.

[2] S. GALLERINI, F. LENZI. “Giovani, Volontariato e Nuova Impresa Sociale” in Impresa Sociale n.7. 2016.

Social Entrepreneurship and Voluntary for Students
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