After growing up in the Netherlands I decided to take the big challenge and rediscover my birth country Belarus. A year a go I signed my contract at UNESCO Clubs and started to work in the field that is close to me: social entrepreneurship. However soon I discovered that building up Social Entrepreneurship is on one hand a delightful thing to do because of the many opportunities, on the other hand the biggest challenge because of the non-existing governmental support and people’s mentality towards the connection between social & business. Another big problem is the fact that Belarusians tend to see each other as competitors instead of potential partners.
I see the development of people’s ideas into actions that make a difference, as my primary goal. People in Belarus especially are in need of this nudge towards action because of their history. By inspiring and motivating them to become social entrepreneurs I try to solve the problems that Belarus face today: many social issues waiting to be solves & not many people aware of the fact that they can and should solve them.
After hearing out many young people who carried great ideas to solve social and economical issues around them, I decided that this country is in great need of a program where these ideas will be heard and developed into action. Developing skills of the young Belarusians to become entrepreneurs and who in turn can develop a successful enterprise that will challenge the status quo of Belarus, is what SocStarter does.
When organizing SocStarter, a social entrepreneurship development program I tried to encourage cooperation between different actors to cooperate together as to create awareness about social problems & develop social enterprise. SocStarter has finished the first edition with great success! As a result 7 social enterprises have been developed that address social issues and how entrepreneurship can solve them in a sustainable way.
We will continue building social entrepreneurship in Belarus because we booked great results and showed the people in Belarus that they are the once who can make a difference in their own lives and the lives of people around them. SocStarter 2 will kick-off soon and with this following SocStarter 3, 4 & 5.. My goal is to build the first social HUB in Minsk, but before this I want to create a community of likeminded people that will cooperate together to build a society of entrepreneurial thinkers that respond on problems by taking actions instead of letting the government decide (to not decide).