Innovation for Impact: Highlights from the Social Entrepreneurship Challenge:

DO U ACTism is a project funded by the European Union. The project is a co-creation of five independent Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) from five countries: STICHTING MASTERPEACE (Netherlands), MasterPeace Morocco (Morocco), LUMEN (Croatia), SIT (Kosovo) and LDN (Lebanon). Our common mission is to mobilise talents for a sustainable future and to contribute to Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) – Quality Education – and SDG 16 – Peace and Justice. The organisations provide expertise in non-formal education and youth work, including working with minorities and underprivileged youngsters. Partners are experienced in peacebuilding, youth empowerment and online working.

The Social Entrepreneurship Challenge is a competition designed to foster innovative ideas and initiatives that seek to create meaningful change and impact in the world. 

This challenge encourages teams of innovators to tackle their communities’ or business’ most pressing social issues through creative and sustainable initiatives. Teams are invited to bring a business plan and prototype of their idea to the challenge. By focusing on the intersection of technology and social impact, this competition hopes to discover and support the next generation of leaders and innovators.

The first phase commenced with an online session on Thursday, 21st March 2024. This introductory webinar served as a platform for participants to familiarize themselves with the project’s objectives, the scope of social entrepreneurship, and the expectations of the challenge ahead. It was an opportunity for the teams to engage with experts, ask questions, and prepare for the intense work that lay ahead.

Following the kickoff, an offline meeting took place, where teams were tasked with the crucial job of refining their ideas. This phase was pivotal as it allowed participants to delve deep into the practical aspects of their proposed social enterprises, fine-tune their business plans, and ready their pitches for the final session. The collaborative environment also fostered a sense of community among the participants, encouraging peer learning and networking.

The culmination of the DOUACTISM project was the final session on Thursday, 28th March. It was a day marked by enthusiasm and a showcase of innovative solutions to pressing social issues. Each team presented their well-prepared ideas, hoping to convince the jury of their project’s viability and potential for social impact.

The winning team, hailing from Lebanon, stood out with their exceptional proposal that not only addressed a significant social challenge but also demonstrated a sustainable business model. Their victory was a celebration of the entrepreneurial spirit and the positive change that motivated individuals can bring about in society.

The success of the DOUACTISM project’s social entrepreneurship challenge is a clear indicator of the vibrant potential that lies within the realm of social enterprise. It highlights the importance of providing young entrepreneurs with the right tools, guidance, and opportunities to turn their passion for social change into viable businesses.

As the project moves forward, the experiences and lessons learned from this challenge will undoubtedly shape the future of social entrepreneurship, not just within the participating countries but also across the EU and beyond. The DOUACTISM project is more than just a competition; it is a movement towards a more inclusive and socially conscious economy, where businesses operate not solely for profit but for the greater good of society.

The journey does not end here for the participants or the project. The winning team’s journey continues towards the project’s final manifesto in Agadir, Morocco, in December 2024, where they will have the opportunity to further develop their enterprise and make an even greater impact. For the rest of the participants, the challenge has laid the groundwork for future endeavors, inspiring a new generation of social entrepreneurs ready to take on the world’s challenges with innovative solutions and a steadfast commitment to social progress.

The DOUACTISM project’s social entrepreneurship challenge has indeed been a beacon for aspiring social entrepreneurs, illuminating the path to a future where business and social impact go hand in hand. It stands as a shining example of the EU’s vision for a socially responsible and entrepreneurial society, one where every individual has the chance to make a difference.

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