These are the personal reflexions of one of the participants to the training Course Mind your Business. Entrepreneurship for social change
You are interested in Social Entrepreneurship or you even don’t know what it is? Join this program and you will be pleased anyway.
Can you imagine a group of people, who are extremely friendly and always willing to help? For me, citizen of Estonia, it is unfulfillable dream. It must be my mistake, but I never met so many nice people in one group. Where did I meet them? On Social Entrepreneurship training course. For me, ideally, a social entrepreneur must have sense of justice, desire to benefit others and sense of commitment. Every person from the course had something about this.
My first real acquaintance with participants occurred during (and after) our first mission: we had to exchange a balloon three times for something else (preferably more valuable) in unfamiliar atmosphere (for the participants from other Europeancountries), communicating with people we met at the street. Read below, how we succeeded in this task. The only thing I wish to add is that I was the less active person in my group and I was really amazed by the courage and ease of communication (in foreign country!) of other participants.
Although having this useful qualities, my team gained even more from this course. It is interesting, if not surprising, how did trainers beneficially use a week to help future social entrepreneurs. To dip into details, here is my explanation…
So, you want to become a social entrepreneur and you need a team for the enterprise. How to build a cooperative team having a group of people and test their skills and attitudes? Send them into Estonian forest at night to walk 25 km without having a dinner before departure. That is not a joke. But you should tell them about your intention just before the hike. To complete this mission all of them must have at least some motivation, so split them into 2 teams so that they should assign a meeting point (to make fire, get warm and cook the food). Reliable people won’t let down each other, so the team will have strong motivation.
What will happen during the hike – it will definitely help you to answer a question “Who am I?”. You can explore completely unexpectable qualities, which are revealed only in stress situations. Evaluate, which qualities needed to be a social entrepreneur (or simply a Human with a capital H) you already have and which ones you need to develop. Are you more skilled to work in teams or alone?How far can you trust others?
For me personally, this course changed my attitudes. I learned about what is “experiential learning” and even had a chance to create my own project, which increased the impact on my personality. I started to develop leadership skills, especially motivating people. Having a practical learning to develop communication skills is differentfrom gaining bare theoretical knowledge. No theory can be sustained in our brains for long time without practice. When you start straight from practical exercises, you come up with theory by yourself and gain experience. Mentioning the hike, our experience just couldn’t be “bad”, because almost every such test is beneficial. This is effective way of personality development.
I am thankful to trainers for great experience and social entrepreneurs for introducing interesting enterprises in Estonia.
Aleksandra Vorobyova (Estonia)