Photo by Katsiaryna Lukianets

The course on social entrepreneurship started on 25 April in Zhlobin, Homiel region. It consists of 11 moduls, 5 hours-long each, where entrepreneurs receive a wide range of knowledge with an emphasis on the social responsibility of business. Invited mentors, experts and business owners share their experience with the students, discuss domestic and foreign cases of social entrepreneurship, inspire and lead to success. The topic of the first day was “Social Entrepreneurship – Business for the Welfare of the Society” with 25 entrepreneurs attending. The training was originally planned in offline format but due to the situation with COVID-19, it was transformed into online learning.

The course curator is Oksana Shevchenko, a successful social entrepreneur with over 14 years of experience. The woman conducts courses on social entrepreneurship in Homiel, where over а three-year period 128 students graduated and at least 20 of them opened their own social enterprises.

“Educating people in social entrepreneurship means solving a number of urgent problems of integrating vulnerable groups of population into active economic life, to promote their social adaptation and increase income. It is especially important during times of economic instability,” says Oksana Shevchenko.

Nikolai Sverdlov, an individual entrepreneur from Zhlobin, is currently a student of the Social Entrepreneur course. Nicholai is enthusiastic to integrate new knowledge into his business. “I try to constantly improve my professional skills, improve the quality of services, and train my team. I consider the issues of social inclusion, social responsibility of business as very important. Before this training I did not have enough knowledge on how to effectively organize a business that would not only bring profit, but also solve social problems,” says Nikolai.

The entrepreneur also appreciated the online format of the training. “This is a tremendous time saver, with my busy schedule this is a great chance to learn new things,” emphasizes Nikolai.

The Social Entrepreneur course is launched in Zhlobin, Homiel Region, as a part of “My City. My business. My future” initiative within the project “Support to Economic Development at the Local Level in the Republic of Belarus”. The project is funded by the European Union and implemented by UNDP in partnership with the Ministry of Economy of Belarus.

Photo by Katsiaryna Lukianets

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