6th Regional Focus Group held in Stuttgart
The sixth regional focus group event in the Stuttgart Region was jointly organised by PP 5 (WRS) and PP 6 (HdM) in the Weltcafé in Stuttgart, in accordance with the current local Corona regulations. It was combined with the kickout of the 2nd round of the regional training program “Empowered by Entrepreneurship”.
The participants of the program were invited to meet one last time and only the second time in person, as due to the Corona pandemic all workshops had to take place virtually. Therefore it was a special occasion and everybody was very excited to have the chance again to talk to each other in person. No overly long program or agenda was organised as it was obvious that there was much time needed to chat, exchange experiences, talk about future (business) plans, etc.
As an introduction Violetta Fasulo, who is responsible for International Projects at the HdM Startup Center, gave an overview on the Insitu project and the regional social innovation and social entrepreneurship activities. She also stressed the importance and the role of the EU and EU funding projects to further develop such activities and spread the news about them. This is really important to motivate citizens and entrepreneurs to engage in these subjects and to make sure that are supported by relevant institutions to e.g. found a business in this respect.
After this presentation the meeting continued with a round of introductions and updates on the developments of the respective business ideas: how did the progress go, how helpful was the training program, which challenges still lay ahead, who or what could help with that, etc.
Overall, we were happy to receive a lot of positive feedback from the participants: The collaboration among them was very inspiring and despite the online implementation, a good group dynamic and a solid network emerged. A big challenge was definitely to keep the participants (self-)motivated, to cheer them up in case of setbacks and to take into account changes in their respective life circumstances. Developing a new business idea out of unemployment or job search, and a socially valuable one at that, was an exciting opportunity for many participants to discover and get to know their skills and, above all, their possibilities. Encouraging the participants, giving them important tools and encouraging them worked. The focus on social innovation and social entrepreneurship was helpful. Having in mind that what we are all working on improves social life and our interaction with our environment has constantly motivated and inspired both the participants and the project partners.
Through the involvement of coaches from the social innovation scene in the Stuttgart region and the network meetings with social entrepreneurs and social initiatives, the network of supporters was also able to grow and strengthen.
Last part of the meeting was the invitation for the participants to a meal and a drink in the Weltcafé to continue their networking.