#PlayEurope, 2 digital resources to become Social entrepreneurs 8 European Countries together to fight youth unemployment

The Erasmus+ project #PlayEurope – EduGames for Active Citizenship is coming to an end with several successful outcomes achieved during its development and implementation: a Manual of Success Stories on Social Entrepreneurship, a Step‐by‐Step Guide “Become Social Entrepreneur in 7 days” and 10 workshops carried out in all partners’ Countries to test the efficiency and the user experience of the above mentioned resources.

In the past 2 years, the project has promoted active citizenship, both to contrast the increasing unemployment rate in Europe and to strengthen the concept of social entrepreneurship, in order to enhance youth entrepreneurial attitude and interest in social issues. Taking into account project’s target users, aged 18‐30, #PlayEurope has developed an educational methodology based on edutainment (education + entertainment), by using smart design and serious games to foster final users’ hard and soft skills to become entrepreneurs.

Focusing on project’s resources, both the Manual and the Guide were designed to encourage young people to become their own boss and to give their active contribution to the society. In fact, if the Manual of Success Stories  aims to foster young people’s entrepreneurial engagement, showing 10 successful social businesses carried out by young men and women across Europe, the Step-by-step Guide wants to provide practical pills to set up a social business, producing a meaningful impact for the community.

What these two digital resources have in common is the simple language, the fresh and colourful layout and the smart user experience. Free and easy-to-use, both tools gained great success during their online promotion and during the piloting phase carried out by partners in their Countries (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Italy, Macedonia, Romania and Spain), by involving more than 100 students and young aspiring entrepreneurs. The testing phase has been crucial to evaluate the efficiency of both the resources and their usability, asking workshops’ participants their opinion about them.

 From this powerful training experience, partners and trainees themselves have learnt a lot. Focusing on the main findings, they noticed that one of the most important goals reached by the Manual and the Guide was to get people closer to the concept of social entrepreneurship and active citizenship, not familiar for the majority of them. From an educational point of view, they appreciated that both the Manual and the Guide could be used not only by those learners studying economics or entrepreneurship, thanks to their simple and direct approach. In addition, according to the participants who had previous experience in the economic field, the steps in the Guide were well-grounded and arranged in the appropriate sequence.

In parallel, edu-games were acknowledged as valuable tools for the development of users’ capacities and skills, since there is nothing better to learn while having fun. Finally, participants have recognized big flexibility in terms of exploitation of the resources. In fact, the stories contained in the Manual reflect different cases of social entrepreneurship and, because of this, its use as inspiration can be adapted to different persons depending on their interests. The same for the Steps of the Guide, which can be complemented and reinforced with other – more specific – resources in function of the users’ needs.

#PlayEurope partners have different backgrounds and they come from all over Europe:  VITECO (Italy), Varna University of Management (Bulgaria), Marketing Gate (Macedonia), Eurosuccess Consulting (Cyprus), Catholic University of Murcia (Spain), Action Synergy (Greece), Group of the European Youth for Change (Romania), PEIPSI (Estonia), K-Veloce (Spain). In spite of different economic and social contexts, partners have been able to create two flexible resources validated by final users, that will be implemented and exploited also after the end of the project, in order to promote social entrepreneurship as one of the most important business trends of the future.