CEAL-program Overvecht – Utrecht

Wijk&Co, Elos Netherlands, Utrecht University and SE Learning Lab have joined forces in this pilot and designed a new program to tackle the present need for youth in all layers of society to develop social and community based entrepreneurial skills in a society in transition.

Students from the university course ‘social entrepreneurship as a challenge’ and youth from the neighborhood participated in a three month pilot in Utrecht Overvecht. This neighborhood is amongst the most multicultural areas in Utrecht. Unemployment is high, more than half of the population is under 35 years old and there’s a ‘vicious circle of volunteerism’ in the neighborhood.

The participants engaged in the challenge to start new community based entrepreneurial initiatives and design the social value proposition to grow the initiatives into social enterprises. The program was embedded in the university course, which was spread over 3 months, with half-day lectures and community-activities combined.
The program lead to the realization of social value propositions of 5 social entrepreneurial initiatives: Mama Café, Neighborhood Safari (Overvecht on the Map), Start-up Here, Crosspoint and Coffee Career.

The program involved working with relevant (local) stakeholders in scrutinizing and prototyping  the value proposition of every initiative. Some of the initiative were taken to next levels, into community based social enterprises: U-Nite and Neighbourhood Connectors.

The CEAL program in Utrecht led besides the concrete results to a growing community of community members, social entrepreneurs, students and existing social initiatives around the program and the program was repeated in June 2016 again.

Community partner – Wijk&Co is a youthful and innovative organisation active in two neighbourhoods in Utrecht. As social brokers they focus their activities on development of talents, empowerment, strengthening of net-works in the area and activation of citizens to take their own initiatives in 2 parts. The organisation works with self regulated teams in 2 parts of Utrecht City.

Educactional partner – The Utrecht School of Governance (USBO) is part of Utrecht University and offers an innovative course on “social entrepreneurship as a challenge’. In this course action learning is a red thread throughout the weeks students are working towards their social value propositions and a prototype of the social enterprise they are developing.

Educational partner II
The Social Enterprise Lab (SElab) is connected to the Utrecht University School of Governance (USG), and operates as a social enterprise at the crossings of the academic world and the social enterprise sector. It strives to connect students, academics, professional experts and entrepreneurs to cooperate on finding solutions for public challenges.

Program Design
Phase 1: Appreciative gaze and design of social entrepreneurial initiative
Phase 2: Challenge phase – prototyping and social value proposition
Phase 3: Reflection with stakeholders on including reflection of experience and planning next steps

Participants – core group existed of 25 students & 2 youths from community

-5 social entrepreneurial initiatives: Mama Café, Neigh-bourhood Safari (Overvecht on the Map), Start-up Here, Crosspoint and Coffee Career;
-Boosting or starting community based enterprises: U-Nite and Neighbourhood Connectors;

Learning – ““Thinking feels as a safe activity. Learning means taking action. Act and things will starts happening.”

Who to get in touch with for more information?
Get in touch with Mara Verduin via mara@maraverduin.nl and Jeske de Kort via jeskedekort@gmail.com