Our consortium brings 5 organisations (2 NGOs, 1 university, 1 youth centre and 1 training company) from 5 EU countries (RO, BG, CY, SI and DE) in a concerted effort to develop an online mentoring platform for young social innovators. We see social entrepreneurship paradigm as the building block of the eco-system for sustaining social innovations. In this sense, our platform will focus in offering mentoring support to young people that are motivated to develop social enterprises contributing to tackling issues of highest policy and societal significance to our countries and Europe as a whole, namely: fighting poverty and social exclusion, unemployment, climate change (Europe 2020 targets). Recently a new challenge emerged, calling for high-quality solutions, related to the dramatic increase in the number of refugees and migrants traveling to the continent with more than a million new arrivals. This unprecedented inflow of people, many of whom are vulnerable individuals seeking international protection, presents a challenge across Europe not only in terms of their immediate reception, but also with regard to their long-term integration into society (European Social Innovation Competition 2016 focus).
Our platform will provide mentoring support to young social innovators that are motivated to work within this priority area as well.Our main objectives in reaching MYNNOVA’s overall aim are:
- design and develop an online multilingual mentoring platform;
- organize a 5-day joint staff training to prepare 5 youth workers for piloting the platform;
- deliver a 4-month pilot mentoring to 25 young social innovators;- train 10 young entrepreneurs from the pilot group to deliver online mentoring;
- promote the online platform across youth and youth workers’ communities in 5 partner countries and across Europe;
- put forward policy guidelines to policy makers and other stakeholders in enhancing social innovations.
The MYNNOVA online mentoring platform will bear the following innovative features:
1.The online mentoring services will be based on a commonly agreed mentoring methodology, reflecting existing knowledge base of partners on academic, school education, business (Prime AG) and youth work (Celje Youth Centre) levels. The methodology will be tailor made strategies, content and methods, which will reflect the mentoring specifics of 3 age groups of young people addressed by our project.
2. The methodology will provide guidelines for both youth workers and young people in delivering online mentoring. The peer mentoring is a key element to our concept, since it will provide close collaboration between different age groups of young people in the field of social innovations, paving the way for long-term sustainability of results.
3. The self-sustainable design of the platform envisages the involvement of those who were mentored as being mentors once they fulfill their social entrepreneurship projects (mentees turn into mentors).
4. The online feature will allow mentoring of young social innovators from any European country. In terms of language coverage, mentoring will be available initially in EN, BG, RO, DE, SI and EL. The self-sustainable design described will allow from attracting young entrepreneurs from other language groups thus ensuring complete coverage.
The main impact dimensions can be summarised as follows:
- Young social innovators will be able to successfully implement and sustain their ideas in the field of social innovations and social entrepreneurship.
- Youth workers will have the opportunity to learn and apply an innovative online mentoring methodology and engage in peer collaboration on international level.
- Other stakeholders and policy makers will collect evidence base to further enhance the national environments for developing social innovations and engage young people as drivers of the sustainable system transformation.
In long term perspective the utilization of the platform and the successful outcomes achieved by both mentors and mentees will contribute to improving quality of life of communities across Europe. Furthermore, it will add momentum to the ongoing process of harmonizing and professionalising youth work provision.