Last weekend the social business sprint “Turn the Impact ON” took place in the sunny resort of Palanga, Klaipėda region, where no less than 7 new social businesses emerged victorious and now will continue on creating innovative solutions to important social problems in Lithuania. These businesses also won an invitation to the social business accelerator and 15.000 euros investment for the successful development of their social business.
12 teams were invited to the workshop in the extraordinary outdoors office “3O — Out Of Office” in Palanga. The whole weekend the teams had a possibility to consult with experienced marketing, IT innovations, and other experts. This seaside workshop is the second social business sprint of the project „Turn the Impact On“. In the first event in Panevėžys, due to the decision of the judge’s committee, 6 more teams continued developing their social business ideas.
„We are putting into practice the projects, that in two years will increase the number of social businesses in the country at least in one third. This weekend social business sprint was orientated exactly into social business model founders in Klaipėda region. We were kindly surprised that there appeared to be no less than 64 teams and 23 individually motivated people wishing to participate in the event. The 12 strongest teams were selected and after three days of active work, consultations and studies, the committee selected 7 teams into the final — their potential and planned social impact seemed to be the biggest and the most promising. We were concerned about the effectiveness, innovation, and stability of the suggested solutions, besides, we estimated the motivation, entrepreneurship and, of course, the financial capacity perspective of the teams, „ — told Simona Šimulytė, the organizer of the event, CEO of European Social Entrepreneurship and Innovative Studies Institute, initiator of “ChangeMakers’ON”.
The interest in social business development is increasing in Lithuania — the organizers have noticed, that the project catching the attention of more and more young, motivated people, whose business model priority is not only financial profit but also a positive impact on the society, meaningfulness, and sustainability.
However, it could be noticed, that nowadays Lithuania still lacks a general understanding of social business and what makes it different from the traditional business. In order to answer these questions, participants of the event and all the interested citizens of Klaipėda region were invited to the panel discussion „What is and what is not a social business?“, where 7 social business experts were sharing their knowledge: Marius Pareščius (the vice president of „Paysera“, expert of information technologies and cybersecurity), Dominykas Karpovič (the co-founder and partner of „Xwhy“), Aušra Paulauskaitė (project manager of „Versli Lietuva“ — „Enterprising Lithuania“), Arvydas Bložė („Practica Capital“ Investment manager, Startup.lt), Paulius Nezabitauskas (Manager of innovations and entrepreneurship department in Kaunas Science and Technologies park), Viktorija Bražiūnaitė (the leader of Lithuanian social business association) and Simona Šimulytė (CEO of European Social Entrepreneurship and Innovative Studies Institute, initiator of “ChangeMakers’ON”).
On the other hand, those who had a good knowledge of the social business model also had a great variety of needful business ideas. The team „MaMaDu“ is creating a special online platform for families with babies, where the registered members will receive an everyday SMS message with a piece of advice about babies‘ needs. Also, the information about emotional or physical family prosperity could be provided.
The team „Bangų terapija“ ( „Waves’ therapy“) is ready to support the integration of the children and youth with autism spectrum disorder with the help of the wave therapy — regular training would help them to find an attractive and active physical activity. Besides, this social business would promote education about safety in the water.
The team „Sweetest“ specializes in video creation and is working on solving the employment difficulties for people with disabilities. Having some personal experience in this field, they would teach the disabled people to make video recordings and educate them, so that later they could work at other enterprises.
Another winning team „Keliaujančios mamos“ ( „Travelling Mums“) is planning to help mothers with children by introducing them to educational activities and general world knowledge. The „Keliaujančios mamos“ fellowship will educate and motivate young mothers and families to travel with their children, no matter what age they would be. The families would get different consultations about the needed things, psychological preparation, recommended places to visit, etc.
The team „Nougat Wear“ noticed, that women working in clothing production businesses are usually from socially fragile families, therefore, the team intends to develop the clothing production factory with a friendly and motivational atmosphere. They would employ women and encourage their self-realization, entrepreneurship skills, and equal rights at work. Besides, they would help the environment by reusing old clothes and leftovers of the fabrics, creating more awareness in this field too.
The team „In The name of” (liet. “Vardan Tos”) has intentions to restore the abandoned and vanishing objects of cultural and historical heritage for the „second chance“, modernizing and adjusting them accordingly to the needs of modern people. Therefore, tourism in some regions would be motivated, the local employment level would increase and the local community would come together.
Another team — „Nerijos laboratory“ (liet. Nerijos laboratorija)plans to invite people to escape from crowded cities and everyday’s routine to nature. The team is going to organize expeditions in Neringa, where people would learn to feel and explore nature, reality, and culture, would be involved in creative activities, encouraged to find out more about themselves, and how to feel safe in the surrounding society.
The special prize — 6 months of mentoring, which will help to develop their business plan with experienced businessmen abroad — was given away for the team „Bcreator“. They are developing the idea of an online website, where young people will be able to find out about entrepreneurship, leadership, marketing, teamwork, and other topics.
All 12 teams were positively surprised with many additional prizes: project’s friend „Hostinger“ gave every team a chance to use the website creating tool „Zyro“ and website hosting service, besides, „Paysera“ gave a 4 months possibility to use electronics shops payment initiation services.
This publication has been prepared within INDIGISE project. The content of this publication is the sole responsibility of the project coordinator and may not always reflect the views of the European Commission or the National Agency.