Prepared for a social and sustainable future

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges in the twenty-first century. Almost every country hosts initiatives dealing with topics such as environmental protection or reduce of carbon dioxide. A three-day workshop held at Leipzig University took a closer look to “Promotion of Affordable and Clean Energy through Social Entrepreneurship initiatives for Sustainable Development”.

Participants of the international workshop in front of the Gottfried-Wilhelm Leibniz monument

The International MBA Program SEPT (Small Enterprise Promotion + Training) hosted a three-day workshop at Leipzig University. The workshop conference dealt with themes based on the headlining topic “Promotion of Affordable and Clean Energy through Social Entrepreneurship initiatives for Sustainable Development”. The conference is part of the Millennium Express initiative from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Several alumni/alumnae and DAAD scholarship holders who are currently enrolled at German universities met in Leipzig to exchange and develop new ideas.“The seminar helped me to approach experts with experience in the field and become acquainted with new methodologies that are directly transferable to real-life cases”, says Durdana Prado, member of the academic committee and DAAD scholarship holder at Leipzig University.
The event was divided into several parts. The first and second day consisted of various lectures and visiting the social impact lab in Leipzig. On the third day, groups of participants presented the new business models that they had been developing during the conference.“We worked in groups on developing business ideas related to both clean energy and social entrepreneurship. It gave us the perfect chance to slip into the roles of entrepreneurs who are willing to contribute to the development of society with the help of our venture and ideas for a couple of days”, says Roman Lysokon, event coordinator from the International MBA program SEPT.

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Developing new business ideas has been supported by two coaches of the SMILE initiative at Leipzig University. The initiative guides students, graduates, scientific staff and doctoral candidates from all disciplines on their way to personal and professional independence. The coaches Christian Hauke and Christian Scheffler instructed the different groups of participants to clarify and elaborate their business ideas. During the three-day workshop they gave advice and support to the participants.
After the presentations of new business ideas the organisation “RecycleUp Ghana” shared their experiences in social business with the participants to sum up the round of presentations. The initiative “RecycleUp! Ghana” was founded by the German-Ghanaian NGO “Technology without Borders”. The NGO aims to increase the awareness of environmental and health issues caused by leaking waste.
The organisation is convinced that change can only be achieved if the local community is capable of understanding and supporting the solution process.
The conference workshop finished with a Leipzig city tour.

Durdana Prado is a master’s degree candidate in the international Master of Business Administration Program Small Enterprise Promotion + Training (SEPT) at Leipzig University. She has been a DAAD scholarship holder since 2016. Her research work focuses on the ecosystem of social innovation and social entrepreneurship in Jalisco, Mexico, her home country.

Roman Lysokon is also an MBA candidate in the international SEPT Program. He took part in the Millennium Express networking event in October 2017 and has organised the workshop conference since then. He studied at the Faculty of Economics of Kharkiv National University in Ukraine and is now a research assistant at Leipzig University.