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Transformation & Personal Development          Designing Your Tomorrow

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ActFem

  /  ActFem

                        ActFem

 
 

The consortium consisting of U Thrive Europe ASBL (Brussels, Belgium) as Partner and Free Time Consulting SRL (Bucharest, Romania) as Coordinator is running the project ActFem – Rural Women in Action from 01.04.2022 to 31.03.2024. Building on the partners’ experience in vocational training, entrepreneurship, business plan consultancy – on behalf of the Coordinator, and in formal and non-formal education and coaching for key skills and competences – on behalf of the Partner, the project has the following objectives:

Objective 1 – to increase the capacity of partner organisations to work with rural women over 40 years of age, based on a 24-month continuous collaboration;
Objective 2 – to increase socio-economic inclusion and motivation for personal involvement in this process of 100 women 40+ from rural areas with educational barriers, through the creation of new materials, on the following directions:

  • Information on good practices in Belgian social entrepreneurship’s landscape for 7 months;
  • Development of self-awareness and coping skills in stressful situations coupled with vocational training & guidance to prepare for participation in the social entrepreneurship skills training program, for 20 women, for 9 months;
  • Collaborative social entrepreneurship skills training for 14 women for 10 months.

The main activities of the project are:

Production of a guide of good practices in social entrepreneurship in Belgium.

Organisation and implementation of the interactive educational programme of vocational counselling

Organisation and implementation of the collaborative training programme in social entrepreneurship

Activities

A1. Project Management

First Transnational Project Team Meeting

Our ActFem project started. The Kick-off Meeting took place in an online setting on 11th of May 2022. We both enjoyed learning about each other’s passion and eagerness to contribute to equipping women in rural areas in Romania with practical tools for their social entrepreneurship journeys. On this occasion the Partnership Agreement & the Internal Communication Plan were signed, and the Project Activities Implementation Schedule was agreed. We can’t wait to start working together!

A2: Development and Presentation of the Best Practices Guide in Social Entrepreneurship in Belgium

The Best Practices Guide in Social Entrepreneurship in Belgium was created by U Thrive Europe in partnership with Free Time Consulting SRL, following the initial plan in two distinct stages: creating the guide and presenting the guide. In the first stage, we centralized information and collected data through meetings with active entrepreneurs. Contacting umbrella organizations like EMES and IDEJI helped us identify enterprises with the best practices. Concurrent desk research provided a deeper understanding of the achievements and challenges of social entrepreneurship in Belgium. In-depth interviews with representatives of selected social enterprises contributed valuable and relevant data, ensuring a solid foundation for our guide.

The second stage involved presenting the guide at the workshop on February 16, 2023, organized in Cetățeni and Dâmbovicioara, where 30 women actively participated. The guide was distributed in physical format at the workshop and electronically to 97 women. Participants expressed a desire to continue with the social entrepreneurship training program, motivated by interactions with partner representatives and the prospects presented. Distributing the guide on the EPALE platform further extended access to these best practices, enhancing the capacities of partner organizations and facilitating the adoption of internationalization in social entrepreneurship.

A3: Successful Implementation of Vocational Guidance Program

The interactive vocational guidance program, developed by U Thrive Europe in partnership with Free Time Consulting SRL, aimed to explore and distill vocational interests while preparing participants for social entrepreneurship training. The program, meticulously planned and created based on a detailed analysis of the target group’s needs, consisted of various modules addressing essential aspects of social entrepreneurship. The initiative began with a workshop on February 17, 2023, attended by 30 women who subsequently joined the vocational guidance group sessions.

The program’s implementation exceeded expectations, with 30 women participating in group sessions and 21 enrolling in one-on-one coaching. These sessions, both in-person and online, provided personalized support and skill development. Participants expressed high satisfaction, noting the program’s practical and interactive approach in helping them understand their abilities and values. This success demonstrates the program’s significant impact, motivating us to continue and expand such initiatives in the future.

A4: Successful Completion of Social Entrepreneurship Training Program

Our collaborative social entrepreneurship training program has concluded successfully, empowering women with the knowledge and skills to develop their own social enterprises. The program, created by Free Time Consulting SRL and U Thrive Europe, covered essential topics such as business model development, financial planning, and best practices in social entrepreneurship. The training was presented through engaging workshops and practical sessions, receiving highly positive feedback from participants.

A highlight of the program was the hands-on learning activity in Belgium, where participants visited successful social enterprises Nos Pilifs and Alterez-Vous. This experience provided valuable insights into real-world applications of social entrepreneurship concepts. The program’s success is evident in the graduates’ enthusiasm and the high-quality business plans they developed. We are proud of the positive impact this initiative has had on our community and look forward to continuing to support social entrepreneurship.

 

A5:  Dissemination of Project Results

The dissemination of the project results was a significant success, carried out through social media posts, physical distribution of the Best Practices Guide, and various events. Free Time Consulting SRL organized seven events to present the business ideas developed during the project in several municipalities, with eight of the nine graduates participating and showcasing their businesses through presentations and roll-ups. These events facilitated knowledge exchange and community engagement, increasing the project’s visibility. U Thrive Europe held two impactful events in Brussels, including a presentation at the “Romanians Working Together” fair and a workshop focused on creativity, risk-taking, and team dynamics.

The positive feedback from participants highlighted the utility and relevance of the information presented, as well as the value of the networking opportunities and community support provided by the dissemination activities. The events were well-received, with participants expressing a desire for future similar activities. The dissemination process not only achieved the proposed objectives but also promoted social entrepreneurship, increased self-confidence among participants, and demonstrated the potential for lasting and transformational impact through well-planned and executed initiatives.

Results