Contact-making Seminar in Mozambique: Discovering Social Entrepreneurship Ecosystem

Creating a solid and dynamic startup ecosystem does not simply mean looking for assets from increasingly developed center points, but also connecting with those that need help and assistance.

After successfully kicking off the project Youth Empowerment through Social Entrepreneurship “We Care, Too” (YES WE CARE 2) in Zimbabwe in February, this time our meeting point was the sunny city of Beira in Mozambique where the first contact-making seminar took place.

Our team from Mladiinfo together with its European partners from Austria and Risky Business from Romania, led by our partner Young Africa Mozambique have visited social businesses and social business connectors in Mozambique.

The visit started with a meeting with the Mayor of the Municipality of Beira, Mr. Daviz Simango where all representatives had a chance to speak about the social entrepreneurship ecosystem in their countries, as well as the programs and the efforts the municipality creates for youth and for enabling social entrepreneurship in the country.

The team also had a chance to visit several entities that educate youngsters on how to build bricks from natural resources, a restaurant and a hostel that accommodates students for free, farm, fish farm, and other agricultural entities. Another exciting place the participating organizations visited was the center for solar energy, where youngsters learn how to install solar panels and how to use green energy.

Baisikeli, a Danish initiative which repairs and resells old used bikes for a convenient price was also our host during the seminar. The initiative notes immense success and in a short period of time, it has spread all around the world. Baisikeli improves the community life in many ways, for instance, they donate bicycles to the SOS Children village each year, and also adapt the bicycles for people with physical disabilities. Also, they employ exclusively people from vulnerable groups and they work on raising awareness on the importance of riding a bicycle, buying old instead of new bikes, living a healthy life, and respecting the cyclists in the traffic.

Two good examples of social enterprises are the 3R enterprise – the only enterprise recycling plastic and paper in the city of Beira, as well as AMOR which also works on awareness-raising on trash collection. They do not just collect the trash from the collectors, but also organize different activities for information and activism for environment protection, the risks of global warming, and other relevant eco topics.

The NGO named “Light for the World” is an international organization originating from Austria, empowers people with disabilities. They focus on their integration and equip them different vocational skills, to become more employable and competitive on the job market. In addition, Light for the World develops infrastructural projects making buildings easy accessible for people with disabilities.

During our time in Beira, we also had a chance to visit and connect with local universities, among which the University of Zambezi where we learned more about the educational system in Mozambique and the programs offered at the university. It was also discussed how we can make durable partnerships and initiate strategic collaboration between the university and the civic organizations.

The learning experience did not end with the professional meetings and contacts established. During our stay, we traveled and explored the city of Beira being fascinated by the local culture and happy to build new friendships and connections.

The story of YES, We Care 2 goes forward. We are already excited about the next activity – the contact-making seminar in Windhoek and Otjiwarongo in Namibia, planned for this October. We are looking forward to meeting young social entrepreneurs, collaborators and colleagues from Namibia and learn more about their social entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Author: Sanja Cvetkovikj