Social Entrepreneurship with/for immigrants, refugees and other marginalised groups – Serbia


Programme & action: ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: Training Course

Venue: Novi Sad, Serbia

Dates: 10 – 18 December 2016

Participants: Oliver Štoffa, Jan Bleha

Hosting organisation: Centar za jačanje civilnog društva

Project report:

Dobrodošli u Novi Sad! This beautiful Serbian city was chosen as a location for training course Social Entrepreneurship with/for immigrants, refugees and other marginalised groups and organizers couldn’t really go wrong with this decision. Accommodated on its outskirts, participants got to explore more than its beautiful city centre and famous fortress.

From the first getting-to-know-each-other evening it was clear that the project will be held in a relaxed Serbian way thanks to nice and warm organizers combined with the absence of several participants. Those 20 luckier ones who found their way to Novi Sad were mostly from Balkan countries or countries affected by recent waves of refugees. Plus Slovakia and Czech Republic. Although not all of us had real entrepreneurial drive and experience, many showed interest and motivation to work on the topic. Several participants’ involvement into problems of migrants and refugees was truly inspiring although shared mostly outside of training sessions.

The main purpose of the training course was to train youth workers willing to further develop (social) entrepreneurship skills of youngsters and support establishment of different social enterprises by, with and for immigrants, refugees and other youth with fewer opportunities. Mainly it was done through contemplating about marginalized groups and their daily struggles, sharing examples of social enterprises or introducing approaches for initiating and supporting new ideas such as appreciative inquiry method. However not much time and focus was dedicated to inspiring and breeding participants’ new entrepreneurial ideas and finding ways how to make such potential businesses them come alive.

As an intercultural exchange played the training course its role very well and I believe that every participant learnt in this area more than just a couple of new Serbian words. Very pleasant and welcoming atmosphere was, among others, created by random people of Novi Sad. One night we got invited to a party organized for us in a tiny student flat. This immersion to the fun part of local student life spiced with drinks and memorable Serbian music was a perfect dot after this lovely experience!

Oliver Štoffa

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