Wrap-up of the Transnational Training of Entrepreneurs in Matera, Italy

The Transnational Training of Entrepreneurs of GreenComp Enterprises was held in Matera, Italy, organised by Materahub, within the framework of the GreenComp Enterprises project. From September 12th to 14th, 2023 entrepreneurs and experts from across Europe gathered to participate in an event fostering sustainable entrepreneurship and innovation.

The aim of the training was twofold: to train the participants on sustainable entrepreneurship and at the same time pilot the newly developed “Business Sustainability Handbook“, the curriculum was based on. The result of the partners’ joined efforts was the development of the “Business Sustainability Handbook”, which combines environmental sustainability, social sustainability, and entrepreneurship and provides readers with all the necessary information for starting a green and ethical enterprise or upgrading their existing one.

Following the open call each project partner had, like-minded entrepreneurs and individuals seeking to enhance their businesses, or aspiring to launch their green and ethical enterprises, expressed their interest in joining us.

The two handpicked participants from each partner country, accompanied by one expert from each partner organisation (7 in total), were trained in a range of subjects aimed at developing the skills and competences of start-uppers and entrepreneurs in sustainable entrepreneurship, fostering the creation of innovative green and ethical enterprises across Europe.

All the trainees had the chance to get to know and familiarise themselves with the other participants before the first meeting, via the Welcome Booklet, developed and prepared by INZEB the Greek project partner.

On day one of the training, trainers and local green entrepreneurs, Daniele Gioia and Marco Cuccarese, shared the fascinating journey of two of the projects they are involved in. Recofunghi is a circular economy business that grows mushrooms in reused coffee grounds, turning waste into a sustainable food source, providing an excellent example of an incredible Circular Economy Model. The second, Officine Officinali is a particularly interesting social economy project. They impart valuable skills to prisoners, like gardening and producing essential oils and hand-made products from lavender as a team, paving the way for Social Inclusion and Sustainability.

A later visit to La Bottega Giù al Nord, a social cooperative promoting products and services linked to sustainable economies and fair trade practices, demonstrated how all aspects of sustainability were encompassed.

On day two, Rocco Di Rella delved into Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reports, emphasising their critical role in today’s business landscape. He delivered a thought-provoking lecture on certifications and eco-labels, emphasizing the importance of Sustainable Development Goals and Eco – Strategies.

The training further progressed as partner organisations introduced the seven modules derived from the “Business Sustainability Handbook”. These modules encompassed topics such as the Sustainable Business Model, Financial Literacy, Sustainable Entrepreneurial Competences, Sustainable Development Goals, and Envisioning Future Businesses. It’s noteworthy that each partner organisation was responsible for developing specific modules, and the culmination of their collective efforts resulted in the creation of the handbook. This final draft was then presented to the trainees, encouraging their feedback and review as an integral part of the process. The subjects covered were specifically selected for the handbook to equip participants and other interested individuals with the knowledge and tools needed to upgrade their existing enterprises or launch green and ethical ventures. They will be used as a guide to how entrepreneurial learning is combined with environmental and ethical aspects to develop entrepreneurial and sustainable competences.

The final day was an opportunity for the participants to shine, as they showcased their sustainable endeavours. It was a heartwarming and engaging experience, revealing the incredible work being done across Europe to create ethical products and services that support local communities, care for the environment, and uplift people. Moreover, the trainees collaboratively crafted a sustainable business model, which was later presented to the whole mission.

Certificates were awarded to the training participants for the successful completion of the three-day course. A symbol of the knowledge and skills gained during this transformative experience that serves as a testament to their dedication to sustainable entrepreneurship and a common goal.

We expect that with this knowledge, entrepreneurs and start-uppers will change their entrepreneurial operations with more sustainable ones, such as the use of eco-friendly materials, and renewable energy sources, complying with the “do not harm principles” and at the same time respecting human rights. Join us on this incredible path of growth and transformation as we continue to learn, innovate, and uplift those around us.
Together, we can create a brighter, more sustainable future for all!

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