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Help us host and share interviews

The pandemic has made this time challenging for all of us. For self-employed professionals and small business owners, it continues to get more difficult every day. Uncertainty, loss of clients, financial responsibility, lack of guidance and simple peer-to-peer support -- mean that their entrepreneurial ventures may not make it through this crisis.

To help small businesses and self-employed professionals overcome the challenges of the pandemic and reactivate the economy, in June 2020 we launched the Lockdown Economy. It is a global non-profit grassroots social-economic and educational movement. The United Nations has recognized it as an Acceleration Action for the Sustainable Development Goals.

You too can share your story or nominate your favorite small business to be on the Lockdown Economy interview.

Any self-employed professional or micro- and small- business owner (less than 20 employees) can share their story on the Lockdown Economy. The interview can be in English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, German, Hungarian, Hindi, Indonesian, Tagalog, Urdu, Bangla, Arabic, Chinese and Swahili.

Conducting interviews, transcribing them, creating visuals and promoting it on social media takes our volunteers 30-40 hours of work per guest. We do it for free because our goal is to help small businesses overcome the pandemic.

To register, simply fill in this form or send an email to talk@altercontacts.org.

Watch entrepreneurial stories on the Lockdown Economy

Click on the images below to watch the local interviews.

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About Lockdown Economy

Entrepreneurs get a forum to share their struggles, successes, and experiences of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, learn from each other. Through the Lockdown Economy, they have a way to connect with a wider community of entrepreneurs. We interview small businesses and self-employed professionals around the world to see how the lockdown affected their business, their market and their future.

University students are using Lockdown Economy stories as real-time educational materials. Through the lessons across multiple countries on several continents, they get a comprehensive overview of how one can proceed with entrepreneurship in the new world. Students have a chance to connect with the small business owners from the other side of the planet and prepare for the new economy.

This initiative is grassroots because we did not wait for anyone to sponsor us. We just started doing what we could. Right now it runs on the money two co-founders saved from their corporate jobs. All the work is done by us and volunteers. We do not charge entrepreneurs for telling their story or the knowledge we share. We are actively looking for funding.

Think Tank AlterContacts supports the Sustainable Development Goals

Our next big step is to bring the Lockdown Economy to many more universities around the world by hosting a fully-digital competition for tertiary education students. In this Competition, students will actively address the current economic crisis and come up with sustainable, innovative and entrepreneurial ideas on how we can help small businesses around the world. It will prepare young people for their professional life, providing them with an opportunity to learn by doing.

Media About us

Click on the logos to access the articles.

About the Organizer

The initiator and leader of the Lockdown Economy is Julia Skupchenko. She is the co-founder of Think Tank AlterContacts and an award-winning entrepreneur and innovator.

The think tank plays the role of integrator, connecting entrepreneurs and facilitating the social innovation involving partners from various industries, sectors and countries. We have a wide network of experts and connections in the entrepreneurial and academic world. We are based in the European Union that has a mandate of supporting small business; one of the best countries for modern entrepreneurship, the Netherlands; and one of the most well-known startup ecosystems, Amsterdam.

The Lockdown Economy initiative is possible thanks to our volunteers. Over 80 people from more than 20 different countries are passionate and enthusiastic to help us: students, entrepreneurs, teachers, full-time mothers, professionals in-between jobs; women and men; from 18 all the way to 65. You can discover their stories on the Team page.

On 20 October 2020, the team of the Lockdown Economy received the Gold award in the 13th Annual 2020 World Women Awards® in the category "Hero of the Year | Helping Others During COVID-19".

Watch the video-introductions from our Local Interview Hosts.

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You can read all the interviews of the Lockdown Economy on our Medium Channel

It’s not just an interview...

2020 showed us that even the best economic forecasts cannot predict the future. And even now, governments continue to use average numbers to plan how the economy will go forward. But we want to find out the real stories behind those “averages”.

Behind every small business, there is a story. A personal story of following your dreams, of continuing the family profession, of moving to a new country with no support network, of being let go of the job and still trying to make it on your own, of doing something on a small scale that would be useful for your neighbourhood, of introducing back the simple and sustainable practices. A personal story of care and passion for your family, your community and the world.

Through the Lockdown Economy, we discover and bring attention to the specific needs of micro- and small- businesses, we facilitate social dialogue to face the COVID-19 pandemic together.

For each story our team of volunteers is preparing:

  • Livestream or video recording on Youtube with time codes to navigate the content

  • Written version on Medium and translation in subtitles

  • Podcast on Anchor.fm and other key platforms

  • Article with reflections on Entrepreneur.com and The Helm

  • Short video-extract with the main lessons for Academy

  • Promotion on our social media and use on university programs

  • Connection to entrepreneurs and students

  • Follow-up interview and documented contribution to the SDGs.

"We need to act as a global community in order to come out of the crisis stronger, more resilient and sustainable. This means breaking down barriers, sharing best practices and inspiring big ideas.”

Kristin Schreiber, Director for SME Policy at the European Commission’s Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs


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