In this initiative Think Tank AlterContacts and our Partners aim to Empower Entrepreneurship across the globe. Our goal is to prototype a new economy, based on trust, where all agents -- entrepreneurs, freelancers, independent professionals and startups -- contribute to each other’s well being in a sustainable way. We believe that whatever their reason was to start on their own, the brave ones that do deserve genuine and high-quality support. Not as a one-off but consistently along their entrepreneurial journey. We don’t promise anyone the mountains of gold. Instead we help them learn, connect and grow in what they do.
It contributes to SDG 5: Gender Equality, SDG 8: Economic Growth, SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities, SDG 17: Partnerships
The main channel through which we run Empower Entrepreneurship initiative is BusinessGreenHouse.org, a growing global online ecosystem of entrepreneurs and freelancers. The ecosystem and community is hosted on the AlterContacts Network. At the moment we run it on a Zero Budget relying on our savings and volunteer support of Co-founders and Experts. Every six weeks we host a community webinar to assess our progress and get ideas on how to make more valuable for them. The Co-Founders of the Think Tank are responsible for onboarding new members. During the onboarding process, entrepreneurs fill in a survey to share their main challenges and aspirations. The plan is to make the aggregated results of the survey available regularly for them and for the organizations that can make a difference.
We have Members, Mentors and Partners across the globe that support us in our mission. The unique part is that all of us are here to stay. Our focus is on long-term mutual success, not one-day money gain. We don’t run an office -- let’s say our headquarters are online. That allows us to use the funds directly on helping our members. Having mentors in Europe, North and Latin America, Asia and Russia, we organize in-person community events and group trainings across the globe. At least once a quarter we host a free local event in one of the locations.
To ensure transparency and encourage participation, we share updates and blog posts about our activities on Social Media.
To implement our ambition to Empower Entrepreneurship we run BusinessGreenHouse.org. It is an ecosystem, based on trust, value for humanity and environment, where Members, Mentors and Partners are interconnected in our mission to help each other Learn, Connect and Grow. People who start on their own usually don’t have much to spend. Often they start a business because they don’t like their job or couldn’t find one, they are new in a foreign country, they believe they can do more or want to make the world better. At the same time, sole entrepreneurs and freelancers are very vulnerable to unnecessary or not strategic spendings. These costs are very painful for entrepreneurs and they can be avoided.
In the BusinessGreenHouse.org we educate them, equip them with tools and skills and connect them to each other. In 2019 we hosted over 20 free events, we have helped 150+ entrepreneurs on three continents.
Entrepreneurs need peers who are going through the same online and in-person; mentors who are available for a quick question; short-term training on basic entrepreneurial skills; a safe place where they can test an idea or try their pitch, offer their service and get well-wishing feedback.
We try to keep our community closely connected. We keep an ongoing dialogue. The online discussions with peers are curated by our mentors. We spend time writing helpful articles, designing courses and trainings that can support our members at different stages of maturity. We prepare and test toolkits that can be used on Social Media and in their communication with customers. We make sure that the content we share is useful. Free Resources are always available on our website.
Depending on their needs we can match them with a peer in the same area of expertise but in a different location. We regularly organize facilitated networking events where they can meet everyone face to face.
We host training events online and in different locations of the World - workshops, masterclasses, webinars, and retreats. There our experts give step by step guidance on how to deal with everyday obstacles, use business canvases, set ambitious business goals and be confident in achieving them.
By 2030 we hope to get 1000 entrepreneurs equipped with the knowledge and skills to run their entrepreneurial practice in a sustainable way for themselves and for the planet
Julia Skupchenko, Massimo Mercuri, Fabrizio Faraco