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At the beginning of September, the first module of the Social Innovation Management program was started at the Ukrainian Social Academy. This is a program for organizational development and social entrepreneurship for leaders of public and charitable organizations who are looking for achieving simultaneously the social mission and financial stability of the organization.

More than 40 participants are currently studying “Social Innovation Management”. This year, the projects of academics have a variety of directions and social missions: protection the rights of people with disabilities, cooperation with veterans and internally displaced people, cooperation with youth and others. They have one common thing: the desire to develop their organization and change the country. We decided to ask participants about their projects, goals and impressions of the first module of the program.

Goal: support parents of children with disabilities

The history of the NGO “TEDDY-R Child Development Center” begins with the story of its founder, Ivanna Martyniuk, who once looked for the opportunities for the development of her child with disabilities: “We were not taken to kindergarten or children`s clubs. There was no inclusion then, no one even knew such a word. ”

So Ivanna decided to create such a club herself: “I said, okay if I can’t come to such a children`s club – then children will come to me. I invited moms I knew, my parents paid for the teacher’s work, and I paid for the rent. ”

Now the centre has a kindergarten, Polish and English classes, a development studio and a creative workshop, and there are already 10 people in the staff. According to Ivanna`s words, the main purpose for which she came to study at the Ukrainian Social Academy is to become self-sufficient and develop counselling for parents: “As a mother of a special child, I know that in order to implement inclusive projects for children, first of all, you should work with parents because many of them find it difficult to accept their child. It’s important to support parents and tell them what to do. ”

Behind only the first module of the program, but, according to Ivanna`s words, the first results have already been achieved: “I still impressed after the module, it was very interesting. When I came home from school, I told my colleagues: Girls, we need to sit down and discuss strategy! Today we have gathered together and developed our mission, vision, goals. ”

Goal: help women start their own business

Olga Popova is a co-founder of the NGO “Communicative Platform” Bridge. OK”. The organization helps women living in rural, young mothers, women over 40 to be carrier realized. The organization plans to create a platform where women will develop, learn and look for like-minded people and business partners. And part of the profits will be directed to the development of the organization.

“It’s no secret that many women are denied for the job positions by their employers because they think: now it will be maternity leave, then hospitalizations will begin. We tell you how to switch to self-employment. After all, many women would like to start their own business, but they do not know how to sell their product, look for partners, etc. For example, someone bakes cakes well, but does not know how to look for customers, what price to set, how to legally register your business, how to keep accounts, how to look for people in the team, etc., “says co-founder Olga Popova.

According to Olga, the first module on strategies greatly influenced her vision of the project development: “The most important thing in studying in the Ukrainian Social Academy is systematic. After all, I worked a lot as an employee but I did not see everything that a business owner sees. We have specialists in different fields – but it is very important to combine our knowledge. And now I have a crystallized vision of the direction in which we need to move. ” A strategic session has been planned This week in the “Bridge. OK “and they hope to develop a common vision and develop a strategic action plan.

Goal: create an eco-farm and fight unemployment

Iryna Chermoshentseva is a project manager of the NGO “Federation of Women for Peace around the World” says: “Our organization has been existing for 13 years and we are constantly learning, trying to learn something new, but still always have a space to grow.” The organization supports women, internally displaced persons and retirees.

According to Irina, after the start of quarantine, many people lost their jobs and began to seek help. Therefore, the organization decided to create its own social enterprise: “We decided to open an eco-farm and have already found a plot of land on which to do it. We plan to grow vegetables. For example, growing blueberries in terms of cost, demand and potential profits can be quite profitable. Women and people with disabilities are planned to be invited to work in the organization.

Iryna admits that marketing and finances were the most important for the needs of the organization: “We have many projects, we are supported, but financially we cannot always reach the level we want. Therefore, it became obvious that we need to learn to change the situation. After all, if you understand the algorithm you need to follow, then developing your business, looking for new markets, building relationships with partners becomes much easier.

“In the first module of the” Social Innovation Management “program, I finally got to know the participants better. Each of them has the idea of social entrepreneurship and strives to change the target group of their organizations for the better. It is very gratifying that there are many such people in our country,” comments Maria Makarovych, the Manager of the Social Innovation Management Program.

Currently, the Ukrainian Social Academy is preparing for the next module, in which program participants will work on a business plan and consider the legal aspects of the social enterprise. We promise to keep you informed of the success of academics! In order not to miss the latest news and events of the Ukrainian Social Academy, subscribe to the Facebook page.

The Ukrainian Social Academy will teach to earn steadily and solve a social problem at the same time.