A great project for our 25th anniversary: The "Global Network of EoC Incubators"

The strength of the young people combined with the skills of our entrepreneurs

by Anouk Grevin

from the EoC Report 2014-2015 on the "Economy of Communion - A New Culture" no. 42 Editorial insert of Città Nuova no. 2 - 2016 - February 2016

N42 Pag 13 Anouk Grevin Autore

The idea was originated by the strong suggestion and desire of young people. During the last International Summer Schools (only in the last two years we have had five of them), we have been impressed by the strength of young people who want to create an EoC company, some with well-matured and elaborate plans, others as a vocation but without having specifically established their own project. It was obvious that we had to follow them and support them. But how? When we met with the International Commission last February, it seemed necessary to mobilise the skills of our entrepreneurs worldwide as a first step. But perhaps we also needed some structure to coordinate the initiatives... We proposed two first steps that were launched in Nairobi.

The first is the François Neveux Project (or Operation One for One in Latin America), to connect young project developers with the entrepreneurs of the first generation. We can vividly remember those intense moments in Nairobi or at the end of the school in Brazil when the entrepreneurs present committed to embrace the "dreams" of young people and accompany them as their elder brothers.

It is to offer young people first of all a deep listening, trust and real support that is continued over time, even before procuring funding or advice, so that they have the strength to go through the difficulties that will inevitably occur along the journey of creation and launch of a new business.

The second element was the organization of temporary incubators for 15 days to help young people in the maturation of their project. One of the incubators is for the Lionello Business Park (Loppiano) and another one is for Africa. An incubator is an accompanying structure that offers training projects and resources (information, advice, contacts, access to various programmes...) to project owners, helping them define their project better and then seek funding.

At the Loppiano Lab and later during the inter-American school in Brazil it was clear that real permanent EoC incubators are needed, and that many necessary skills already exist in the world: we just have to create a network for all existing initiatives or those that are N42 Pag 13 Incubatori 02 riddeveloping. It was clear that 2016 would be the year of the EoC incubators! A work meeting is scheduled for next March to take stock of needs and resources, and devise together the coordination structure that will offer support to local incubators by helping to share resources. Meanwhile, since last December Florencia Locascio, a young Argentinean professional has been at the Lionello Bonfanti Business Park: hers is the task of studying best practices of this field in the world and helping to implement the project.

The goal with this worldwide network of EoC incubators is primarily to accompany a new generation of EoC entrepreneurs by fostering the creation of new businesses and so giving a new launch to the entire EoC. Another goal is to set the energies and skills of everyone in motion, helping to form a large worldwide EoC network in which the first and second generation can work together to spread the culture of giving to the ends of the world.

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