Fundación Telefónica’s aim was to bring together 40 of these young people determined to change the world at the first International Social Entrepreneurs Conference, held at the headquarters of Wayra España in Madrid on 27 January.
Aged between 18 and 25, these young people from Brazil, the UK, Germany, Spain, Nicaragua, Colombia and Peru were able to share their social concerns and strengthen potential collaborative dynamics among themselves.
“The goal of this conference is to give young people from the 7 countries we work in the opportunity to reinforce and expand their networks, thus improving and boosting their social entrepreneurship projects and their own learning”.Each of them leads social projects in their respective countries. They come from a range of disciplines, but what they all have in common is a desire to improve the world, or at least the places they live in. They are promoters of projects with tackling issues such as access to clean water in vulnerable areas of Peru, raising awareness of rare illnesses, a digital platform for artists, coaching schools on professional development for their pupils, multinational collaborative entrepreneurship, and an application that promotes using and sharing bicycles.
Carmen de la Serna, Director of Social Projects at Fundación Telefónica, explained that “the goal of this conference is to give young people from the 7 countries we work in the opportunity to reinforce and expand their networks, thus improving and boosting their social entrepreneurship projects and their own learning”.
Carmen is “convinced that the opportunities to improve society and the futures of the young people we work with increase drastically when they create networks, make contacts, share experiences, and exchange knowledge with other young people going through similar experiences.”
Ana Segurado, Director of Telefonica Open Future, addressed the participants and invited them to continue taking part in the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Telefónica, which welcomes the participation of entrepreneurs at every stage, from the generation of ideas to their development and conversion into products or services with market demand.
She cited the Think Big programme as an example of the main objective of Open Future, which is to inspire young people to be entrepreneurs, believe in their dreams and develop their ideas. As well as the aim to inspire she mentioned the stages of acceleration, developed by Wayra, among others, and investment through funds like Amérigo.
Participants got the opportunity to learn about the careers of two well-known entrepreneurs: Luis Iván Cuende and Alec Urbarch.