On Wednesday 15 July 2015, the Young Changemakers Advanced Training took place at the China Youth Development Foundation (CYDF) offices in Beijing.
The two day training session was led by Robert Foster, Co-Founder and Senior Consultant at Red Ochre, a UK-based social enterprise which supports organisations delivering social change across the UK and worldwide.
The event was attended by students from universities all across China, including Harbin, Shandong, Nanjing and Sichuan.
During the training event, students took part in discussions on the concept of social enterprise, delivering social change in a sustainable way and the finances behind social enterprise.
As each student had previously developed a project or business designed to effect social change as well as turn a profit, the training focused on topics such as branding and communication with stakeholders which can be practically applied to the development of each student’s project.
These projects included a programme to provide books to university students who can’t afford them, a bike sharing service for students and teachers on campus and a health insurance social enterprise – something which Mr Foster confessed he had never seen before.
The first day closed with talks from some of the British Council’s Chinese partners in social enterprise; Ms Jing Bing from BEAM, a social enterprise that supports teachers in rural areas, and which was one of the winners of the 2014 British Council Social Investment Platform. Ms Jing talked about BEAM’s journey and growth as a social enterprise in China, sharing the organisation’s experience with the students in the hope of inspiring them to follow a similar path.
The second day saw Mdm Zhu Xiaohong, from North China Electric Power University join Mr Foster in delivering the training.
Together they provided the students with training on marketing, financial management and risk, as well as the importance of team building.
Following the two day training event, the students will return to their home universities and carry out cascade training activities to share the knowledge they gained on the Young Changemaker’s Project with team members and other students.
After applying what they have learned to their own projects over the next few months, they will submit the results of their projects to the CYDF at the end of the year to be evaluated. The winners will then have the opportunity to go on a study tour to the UK and meet with students at top UK universities who are carrying out their own social enterprise projects.
Organised by the British Council in collaboration with the CYDF, the Young Changemakers Project looks to inspire and train university students to undertake voluntary community activities, with the project having been rolled out to universities in 18 provinces across China.