SwitchMed creates business opportunities to its Switchers and Social Entrepreneurs
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A positive transformation of the economy is possible. This is the aim of the Positive Innovation Club event, a social meeting between big corporations and entrepreneurs organized by Sparknews and held on February 6th at the entrepreneurship space Schoolab, in the heart of Paris.
The soirée was opened by Günter Pauli, known as “the Steve Jobs of the sustainable development” and famed worldwide as the creator of the Blue Economy concept. He gives lectures all over the world and has written many books translated into 35 languages about eco-friendly practices and innovations, defending that it is possible to produce sustainably with local and cheap resources. “What is important is the business model and not the technologies”, said Günter during his talk.
This event was designed to inspire and connect entrepreneurs that want to make a difference in social and environmental matters, and companies that care for a more sustainable way of living developing their ideas and projects with a vision of a fairer and better world. In this context, SwitchMed has invited one of its Egyptian change makers GebRaa to connect her with an audience of experts and big corporations and help her find solutions for her pressing challenges.
“It is a way productive and fruitful type of business than the usual conferences, trainings and workshops or even typical networking events”, thinks Rania Salah.
GebRaa was created by Rania Seddik in 2006, convinced that Egypt is going through a relative identity crisis of which one of the illustrations is the disinterest of young people in the trades
crafts. Through training and business connections, GebRaa helps artisans to help them better sell their achievements to companies established in Egypt while attracting the interest of new audiences. Being neither a designer nor a businesswoman herself, Rania has formed a small team of 4 people to develop the project. Today, Rania seeks to go further by recruiting new talents, more technical.
Lotus beanbags. Discover more products of Gebraa by clicking on the picture
Pitch and working groups
Every social entrepreneur pitched during 3 minutes his/her initiative and the main challenge he/she is facing to be discussed in working groups facilitated by Sparknews.
Rania presented what her business is about, why she has created it and how she runs it. Afterwards, she presented her main challenges
- “How B2B with big companies can be fostered?”
- “How can entrepreneurs hire and retain talented workers with few economic resources?”
During this discussion, Rania received valuable feedback from different participants. Referring to potential clients she could reach out, specific shops and intermediaries in Europe such us Maison du Monde were proposed to partner with. Rania has also benefitted from ideas on how to showcase her handcraft products. In fact, the audience suggested her many marketing tips to standout from competitors, including the fact to communicate the story of her product. Finally, participants also suggested collaborating with Design Universities to nurture each others' activities, among other ideas.
“The working group was really inspiring for Rania. She received many recommendations and advises from companies representatives that will be very useful for the business” said Anna Ibañez, project manager at SwitchMed, who also attended the event. Our Switcher has even got a serious business proposal from Pierre et Vacances Center Parcs Group to purchase GebRaa products for their resorts.
Other entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs that participated at the meeting were Edeni, Wenabi, Future of Brands, Coexistir and Groupe les Mousquetaires, all of them did a 3-minute speech to propose the issues that would be a matter of discussion into the different working groups.
Around 120 companies were registered for the Positive Innovation Club, many of them are well-known big companies such as Danone, Air France or Nestlè, recognized for creating more inclusive businesses that are respectful of employees, consumers and the planet. There were also other organizations working on raising awareness about inclusive and sustainable growth, such as Humanis, World Food Programme or The Good Planet Foundation.
We look forward to having more meetings like this for our switchers, to encourage responsible & social business innovation and help to build a better future.