What is Students4Change?
Students4Change is a program seeking to improve the quality and relevance of academic programs aimed for the development of innovation and social entrepreneurship competencies in Latin American Universities, and to increase the capacity to resolve the urgent social problems our region is encountering.
Project Coordinator Message
Ivon Aida Cepeda Mayorga, Coordinator
PHD in Humanistic Studies with an Ethics
Specialization at Tecnológico de Monterrey
The project Students4Change was co-funded with resources from the European Union within its Erasmus+ Program: Capacity Building in the Field of Higher Education.
The main goal or purpose of the project was the development of competencies in entrepreneurship and social innovation as part of the curricular plan within higher education institutions in Latin America.
Fifteen universities participated in the project: five from Europe and ten from Latin America; besides Ashoka, a non-governmental organization with an international presence. This large project allowed the creation of a network with universities in Germany, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Spain, France, Portugal and Mexico.
During the different stages of the project, five successful meetings were held to establish the working route within the project, taking advantage of the knowledge and experience of the various members in the areas of entrepreneurship and social innovation. These meetings took place in different venues such as Mexico City, Valencia, Porto Alegre and Bogotá, which also allowed for closer ties between the various partners.
Between 2017 to 2019, within our project, we carried out activities to develop the model of competences in Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship, to identify the tools to support these competences; to train a group of professors from different Latin American universities, as well as the application of the proposed model of skills. After that, we observed and evaluated the use to verify the development of competences within students.
Among the achievements from this project, there are: a document that includes the theoretical framework of competences in Social Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation; the selection of different tools to support the teaching of these competences in students; the implementation of the contents within the courses of Latin American universities; the presentation of the most representative projects by the students involved in an international academic meeting; the compilation of academic experiences by the professors and specialists in the subject in an electronic book.
It is estimated that the project impacted on at least 56 teachers trained in entrepreneurship and social innovation competencies, which were implemented in 70 pilot courses involving 1614 students. Sixty-one per cent of these courses continue.
To improve the quality and relevance of academic programs aimed for the development of innovation and social entrepreneurship competencies in Latin American Universities, and to increase the capacity to resolve urgent social problems our region is encountering
1. To implement educational models to promote the formation of competencies in entrepreneurship and social innovation in university students.
2. To offer training strategies to participating universities professors, and to provide teaching methodologies that enable the development of entrepreneurship and social innovation skills in students.
3. To design tools of approach and work that allow a better understanding of the needs of communities and improve the joint and sustainable resolution of identified problems
4. To devise a model to monitor and evaluate the development of social entrepreneurship competencies in the curriculum.
5. Design and implement political and institutional processes aimed at academic and administrative promotion of entrepreneurship and social innovation in participating universities.
6. Strengthen the social incubators of the participating universities, increase their relationship with curricula related to entrepreneurship and social innovation and with students.
7. Generate alliances among participating universities, promote the exchange of information and the formation of research groups.