Training Workshop Social Entrepreneurship

ZGI:kompakt Workshop

Also available in Deutsch, 中文

Together with the German Chamber of Commerce and the Social Entrepreneurship Academy Munich, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation organized a two-day training workshop on social entrepreneurship. The ''ZGI:kompakt workshop program'' is organized by the Social Entrepreneurship Akademie and is sponsored by the KfW Stiftung, to address young changemakers around the world.

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Dr. Peter Hefele, head of the KAS office in Shanghai, underlined in his introduction speech the importance of innovative start-ups in German-Chinese relations.

In the frame of a kick-off event, which was held together with the Business&Society Workshop and the Young Leaders group of the German Chamber of Commerce, experts discussed the role of start-ups and entrepreneurship between China and Germany.

Prof. Helmut Schönenberger, CEO of UnternehmerTUM, an institution to consult and mentor start-up companies, underlined in his remarks, that especially the digitalization processes provide ample opportunities for start-ups. Entrepreneurs would face the question of how existing resources in their environment could be effectively allocated. Prof. HAN Zheng, Prof. for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Tongji-University pointed out that developing a start-up also requires awareness towards the long-term nature of such projects. A good timing and understanding of implementation processes are of great importance. Dr. Shih-Ping, from Siemens added his corporate perspective on this matter to the discussion, which was presented by Katja Hellkötter (Constellations International) and Michael Mäder.

For this, the interaction between the intra-corporate, technical and scientific environment is crucial to bring in external ideas into companies. A decisive strength would be to keep start-up partners flexible. Philipp Georgi CEO and founder of Supersonic Venture highlighted the importance of setting up an interdisciplinary team in order to link the idea development with the ability to execute it. An interactive session asked the participants to develop concepts for a stronger exchange between the German and Chinese start-up scene and were assisted by the experts.

The ZGI: kompakt workshop on Social Entrepreneurship, in cooperation with the Social Entrepreneurship Academy Munich and the German Chamber of Commerce Shanghai dealt with the question of how business ideas with the target to achieve a social impact can be put into practice. Among the participants were Chinese and international academics, entrepreneurs and others. In his introduction, Oliver Beckmann, Head Qualification | Social Entrepreneurship Academy, explained the different operation levels of Social enterprises, reaching from hybrid non-profits, to social business and social responsible enterprises. A visit to the Social Innovation Center in Shanghai, an incubator where a number of social enterprises have set up their offices, provided an insight in state and development of Social Enterprises in China. The Eco-Cafe project that emerged from the KAS project Urban Campus Chengdu in 2014, provided a first case study and was introduced by its manager LI Liang, student at Sichuan University in Chengdu. The cafe aims at providing a platform for exchange on the topic sustainability and to raise environmental awareness among the different groups of students and university staff.

In a first practical workshop phase, the participants were asked to develop business canvases for the Eco-Cafe project, to come up with ideas to further improve the project and to find ways to generate more customers. Other examples enabled the participants to get to know different business models and to link the problem level with approaches for innovative solutions.

On the second day of the workshop, the impact analysis of social business projects was central, both on the internal as well as on the external level. This conveyed the systemic dimension, which has to be considered in the early project planning steps in order to determine the social value and to use it as a tool for evaluating the approach and planning behind social projects. Equipped with this newly learned concept, the participants were asked to develop their own ideas for social enterprise projects in the fields of environment&climate, society&politics, culture, education and health.

Following a given schedule, they came up with ideas for the following companies with social emphasis. Innovation Lab, which brings together project ideas of students with companies and organizations, Fish App, is a health app which provides its users with the information of sport facilities located in their area and it creates contact to other sport-affine users; Food ‘n’ Friends, a project that brings city dwellers together and fosters cultural exchange by organizing joint cooking events; Women World Thrive devotes itself to strengthening the rights of women at work. EcoTech, the winning project convinced with an innovative and sustainable business model, which aims at reducing electronic waste and specializes on the supply of poorer regions with electronic products.

The joint training workshop organized by Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the Social Entrepreneurship Academy Munich (a joint initiative by the four leading universities in Munich) and the German Chamber of Commerce Shanghai, engaged the participants to a very high level and enabled them to generate ideas for social entrepreneurial acting and thus to be able to contribute to innovatively shaping the society.


David Merkle

Publication series

Event Reports


China, July 14, 2015


Tim Wenniges