Promoting youth-led social entrepreneurship in partnership with communities and civil society organisations (Colombia)

River Atrato in Quibdó (¿Cuál es la verdad? project)

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This follow-on project builds on ¿Cuál es la verdad?which responded to issues identified by young people in Quibdó, Colombia, about violence within and between neighbourhoods, and supported them to visualise alternative futures.  We worked with Afrocolombian and indigenous young community leaders and activists as ‘young co-researchers’, who co-produced our methodological tools and who were supported by our team to involve wider groups of young people in participatory research.

As an unanticipated outcome of our project, arising from the ‘imagining alternative futures’ theme and based on in-depth data collection with youth in Quibdó, our young co-researchers developed an innovative idea for a social enterprise business following a multi-stakeholder cooperative model for their community. We were able to support them to develop the social enterprise idea into a pilot project (e.g. see Instagram and Facebook accounts, promo cooking video, promo song). The social innovation project Casa Gastro-Cultural OSHUN envisions setting up a social enterprise restaurant which supports childcare and cultural activities in the community (e.g., music and dance) through a cooperative involving key cultural CSOs in Quibdó, thus localising best practice in social innovation and sustainable economy. It draws on traditional Chocóan cuisine/ heritage (SDG 11) and aims to improve socio-economic conditions (SDG1, 8, 9), gender equality (SDG 5) and early childhood education (SDG4).

Our follow-on project aims to support the young co-researchers in the sustainable realisation of Casa Gastro-Cultural OSHUN through research and practice activities designed to strengthen their capacities and generate more local community/CSO buy-in and seed-funding. The project also aims to support our team to strengthen our international networks, showcase our project by sharing best practice, highlight implications for higher level policy globally, and develop concrete plans for further funding.