The annual Young Social Entrepreneurs Awards (JES) event offered by Universidad Europea was the forerunner to the first Social Entrepreneurship Week, held from October 2-9 at both campuses in Madrid. In addition to the award ceremony for the 9th Edition of the JES Awards on October 4, an international meeting was organized with the winners of the 2017 Laureate Global Fellows program.
The 9th JES Awards, given to young people aged 18 to 29 who lead social transformation and environmental protection projects, recognized the work of the driving force behind the ten winning projects. Founder of Adopt a Grandparent, Alberto Cabanes, took the Special Panel Award and, David Rodríguez, creator of Pegasus Sport, won the Prize for the Project with the Greatest Digital Impact on Twitter. The award ceremony was attended by institutional representatives from the Autonomous Community of Madrid and Alcobendas City Council, as well as scientist and social entrepreneur Pilar Mateo, who reminded the winners that “a social entrepreneur is just a business person who wants to do things differently.”
The international “Youth and Education, agents of social change” meeting was the finishing touch to Social Entrepreneurship Week. The event, held for the first time in Spain, brought together 20 young people from 17 countries, including Spanish representative Cristina Balbás, 2016 JES Awards, who won the Laureate Global Fellows program, benchmarks in social entrepreneurship such as Francisco Polo as well as top-level institutional participants such as the Minister for Employment and Social Security, CEPYME and the Youth Institute, among others. The participants concluded that youth, a global perspective and education are the main agents of social change. And the results of the ‘Global Youth Wellbeing Index’ were presented by Bill Reese, CEO of the International Youth Foundation.
Social Entrepreneurship Week also included various training and team building activities designed for the winners of both award programs. To draw a close to the week, the 20 winning entrepreneurs of the Laureate Global Fellows program took the starring role in “Stories of Impact”, where they shared the motivation and experiences that led them to launch their initiatives with students and professors from the Universidad Europea.