Minsk hosted the first Forum for Social Innovation.
Forum was held thanks to the initiative of the Berlin Social Innovation School "Eastern Partnership" with the support of the German Foreign Ministry, IBB Dortmund and in cooperation with the ODB Brussels. The forum was held on January 28 in Minsk and it was attended by the leading "Crowd-tech" platforms of Belarus, Ukraine, Russia and Germany, independent experts, social entrepreneurs and public institutions of Belarus.
Trends, approaches and indicators
Yahor Yelchin, the head of the educational programs of the pioneer Russian website Planeta.ru: "For the 4.5 years of work we raised more than half a billion Russian rubles. The first two years we worked on cultural projects, in 2015 we returned to the field of social entrepreneurship, 2016 saw their development and 2017 got us interested in technology projects."
Julia Sobal, coordinator of the Ukrainian educational programs platform «Bigggidea.ua»: "We must always have social projects, sustainable development projects, and innovative projects. In five years our projects have collected 10 million hryvnia (about 365,000 dollars)."
Anastasia Kastsiugova, deputy manager of the Belarusian site «Maesens.by»: "In one year we collected 150,000 dollars. In 2016, we focused on social entrepreneurship while trying to involve the city in our projects."
Irina Sidarava, the director of the «Ulej.by» reported: "Today we are presenting the same services as the global platforms: the legal framework, consultation, supervision, safe processing. We collected $ 80,000 in the first year, and the same amount in the next four months. This trend continues. We have 35% of completed projects, which is above the average globally. Starting next month, we will try to bring a number of Belarusian goods to the domestic and foreign markets."
"We made a platform to develop Belarus. In 2015 we collected 24,000 dollars, in 2016 - 170,000 dollars. This year we will try to implement the subscription model in form of regular payments. We plan to start working with legal entities. We are transforming into a social network, which people use not to talk, but to act." - Ivan Viadzenin, the Creative Director at the “Talaka.by” shared.
"Trends are the same for all three countries. Firstly, we see an increase in the number of people who participate in crowdfunding and also, despite the crisis, the increase in the amount of money collected – it has almost doubled in 2016. Secondly, more and more people seek to create their projects in crowdfunding, but they do not possess the knowledge of how to do it, therefore crowdfunding schoold emerge in all the three countries. People obviously become more active. "
Ivan Viadzenin: "Our philosophy is that we can solve our problems ourselves supporting each other. If you take a peek at, for example, the projects in Belarusian culture, language, literature, it is obvious that these initiatives were more beneficial to the image of Belarusian culture than the state and business initiatives combined. Crowdfunding is only the start, we need the institutional support of these initiatives. So if an initiative has had a great launch on the crowdfunding platform, it is a reason for the to investors, funds, state to have a closer look at it. Developed countries already fully use crowdfunding as a substitute for public opinion polls. People vote for what they need by their money."