Last 20 – 22 June 2023, the SEVERE project held its final conference at the University of Aveiro in Portugal. The 3-day event was the culmination of the two-year project, having successfully trained over 50 European students in social entrepreneurship and active citizenship, following trainings held at Dublin, Montpellier, and Prato.

SEVERE was launched in 2020 to reflect a completely new approach to working life born out of the COVID-19 crisis – as well as the Climate Emergency – and increasing demands for more sustainable forms of international collaboration, as well as a transformation in the way societies tackle these challenges.

The SEVERE project was specially designed to prepare students to respond more effectively to these needs, first by creating a virtual incubation programme for remote collaboration on social innovation projects. Its second goal was to respond directly to the needs of communities and social enterprises by creating a virtual marketplace for micro-internships whereby students can work – remotely – with social enterprises on specific projects.

During the final conference, a mix of students from our first and second cohort of trainees from Dublin City University, Glasgow Caledonian University, Montpellier Business School, PIN – Polo Universitario Città di Prato, Universitat Pompeu Fabra – Barcelona, Universidade de Aveiro participated in the activities which aimed to strengthen the students’ project ideas and also allow them to learn from each other, and from a pool of staff mentors.

Different aspects of social entrepreneurship were reviewed such as ideation, operations and financing, communications, and social impact. Student groups of the second cohort were also given the chance to present their projects to a wider audience.
The SEVERE team is incredibly proud of the young people we have trained and we hope that they will continue to grow their ideas, if not now, in the future!