The Open Beehive – closing event marked the culmination of a remarkable journey aimed at empowering refugee women in Athens. Through a partnership with the Melissa Network, Impact Hub Athens co-created and provided a transformative empowerment pathway for these women, focusing on their diverse needs, resilience, and potential.
Over the course of two years, the project fostered organic relationships with vibrant women communities in Athens, including the Ukrainian Women Association, the African Women Community, and the Filipino Women Community. As a result, over 70 migrant women were supported and incubated, 20 workshops were delivered, 50 hours of individual consultation were provided and over 20 experts from various fields were engaged.
Empowering Workshops and Individual Consultations
Central to the Open Beehive initiative were a series of entrepreneurial workshops. These workshops not only equipped the beneficiaries with essential knowledge on building business models but also honed their soft skills. Each workshop concluded with specific homework assignments, encouraging active engagement. The most committed participants were offered personalized, two-hour one-on-one sessions, where they received customized advice to further their entrepreneurial endeavors.
Key Focus Areas and Takeaways
The workshops covered various key focus areas, including CV writing, role model sharing, value proposition, business & financing models, time management, communication skills, Greek entrepreneurial vocabulary, and reconnecting with oneself. By addressing these areas, Open Beehive aimed to provide a comprehensive entrepreneurial toolkit to the refugee women, empowering them to navigate the business world with confidence.
The event’s key takeaways highlighted the significance of fostering an inclusive entrepreneurial culture, strengthening the design and delivery of inclusive entrepreneurship support, and building entrepreneurship skills and capacities for inclusive entrepreneurship. Open Beehive emphasized the importance of raising awareness about the potential of entrepreneurship as an alternative to traditional employment, engaging effective partnerships, and providing professional support and guidance to entrepreneurs from under-represented and disadvantaged groups.
Celebrating Success Stories
The Open Beehive initiative celebrated several success stories that emerged during its journey. Notable achievements included the development of the Empowerment Centre for Women by the Ukrainian Community and the establishment of a promising Social Cooperative Enterprise led by the Filipino Women Community. These initiatives stand as tangible examples of the impact created by the project, offering platforms for women to flourish and contribute to their communities.
The Open Beehive project looks forward to continuing its collaboration beyond the closing event. Upcoming activities include a Speed Dating event on June 20, 2023, where mentors from the Impact Hub Athens Community will meet with nine women from the Melissa Network. Additionally, a Business Clinic session is scheduled to support the newly established Social Cooperative Enterprise led by the Filipino Women Community. Finally, from May 11 to June 26, 2023, the Momentum Social Economy Academy will provide a valuable learning opportunity for all involved.
Summing up, through entrepreneurial workshops, individual consultations, and close collaboration with partner organizations, Open Beehive provided a pathway for women to unlock their potential and contribute to society. By fostering an inclusive entrepreneurial culture, strengthening support systems, and building entrepreneurship skills, Open Beehive has laid a foundation for long-term empowerment and success. The impact of this initiative will be felt for years to come as these women continue to thrive and make a difference in their communities.