Interreg Project TRANSFIRM Brings Student-Entrepreneurs from Northern France, Flanders and Hainaut Together in Online Event

Interreg Project TRANSFIRM Brings Student-Entrepreneurs from Northern France, Flanders and Hainaut Together in Online Event

Interreg Project TRANSFIRM Brings Student-Entrepreneurs from Northern France, Flanders and Hainaut Together in Online Event

Stimulating student-entrepreneurship without borders: that is what TRANSFIRM, a three-day intensive project, is all about. More specifically, 16 teams of French, Walloon and Flemish students set out to analyse the business models of five start-ups in terms of sustainability.

The five participating start-ups have the ambition to expand into new markets (in Northern France, Flanders and/or Wallonia). During three intense days, the student teams took a close look at this ambition and afterwards proposed ideas on how to enter new markets and how to do so in an even more sustainable way. This could also prompt the students in question to generate ideas for their own start-up with the main focus on sustainable development goals and sustainable entrepreneurship in general.

Social and Environmental Impact

It specifically concerned the five following companies:

  • Cosh, a tech start-up that promotes sustainable shopping
  • La vie est Belt, a start-up that upcycles bicycle tires into belts
  • Play it Safe, which focuses on digital safety training sessions for the staff of large companies via gamification
  • Zac Lunettes, which repairs old sunglasses and gives them a new life
  • Sparks, which produces local and energy-efficient wood furnaces

As a tool, the student teams used the so-called flourishing business model canvas, an adapted version of the business model canvas that also includes social and environmental impact. In short, via the flourishing business model, companies can also integrate social and sustainable aspects.

Entirely Online

Because of the current Covid-19 measures, the three-day event took place entirely online, via breakout rooms in Zoom and with the visual online white board tool Mural. The students were coached by nine competent coaches from different international organizations. As a result of the fact that the students worked in international groups, they could easily engage in debate with each other and thus integrate cultural differences and similarities into their future plan.

The final presentations will take place online on 23 April (from 04:00 PM until 05:30 PM). Everyone can follow the pitches of the selected students, provided they register in advance.

This event is organized by the Interreg project TRANSFIRM, which is financially supported by the European Regional Development Fund and is a collaboration between eight universities and universities of applied sciences in Northern France, Flanders and Wallonia: the university of Lille, UCLouvain, KU Leuven, the university of Mons, UGent, Howest, HELHa (the university of applied sciences Leuven and Hainaut), and the universities of applied sciences CONDORCET and SOWALFIN.

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