The Sustainable Entrepreneur Programme aims at developing and implementing a one-year part-time leadership programme on sustainable entrepreneurship. It will promote new enterprises, whose core activities are centered on creating social and/or environmental benefits. Especially due to the rising number of people who focus their lifestyles on health and sustainability (LOHAS) there is a growing market e.g. for organic food or ethical fashion as well as a growing number of business ideas in the field of sustainability.
Sustainable Entrepreneurs very often operate apart from mainstream business and therefore are in need of a particular training programme, which accounts for their specific challenges. Besides providing participants with professional knowledge in the fields of management and sustainability, the training programmes’ focus lies in personal skill development: Sustainable Entrepreneurs need to gain leadership skills in order to convince investors, clients as well as employees on the cause and on the importance of their social and/or environmental endeavour. This requires particular skills in self motivation as well as in stakeholder motivation, communication and an understanding of specific systemic patterns of key stakeholders in the field of sustainable business. The training programme focuses particularly on the training of these most important "soft skills" of social entrepreneurs in order for them to lead their business profitable as well as sustainable. One module of the programme has been successfully tested within the oikos Winter School, which gives international students concrete assistance for the implementation of a sustainable project at their homeuniversities. In the module "Forming your idea" twenty students from around the world overcame their safety margin to their project conception. They were asked to embody their project in clay and review it with their partner.