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Impact Explorers study visit

Shillong, Meghalaya, India  Date 24th to 31st May 2023 at Spring Valley Farm

The Impact Explorer programme of the CISE project achieved its aims to create new opportunities for social enterprises in northeast India after gathering managers of social enterprises working in various sectors, actors from stakeholders in U.K, Turkey, and Italy. The programme is now helping to sustain the financial stability of social enterprises in northeast India and created cross-sectoral cooperation.

During the Impact Expolrer programme in Meghalaya, northeast India the participants were able to achieve the following:

  1. The Impact Explorers visited many projects around Meghalaya including a rural school that they have now adopted to help raise money to build more classrooms and a Farmer Producer Organization (FPO) that was making broom sticks to increase the income of the members working in the FPO. During these field visits the participants understood how to increase economic stability by creating new dynamic social enterprises thus raising awareness among partners and relevant bodies about social entrepreneurship. They all got a deeper understanding of how to develop socio-economic status of Meghalaya, in northeast India using examples from the UK, Turkey and Italy.
  2. The visit to the Prime Hub in Shillong and the in-depth interactions with local social entrepreneurs incubated there helped to develop partners’ capacity to act as a change makers in their regions and nations. This sharing of knowledge and experience will help to reduce youth unemployment by creating sustainable collaboration with stakeholders and business sectors and training young entrepreneurs to start their business, especially focusing on social problems.
  3. The Impact Explorers were able to work together as a team on creating a network of social enterprises across Europe and India in order to create space for exchanges and scale up of the start-ups. They have created an active WhatsApp group to facilitate the sharing of information across the partner countries with action plans and timelines.
  4. The solid field experience of all the Impact Explorers was able to help build the future capacity of the participating NGOs from EU and in northeast India. The participants started the process by creating a space for a new generation of social entrepreneurs to lay the foundations of their work to support their own local communities. Through the new Impact Explorers network that they have created they will now need to maintain the partnership between the EU NGOs and local social entrepreneurs from northeast India for long-term knowledge transfer and experience to the region.
  5. The Impact Explorer programme contributed to the creation of social impact initiatives through training and development with respective partners and they will help better sustain their respective infrastructures by efficiently manipulate the resources provided to them.

To achieve our goals everyone involved had to work as a team.

The coordinator ensured every aspect of the project and managed the communication with the European Commission, Partners and Participants. The trainers prepared the participants before and after the project and delivered the workshops and supported on the reporting of the project. The support staff supported the participants for all logistical arrangements during the study visit in London. The logistic management team worked hard to arrange for all the logistics and ensured the safety of all the participants.
The participants for the study visit were selected together with partner organisations in order to maintain the quality standards and target group of the project.
The programme of the Impact Explorers in Meghalaya, northeast India is below.

  • 24th: Arrivals and Check in, Getting to know each other with dinner at 7 pm
  • 25th: Name Activities, Erasmus+, Teamwork, Project aim and objectives
  • 26th: Study Visits: Sunrise Adventist Secondary School in Ri Bhoi District
  • 27th: Farmer Producer Organisation making broomsticks, Free Afternoon
  • 28th: Study Visit: Meeting with Social Entrepreneurs at the PRIME Hub
  • 29th: Meeting with Eco Resort Entrepreneurs near Bangladesh border
  • 30th: Follow up phase for local actions and activities, evaluation, youthpass
  • 31th: Departures

We started the day at 9:30 am and finished the programme at 6:00 pm with lunch at 1 pm and dinner at 7 pm. We had the cultural night on 27th May from 9 – 11 pm.

Local activities in India

Local Action as a result of the ToT activity, reported by B. Ibadaphunshisha Blah from Worldview Impact India Pvt. Ltd. on the Local Actions undertaken in my hometown after attending the ToT on ‘Creating Impact through Social Entrepreneurship’ under the auspices of Erasmus+ KA2 Programme, which was held in Fethiye, Turkey in July 2022. This report contains the objectives, number and type/profile of participants, description of undertaken activities, results and impact attained, if relevant, longer-term benefits.

The target group of participants that I chose were village youths. Together with a group of three other fellow Erasmus+ trainers, we conducted a couple of trainings for the village youths. The participants – mostly women were from various educational backgrounds and had various skill sets.


  1. To identify youth leaders from the village community so as to build up their capacity to act as change makers in their village or locality.
  2. To find out the most familiar social problem in the village community.
  3. To encourage knowledge transfer and experience to the unemployed youths in the village.
  4. To sensitize the participants about social entrepreneurship
  5. To familiarise participants with innovative ideas on recycling waste produce to make an entirely new eco friendly and economically viable product.

Description of undertaken trainings and activities:

The first training was conducted at the Hills’ Farmer Union training centre in Shillong on the 5th August 2022. There were ten young ladies who participated in this training. The young women were in fact young women leaders from various districts selected by an NGO called Sewa Bharti for Personality Development training. I was privileged to be able to take part and contribute in this training. I was glad that all the above mentioned objectives were met. The participants were already master trainers in their own fields; like agriculturists, horticulturists, essential oils producers, florists, weavers etc. So it was very effective and smooth to sensitise them and build their capacity to train other young people back in their villages. They were also sensitised about the topic on Social Entrepreneurship and how working together as a team or a group can really go a long way in uplifting their socio economic conditions in their villages.

The most familiar of social problems faced by the village communities is lack of basic amenities due to poverty because most young families only have a single parent in our case – (being Khasi) – single mothers. If a young single mother doesn’t have the skills to find work, she obviously cannot feed her hungry children, let alone send them to school. But if she enrols herself in a Self Help Group with other women in the village, she could learn the skills of weaving or jam making, pickle making etc and then later contribute and earn from the group.

The participants were very receptive about the training and thoroughly enjoyed all the fun activities that I got them to do.

The second training was conducted the following day on 6th August 2022, in a remote village in Ri-Bhoi District, Meghalaya, called Pahambir. This village produces the Giant Kew variety of pineapples. They are sweetest pineapples in India and we were very fortunate to get to taste them while we were there. The participants in this training were a mix of both young and older men and women who were farmers, teachers, students and artisans.

Similarly in this training all the objectives were met. The most common social problem in this village is also similar. So in order to mitigate this issue the participants were sensitised about Social Entrepreneurship and how it can open avenues for the village youths to earn a decent living and later on even start up a small business.

Since we had one participant who is an expert traditional artisan, we had him share his experience with the participants. This really inspired the other participants and I could see the potential in this, wherein the artisan could actually take on some village youth as apprentice and share his knowledge to hone their skills in making traditional musical instruments, ornaments, furniture and even houses out of bamboo and locally available resources. This is a dying art and it is high time that the younger generation do not lose this rare skill.

Nearly 80% of the inhabitants of this village are involved in the cultivation of Giant Kew pineapples. So I took this opportunity to familiarise the participants with an innovative idea on recycling waste pineapple leaves that would otherwise be cut and burnt or left to waste, to make an entirely new eco friendly and economically viable product called vegan leather. The eagerness and enthusiasm in the participants grew bigger and bigger. They were only too happy to get started on it right away. So in order to take this forward, I will be making further arrangements with the village secretary who was also present at the training to do all the due diligence for collecting and transporting the pineapple leaves from Pahambir village.

Secondly, the market of fresh pineapples is still, to a large extent, unorganised. On the day we visited the village, we found many pickup trucks from the neighbouring state, lined up at the village centre to buy these fresh pineapples in bulk. It saddens me to see that these buyers are squeezing the wholesale rates from our farmers and then eventually exporting these wonderful pineapples at a huge price. So we suggested that the farmers should unite together and make one combined collection of the entire produce and sell under one brand so that they can get a better deal compared to piecemeal and individual sales. Besides, the village through the intervention of HFU should re-activate the community processing unit in the village.