Brains X Change

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I’m posting this from a train between Groningen and Rotterdam. I’m on my way to the Creative Factory where I have been invited by Marieke den Nijs of Enviu to the final Pitch Event of their Brains X Change project. Brains X Change is a project initiated by Enviu and Projects Abroad. The project aims to involve an international group of students in environmental and social issues in Cape Town.
The participants were challenged to put forward entrepreneurial solutions for one of three local needs:

1. A way for people to climb out of poverty
2. Shelter for a growing population
3. Clean water and sewage management.
In June, a jury of business professionals selected the best entries of thousands of Dutch students and invited 10 Dutch and 10 South African students to participate in a Program of Excellence that ends in today’s pitch competition. The main goal of the Program of Excellence was to develop business plans around the finalists’ ideas. The Program offered:

- Development of entrepreneurial skills
- A “pressure cooker” technique and step by step business plan development
- Inspiration and coaching by Enviu professionals
- Intercultural communication and teambuilding.
At today’s pitch event, the students will get the chance to present their business plan to a jury. The top 3 students will win a trip to Cape Town and get a chance to implement their idea.
I’m really looking forward to the students’ presentations and some really creative ideas. OK, we just pulled in to Rotterdam. Who will be on that plane? Stay tuned…

Peter Kraan

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