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Local Cocoons to “Entre” Butterflies | Civic Europe
Community development

Local Cocoons to “Entre” Butterflies

Transforming civic desserts to fertile social greenhouses. Locals unfold community challenges, embrace intersectionalities & thrive in the long term via intergenerational learning & entrepreneurship.


Who is behind this?

Mary Markaki


Who is joining forces?

University Unit of Samos


University Unit of Syros


University Unit of Chios


Besides our current volunteers & mentors, we are exploring potential partnerships with local universities (Samos, Chios, Syros), NGOs that support women (MeXOXO), local associations & municipalities.


Idea pitch

Connect students nationwide with small communities in Greek islands, where locals have no/little exposure to entrepreneurship & engage them in joint working groups based on their interests & expertise. Support & empower them with the right incentives & guidance under local intergenerational entrepreneurial hubs towards the resolution of their problems. Promote active citizenship, respecting everyone’s background in an inclusive framework where locals learn new skills & create value for all.

Where will your project idea take place?

- Syros & Andros, Cyclades islands, Greece
- Samos & Chios, North Aegean Islands, Greece

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

Core challenges are reflected in:
Limited opportunities for intergenerational cooperation despite the presence of students in the region
Limited lifelong learning options related to entrepreneurship (partnerships, mentoring, problem solving) based on their background & intersectionalities
Limited involvement to the confrontation of community problems, focusing on the poor engagement of women in civic issues & entrepreneurial empowerment
Poor utilisation of the valuable knowledge & hands on experience of locals regarding societal topics
Scarcity of secure, open frameworks for locals to interact freely, exchange ideas & transform through knowledge circulation
Reduced exposure to market trends, soft skills & ways to adapt to future changing environment
Lack of entrepreneurial hubs

Who are you doing it for?

The main target group are locals with no/little experience in entrepreneurship, no past involvement in local associations & limited exposure to community projects, with special attention to women. Key beneficiaries will be students from nearby universities who will collaborate with them in the identification/analysis of their societal issues & students nationwide, who will work remotely for these challenges & further interact with locals to educate them on how to tackle their problems using entrepreneurial techniques in the long term. It proposes both the inclusion of people with no prior engagement in community development & the empowerment of excluded groups (women, students) through interactive collaborative sessions in local entrepreneurial hubs, guided by experienced mentors.

How do you plan to get there?

Universities students in the region identify & analyse with local bodies the causes, impact & desired outcomes of local issues. These are uploaded to an online platform with defined steps/ expected deliverables, urging students nationwide to contribute with their knowledge/expertise. A committee (students & mentors) vote for the most sustainable/feasible idea based on specific criteria. Working groups (students, islanders & mentors) develop & test the voted solution, empowering locals’ participation with workshops, hands on training, round table discussions & design thinking methods, adjusted to the issue & group’s intersectionalities. Local entrepreneurial hubs are founded & supported by all groups, so as to ensure active citizens' engagement & education on local issues in the long term.

What are the expected results?

Citizens with no prior interest or participation in local issues will be empowered with the right incentives to be actively involved in their society’s future & accountable for it, utilising their experience in the best way. The emerging local working groups will get practical knowledge & holistic learning opportunities (via entrepreneurship tools) to utilise best their resources, be exposed to new ways of thinking & approach better their challenges long term, since collaborative frameworks for citizens will be established with ongoing support from experienced mentors & innovative students. With this network, familiar with their intersectionalities & common problems, locals will establish more sustainable & feasible processes to better identify & adapt to future changing environments.

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

The idea empowers islanders to better analyse local challenges & take action with entrepreneurial learning opportunities. It strengthens active citizenship at all levels, focusing on women’s engagement & encouraging intergenerational cooperation with the participation of students locally & nationwide. It puts the locals’ perspective in the centre, highlighting the value of the expertise & resilience that only experience can provide while respecting their intersectionalities. It raises awareness in the wider community with long term relationships & entrepreneurial hubs, being an initial attempt of research & development as to civic participatory models that utilise the benefits of entrepreneurship to introduce new skills to communities, boost their confidence & prevent social isolation.

Why is this idea important to you?

During our programs for students & people without entrepreneurial experience, we identified the lack of opportunities for islanders to utilise their resources & insights to their community & self development. It is crucial for us to create a safe space for them to exchange feedback, get ongoing & practical support, regardless of their age & background, looking to participate in their local issues in ways that are not narrowed down only to touristic & economic activities. It is vital for them to stay socially active & involved during wintertime when they typically feel neglected, excluded & socially isolated. We’d like to empower them with our knowledge & tools, promote the value of their contribution & the impact to their region & the learning potential in collective initiatives long term.

€ 39890,-

Total budget

€ 39890,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Personnel 18600 € (2 job openings for 8 months, 1 full time, 1 part time) - local people
Travel, accommodation (4) islands 7500 €
Office expenses, equipment for 4 new hubs 3000 €
Workshops, training, mentoring sessions (fees-consumables) 3000 €
Events,public relations 1800 €
Technical development, maintenance of online platform (part of it will be done from students) 1500 €
Communication plan 1700 €
Indirect eligible costs (estimated as the 15% of personnel costs) 2790 €

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

Strategies to engage more people in the project’s actions & the right incentives for them
Additional ways to ensure that local entrepreneurial hubs will remain viable & open civic spaces long term
Comments on which are the best public bodies to be mobilised towards participatory civic initiative


Mary Markaki



Idea created on May 18, 2020
Last edit on May 20, 2020

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