Come to Lisbon to learn how to start a social business

12th February 2020

Great, you got here! That probably means you are thinking of starting (or you have recently started) a business that aims to make the world a better place, right? Then this blog post may change your life. Really.

Starting with the basics.

Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is “a cross-border exchange programme which gives new or aspiring entrepreneurs the chance to learn from experienced entrepreneurs running small businesses”. The new entrepreneur gets mentored, acquires important skills to develop his/her idea, gets all the advantages of an experience abroad and, also money to support herself/himself. In the other hand, the senior entrepreneur learns about new markets and gets new perspectives of his/her business.

Conditions? Here are the most important ones:

  • You need to be a permanent resident in EU;
  • It (generally) lasts 1 – 6 months;
  • If you choose Portugal, you receive up to 780€/month to live (check online for changes);
  • Age is not a problem. You only need to be +18;
  • You need to have already a concrete business idea and an initial business plan (this is not as hard as it sounds!);
  • If you are already implementing your idea, you should not be working with it for more than 3 years;
  • You have to be prepared to contribute to the business of the host entrepreneur during your stay

Sounds interesting? What if you do this in Lisbon?

If Lisbon is your favorite destination, there are many host entrepreneurs that can receive you. One option is us Impact+ and our co-founder Rita Marques. She has also been in your side, with just an idea, a lot of question marks and fears. Now, 3 brands after, she is ready to help out people like you to give the next step into their entrepreneurial lives.

Why a social business and why doing it with us, Impact+?

A social business is a financial sustainable business, which main goal is to address a social and/or environmental problem. This is good for people who want all the advantages of being an entrepreneur and, at the same time, want to make the world a better place.

To show you this is possible, you have our example! Impact+ is composed of 3 brands: ImpacTrip, a responsible travel agency; ImpacTeam a CSR Consultancy and; Impact House, one of the most committed hostels in sustainability in Portugal. It may not make sense for now, but all these brands have a common goal - To support social and environmental NGOs on their own missions. 

We are also a Certified B Corporation, meaning we are among the businesses that meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance. Now, we know we still have work to do, but this makes us very proud.

Here’s a thing: Building a social business has its own specifications. Creating positive impact must be the number one priority, business models can be somehow different and, many times, the solution is something disruptive that requires a change in the way society does things. Doing all of this while being financially sustainable is a challenge, but possible, and this is where we think Rita can help you the most. 

Anyway, don’t worry, if your business idea has no social or environmental purpose we would still be glad to have you!

“Wow, sounds cool. Next steps?” This is what we suggest:

  1. Explore the website of Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs for all info about it;
  2. If you don’t have any business idea yet, check this blog post for learning how to spot a social and environmental problem and how to solve it through a business idea;
  3. If you have an idea but not a business plan, check here;
  4. To help you throughout the application, contact a “local point” in your country to help you through the application;


And finally...when it’s time to choose a city and a local entrepreneur, remember Impact+ and our co-founder Rita Marques. We will be waiting for you :)