VIA entrepreneurs create potential 

Charlotte Lindberg
”The course in entrepreneurship really made sense for me, because it gave me opportunities for using my social education knowledge in a much broader and more innovative way,” Charlotte Lindberg explains. Photo: Jakob Kjoller.
Charlotte Lindberg, 27, has successfully built up her own company within the social welfare sector. Her project “Lost Childhood” was a part of her thesis in entrepreneurship at VIA University College in Aarhus.

Since the Charlotte Lindberg formulated the first ideas for her thesis in entrepreneurship in 2014, things have moved fast. 

The former student of social education is now working together with several volunteer organizations and receiving help and recognition for her work from private practitioners. In spring 2015, her project was nominated for two prizes: the Idea Prize from the innovation conference CareWare and the Danish Championships in Entrepreneurships, where she won for the category Health and Welfare. 

Helping victims of abuse 

While studying social education at VIA University College in Aarhus, Charlotte Lindberg wondered why the treatment offerings for victims of sexual abuse were so limited and often performed by voluntary organisations. Later, when she began her thesis in entrepreneurship, she wanted to do something for this target group. 

This desire resulted in the project “Lost Childhood”, which offers online treatment for victims of sexual abuse. The idea is to build up a socioeconomic business over time with help from the people the project addresses, she explains. 

“It is something new to see welfare technology used in this area. People who have been abused are often affected by multiple secondary diseases. That is why this solution has many interesting socioeconomic implications,” said the judges when Charlotte Lindberg’s project “Lost Childhood” was nominated for the Idea Prize. 

User involvement 

A focus group of adults who were once victims of sexual abuse themselves contributes to the on-going development of the initiative. The focus group also helped brainstorm the project’s name. And Charlotte still has ideas for how to expand the project. 

”My dream is to start working with a large number of local authorities, so the treatment can be developed and tested,” says Charlotte Lindberg. 

Business plan makes a difference

Charlotte Lindberg’s ability to come so far in only one year is partly due to the concrete tools she received during her thesis on entrepreneurship, she says. 

”The thesis in entrepreneurship made a lot of sense for me. It taught me how to work innovatively and see opportunities in the public sector. In my social education
programme you learn nothing about how to run a business, and that has been a challenge for me, since I will need to earn money to keep the project going. But now I know how to make a business plan and make sure that there is a sound financial basis to my business. Social education and business are two entirely different mind-sets, but the two things can go hand in hand,” says Charlotte Lindberg. 

Getting ready to be an entrepreneur

Entrepreneurship is a thesis option as part of the programme for a professional Bachelor’s in Design and Business with a focus on innovation, entrepreneurship and business development. The thesis is an additional course period of 1.5 years and is offered in Aarhus in both Danish and English. 

Read more about Entrepreneurship 

About the project “Lost Childhood”

“Lost Childhood” will consist of a video library aimed at people who have suffered abuse, their relatives, and professionals within the social sector. The videos discuss sexual abuse and the aftereffects some people experience. It can also give users insight into their own aftereffects and treatment opportunities, and be a form of anonymous help users can access whenever and wherever they want to, Charlotte Lindberg explained. 

Read more in Danish about "Lost Childhood"