EURW

We took part in the biggest annual regional policy event in Europe. The event originated in Brussels and is dedicated to improving learning policies and sharing examples of good practice during EURegionWeek.

The event grew into a unique platform for communicating and connecting regions and cities across Europe, including their political representatives, officials, many experts, and academics, and will last until October 22, 2020. The themes of this year’s event are: Green Europe, Cohesion and Cooperation, Empowering Citizens.

A representative of the Institute for Youth Development KULT took part in a session titled: “Unlocking Women's Entrepreneurship Potential”. Women’s creativity and entrepreneurial potential were recognized as underutilized resources with the potential to drive economic growth and employment, which is why they should be developed and supported. The goals of the session were to discuss European and sustainable policies that are aligned with the needs of entrepreneurs and obstacles that have not been addressed with current instruments; share experiences with examples of good practine in supporting women launching and running their businesses and foster cooperation among all relevant stakeholders.

This workshop presented different ways for European societies to tackle this challenge. The workshop included a discussion on a political program developed in the Danube region to support women’s entrepreneurship and examples of measures used to support women entrepreneurs in different member states. One of the conclusions was that women entrepreneurs play an increasingly vital role in socially, professionally, and economically developing countries into knowledge and innovation-led economies. Among the most important resources for starting a business are the experiences of people who have already launched their business, family members, and mentors. Multiple online platforms have been set up where women can get online consultations and access databases of successful practices they can learn from. It’s very important to give them feedback and show them that they are not alone and there is a community willing to provide them with different kinds of help through consultations, trainings, various support programs, and grants.

TCP Kipar 2

The Forum “Towards Collaborative Practice“ was held between September 28 and 30, 2020. The Forum was focused on social innovation and inclusion and was organized by the Youth Board of Cyprus via Zoom. The TCP Forum is an inter-sectoral event exploring the potential of youth work and the initiative Erasmus+ to encourage social entrepreneurship and social innovations among youth.

This year, the online version of the TCP Forum served as an opportunity to discuss the future of social innovation and ways to encourage social inclusion, while also incorporating digital technologies and entrepreneurship intended to improve inclusion, women’s entrepreneurship, integration of migrants and multiculturalism. Since the concepts of social innovation and social entrepreneurship are fairly new and under-researched concepts, this online Forum included a wide array of professionals in different fields, who shared their experience, practice and ideas for moving forward.

The Forum also served as a platform for developing a network of professionals engaged in social innovation and will be used as a reference point for further development in these areas and for facilitating cooperation at the state, regional and European level. The participants presented various ideas, tools and examples of good practice through presentations, discussion and interactive workshops on Zoom. The Forum also supports future cooperation among participants on implementing innovative projects and initiatives within the Erasmus+ program. Some of the goals of the Forum were raising awareness and promoting social inclusion in policies and practice of social innovation, using social entrepreneurship, social innovations and informal learning and a way to encourage and support young people in adopting entrepreneurial skills, developing their creativity and inventiveness, supporting participation, solidarity, diversity and social inclusion among youth.

A representative of the Institute for Youth Development KULT took part in the Forum as a member of the Regional consultative group for youth employment and entrepreneurship in the Western Balkans, within the Erasmus+ Youth@Work Strategic Partnership for Employment and Entrepreneurship.

TCP Kipar 1

 

konferencija web4yes

The Institute for Youth Development KULT hosted a conference on the Importance of Municipalities and Cities in Supporting Entrepreneurs in the Local Community. Participants included young entrepreneurs, representatives of local administrations in charge of the business sector and economic development and other important stakeholders.

The participants discussed different models and ways to support young entrepreneurs launching their business, with a particular emphasis on the crucial role of local self-government units. 

One of the models discussed was the model for supporting youth entrepreneurship which was developed by the Institute for Youth Development KULT. This model was successfully implemented in 8 local communities and supported 40 youth-owned businesses. The model is built around the concept of equal participation of the Institute and municipalities/cities, who join their funds and know-how to support young people starting their own business. These young people create jobs not only for themselves but for others that they hire to help run their business.

“The City of Živinice has a Business Center where locals can receive support and have their questions answered. There is also a mini incubator for all micro-businesses that don’t have their own space yet. Every business is welcome to use this space for a period between 6 and 12 months”, said Admir Aljić, Development Projects and Economy Advisor. He said that it’s important to keep an open mind when talking to a young persons with a business idea, and to offer them honest feedback about the sustainability of their idea. Mr. Aljić noted the importance of promoting businesses, and networking between local governments and businesses. According to him, trainings are very useful for aspiring entrepreneurs.

The 2013 survey Towards a Youth Policy - Survey on the Position and Needs of Youth in FBiH, conducted by the Institute, showed that 1 in 2 young people want to start their own business, but need financial support and advice. This shows that young people would be willing to develop their ideas into an actual business if they had financial support and mentorship, especially during the crucial first year of running their business.

“This used to be a hobby of mine, and then I realized I could turn it into a profession and continue our family tradition. The biggest problem I had was navigating all the red tape, but thanks to the Institute and the City of Trebinje I successfully registered my business. I think success will come if you carefully plan each step you take, if you have faith in yourself and never miss a chance to learn something new,” said Spasoje Kovač from Trebinje, owner of the “Vulkan” blacksmith’s shop.

The conference was one of the activities of the Initiative WeB4YES - Western Balkan Civil Society Organisations for Youth Employment Support, funded by the European Commission.

MLE 1

The Move.Link.Engage Regional Conference, organized by the Belgrade Open School, was held between September 21 and 23, 2020, via Zoom. The topic of this year’s conference was Development for Real: Partnership, Solidarity and Responsibility in Post-Covid 19 era.

The conference was designed to contribute to finding solutions to implementing the principles of partnership, solidarity and responsibility in the new normal and the modern development of the EU. The intention was also to identify potential scenaries for maintaining Europe’s prosperity and resilience in the new normal, while taking into account the implications of these processes when it comes to the European future of the Western Balkans.

Representatives of the Institute for Youth Development KULT took part in the panel on Partnership for developing youth employability, during the final day of the conference. The panelists were representatives of organizations dealing with youth issues in the Western Balkans, and discussions included youth employment and mobility, the need for learning and using new digital skills, the importance of SCO engagement as a link between key stakeholders (decision makers and end users - young people), and consequences of recession when it comes to the future of Western Balkans youth. One of the conclusions from the panel is that it is crucial to forge partnerships between CSOs, government representatives, and the business and academic communities whose expertise and experience can help address the current challenges we’re facing in youth employment, including brain drain.

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