Erasmus+ KA2 Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices
Strategic Partnerships for youth project proposal
Youth unemployment has become one of the most pressing labor market issues in Europe since the economic crisis. Entering the labor market poses major challenges for young people in many European countries, which manifests itself in a high youth unemployment rate. An even higher unemployment rate is faced by migrants and minority group members, who have to battle social exclusion. Many European and national initiatives or programs aim to tackle the problem, however, they focus only on isolated aspects and with limited success.
A key way out of unemployment for many young people is entrepreneurship. 40% of European youth have indicated an interest in self-employment, as it provides them with independence & self-determination. They are highly interested in IT-focused as well as social businesses, which are observable trends in many European countries. Studies show that many young people lack skills, networks & received inadequate entrepreneurship education. Nurturing entrepreneurial attitudes and skills is in the focus of the project.
Throughout the history, migrants have set up business in the places where they settled. In the closing decades of the 20th century, self-employment for migrants and ethnic minorities has become even more important as, on one hand, flows of migration have been increasing, and, on the other,opportunities for small business have been expanded.
It's a fact that migrants contribute to the economic growth of the receiving countries, both as employees and as entrepreneurs, in many ways, such as bringing new skills and capabilities, reducing labour shortages and creating new businesses. This contribution to the growth of entrepreneurial activities and to the creation of employment in European countries has increased over last decades both in qualitative and in quantitative terms.
In addition, in most European countries, migrants are more inclined to engage entrepreneurial activities than native-born people. Despite the difficulties that migrants encounter in starting a business - besides those that, in general, they encounter in their integration process in a new country - several studies show that they have the right attitude or an appropriate set of mind to start a business, making them more entrepreneurial than people born in the country in question. The selfemployment rate for foreign-born people is higher than it is for native-born people in 9 EU member states, highlighting the entrepreneurship potential of this group.
A way to measure the extent of the self-employment activities of migrants and ethnic minority groups for statistical purposes is to look at the segment of the population who is foreign-born.
Despite this parameter is not conceptually the same across the European countries, what emerges is that "in 2012, at the EU-level, 63.3% of foreign-born self-employed people were born outside of the EU".
A consistent figure among EU countries is that the migrant entrepreneurs’ persistence in self-employment is lower than native-born entrepreneurs. Indeed, entrepreneurs from migrant and minority groups frequently operate in highly competitive business sections with low barriers to entry and low skill requirements, like restaurants and retail shops. These businesses often compete on price and usually do not generate enough earnings to sustain and foster their development and growth.
The project aims to offer a flexible, integrative approach to train & capacitate migrant/minority young people to become skillful social entrepreneurs by developing the capabilities & skills of migrants and national minorities young unemployed people (18-30) with an affinity for IT & interest in creating their own social businesses. The project provides the following core results: targeted activation, training modules, international collaboration, mentoring and a business simulation tool. A special focus will be put on migrants / minority youth. The first year of the project is dedicated to the activation and capacitation of youth through trainings and intercultural experiences, while the half of the second year will focus on implementing the acquired skills through applied learning techniques and using a social business simulation tool in a competitive setting. The youth will constantly be accompanied, mentored and brought in contact with key stakeholders from the business world (start-up centers, Business centres etc.) to establish valuable networks for their future.
The main proposed activities of the project are:
1) Development and execution of Entrepreneurship Trainings based on 10 essential key competences
At least 105 participating young people from 7 countries will be capacitated (over 500 will be reached through dissemination). All materials produced in the I SEE YOU project will be transformed into OERs (Open Educational Resources). The OERs will be translated and made available in all project languages.
2) Creation of a Social Business Simulation Tool & Competence Games
This will allow youth to apply learned concepts in a virtual setting.
3) Involvement and Capacitation of Migrant / Minority Youth
At least 35 migrant / minority youth members will participate in the project (over 100 will be reached through dissemination).
A Migrant / Minority Inclusion Strategy will be developed and distributed to decision- & policy-makers
4) Community building / Connecting youth with youth and key stakeholders
Building transnational teams to foster intercultural skills & create a European identity.
Involvement of multipliers (start-up centers, labor market agencies etc.). All produced outputs will be provided as OERs to the public and disseminated according to a detailed strategy.
The project is implemented by a consortium with a strong background in EU-project management and a wide range of expertise from developing a needs analysis to training providers, migrant support experts, IT game developers and business creation support organizations.
The impact of the project will be created through massive dissemination and multiplication of activities. The participating youth will be capacitated and their skill sets on entrepreneurship increased, which will enable them to open their own business. If they do not follow an entrepreneurial career after the end of the project, they have gained relevant competences enabling them to act as intrapreneurs and will therefore be in high demand and possess a competitive advantage at the labor market in the IT sector. Key stakeholder benefit from the freely available OERs and business simulation tool that they can incorporate into their own offers and present to their clientele for further education.
Long-term benefits will be achieved through:
- The cost-effective replication of the integrative, holistic approach that will contribute to lifting youth out of unemployment and into dynamic and viable jobs
- The availability of multi-lingual and game-based OERs
- The international community established among European stakeholders
The overall objectives of the project are:
- To promote entrepreneurship education among migrants/minority unemployed youth, especially in countries with a high youth unemployment rate, which will lead to new business creation and employability and ultimately assist them in building a future for themselves
- To create a transnational European identity among participating young people to embrace active citizenship and provide a new perspective
- To facilitate innovative learning practices in entrepreneurship education by developing and implementing trainings, workshops and other approaches to increase the labour market relevance of young people
The specific objectives of the project are:
- To strengthen and build upon the competences and skill sets of young unemployed people with the development and delivery of online entrepreneurship trainings as well as the production and availability of multi-lingual OERs (open-educational resources)
- To stimulate idea creation and creative thinking processes within the youth to find their own social entrepreneurship path
- To enable teams of unemployed youth to practice their acquired entrepreneurial skills by playing competence games and an online business simulation that might serve as inspiration and / or basis for real transnational business ventures
- To develop an inclusion strategy that will assist in eliminating the barriers faced by minority youth groups and migrants in gaining access to and receiving entrepreneurship education
- To involve key stakeholders (Start-up centers, VET Center, Media Partners, Youth Centers, Practice Company Experts, Youth Entrepreneurship Networks, Entrepreneurship Associations) during the project duration, connect them to the young entrepreneurs and give them access to the project results
The social entrepreneurship, defined as a combination of employment and opportunity to fight poverty and social exclusion is seen as an important tool to fight against unemployment, unknown in the educational sector and in the society.
Through this project, entrepreneurship among young people is promoted and entrepreneurial vocation wake, analyzing and enhancing the capabilities of each. It is intended to grow the enthusiasm to develop a project, and to work for the development of key skills such as finding own passions and interests, encourage creativity, improve teamwork, develop public speaking, facilitate decision making, increase the ability to lead a project, enhance English, promote constructive criticism, bring young people into business world, promote solidarity, help them to grow and mature, and make a real world learning. They will be also in the company with young people from another country, different cultural background, facing the same problems. They will have the chance to communicate and cooperate with each other and in the end to find ways out of the deadlock of unemployment.
The target group of the project is not only the group of participants, but also foundations and NGOs that want to implement the business models developed by the young people, based on the replication of successful business models.
Project duration: 18 months starting from April 1th 2019