The project was implemented by the Intercultural Institute Timisoara together with organizations from Cyprus, Hungary, Mexico and Slovakia (coordinated by Eurotender Association in Szeged) aiming to collect, exchange and share good practices and policy initiatives regarding youth entrepreneurship in the participating countries.
The project started in January 2018 and finished in August 2019 and was co-financed through the Erasmus + Program – Capacity Building for Youth in ACP countries, Latin America and Asia.
The kick off meeting took place in January 2018 in Mexico City, where representatives of the partner organizations planned the implementation of the project – project guidelines, the dissemination plan, quality assurance plan, upcoming activities. Two youth workers from every partner countries were engaged in job shadowing mobilities at partner organizations, where they would be provided with coaching and mentoring, take part in the daily work of the receiving organization, learn details about the activities and get acquainted with the methods used. The Intercultural Institute selected two young volunteers from Romania to participate in a 15 day job shadowing session in Larnaca, Cyprus in the summer of 2018. In October 2018, IIT received two young women from Slovakia, who were introduced to and involved in the work our organization develops, as well as in the activities of collaborating organizations, and encouraged to write projects in their field of interest.
In 2019, the project partners finalized the compilation of good practices and policy initiatives related to involving young people into entrepreneurial activities and to starting and managing social enterprises, based on documents and interviews gathered in 2018. We also finalized and translated two comprehensive, evidence-based, digital training materials for practitioners from all around Europe. The specific focus of the learning materials is, on the one hand, on entrepreneurship, and social enterprises on the other. This way young people are encouraged and assisted to start entrepreneurial activities, but at the same time they are introduced to the idea of being socially responsible while doing so. These materials are available freely on the project website – https://eumexent.eu – to any person who is interested.
In February 2019, a youth worker seminar was held in Szeged, Hungary to provide an opportunity for delegated participants of the partner organizations to discuss and improve the jointly developed curricula and learning materials, and to come up with elements that could enrich these materials. Besides its primary goals, the seminar also made it possible for the participants to visit already established and operating social enterprises in Szeged and Timisoara, Romania, in order to adhere to the principle of European mobility and learn about the good practices and local characteristics of these enterprises.
Between 21 and 31 of May 2019, the Intercultural Institute Timisoara organized a pilot training course for youth focused on entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship, in order to test the educational materials developed within the project. The participants were high-school students, young Roma and NEETs and the learning methods used were digital and non-formal methods, designed and recommended for youth who wish to become entrepreneurs. Among the subjects tackled were: the concept of entrepreneurship, market strategies, launching a new enterprise, the non-profit sector, social economy, social enterprises. At the end of the course, the young participants elaborated business plans which, why not, could be implemented in a near future.
Two participants with the best results were selected to participate, together with other two students from the “Vlad Tepes” High-school Timisoara, in a 5 day boot camp in the Azores Islands in the framework of the project Entrepreneurial Education – A Road to Success, also implemented by the Intercultural Institute.
At the beginning of August, a final event was organized in Szeged, Hungary to close the project. It included an experience sharing seminar (with business sector representatives), which facilitated the planning of future projects, as well as a project meeting of the partners to assess the activities, make a final evaluation for quality assurance reasons, and plan common future work, generate projects based on the results. This event also served as a dissemination opportunity for the project results. The project and its results were also disseminated at national level in the framework of different activities organized by the Intercultural Institute Timisoara.