The project addresses the need of raising the awareness of young people about environment protection and green business practices. The project aims at teaching Bulgarian and Norwegian secondary school students to start and manage a green business. First, the participants in the online training will be selected. Second, an online training programme on green entrepreneurship will be developed and an online resource centre will be set up. Then 50 Bulgarian students and 30 Norwegian students will be trained. Third, 16 Norwegian and 24 Bulgarian students will be selected for a one-week eco camp in Bulgaria. They will be divided into mixed teams of 5 and will have to solve a challenge. The first 3 teams will be provided with mentor start-up support. Finally, a report with good practices and recommendations to the institutions will be delivered. The project will benefit not only the Bulgarian and Norwegian secondary school students involved but also the business in general.
Summary of project results
The project addressed the need of raising awareness of youth about environmental protection and green business practices. The main project outcome was the successful development and pilot testing of the 'blended learning model', combining the opportunities of digital technologies to acquire theoretical knowledge, with face-to-face learning. After the completion of the online course and the organisation of the eco camp during the summer of 2014, the main target group had the following benefits: better awareness of sustainable development and the nature of green business; improved skills for business planning; improved skills for work in an interactive online environment; increased likelihood of the participants starting their own sustainable business; better preparedness for future entrepreneurship activities related to the green economy; developed skills for independent research; developed skills for remote teamwork; developed skills in teamwork and intercultural communication. The partner (Junior Achievement in Sogn og Fjordane) arranged publications in the local press in Norway and also prepared a presentation about the eco camp at a conference organised by the Norwegian Embassy in Sofia in November 2014. Representatives of major Norwegian companies attended the conference, incl. Telenor, the largest Norwegian Investor in Bulgaria. The companies agreed that the most impressive presentation belonged to two students from Bulgaria and Norway (Mirela Petrkova and Osmund Hordvik) about their experience at the eco camp. The Norwegian partner also took the initiative to look for opportunities to organise a second eco camp in Norway and found funding for this camp, held in October 2015. Bilateral relation were strengthened through communication between students from both countries and cultural exchange at the camps. The local community in Momchilovtsi where the eco camp was held was also involved. The village mayor and the mayor of Smolyan Municipality supported the initiative. Local guesthouses providing accommodation generated income and were immersed in the environment of the eco camp and communicated with participants. Local businesses also benefitted by drawing new customers from the camp.
Summary of bilateral results
The partnership with the Norwegian organization was crucial for the success of the project. The active involvement of the Norwegian partner ensured promotion of the project in Sogn og Fjordane and attracted interested students as participants in the course and the camp. The Norwegian partners contributed greatly for improved communication between the Bulgarian and Norwegian students and for keeping in touch after the end of the eco camp via Facebook. The Norwegian partner took part in the promotion of the project results. The partner arranged publications in the local press in Norway and also prepared a presentation about the eco camp at the conference organized by the Embassy of Norway in Sofia in November 2014. Representatives of major Norwegian companies attended the conference (including Telenor, the largest Norwegian investor in Bulgaria) and they agreed that the most impressive presentation belonged to the two students from Bulgaria and Norway (Mirela Petrkova and Osmund Hordvik) about their experience of the eco camp. The Norwegian partner has to be given credit for their preparation. Ungt Entreprenorskap Sogn og Fjordane also took the initiative to look for opportunities to organize a second eco camp in Norway and luckily managed to find funding for the second eco camp conducted in the beginning of October 2015. This was an important step to ensure sustainability of the project results. The participants in the first eco camp were offered involvement with priority and thus they further developed their knowledge which would impact their involvement in green entrepreneurship.