Ready to start working, but still looking for the right job. Coming up with a fantastic idea for a start-up, but lacking the knowledge to develop a proper business plan. Already running a small company, but struggling to reach the right audience. Just entering the labour market, when a worldwide pandemic strikes. These are just some of the stories we hear from young people all over Europe.
Fortunately, instead of giving up, many of them decide to take matters into their own hands. They find their way to initiatives such as the international YES! (Young Entrepreneurs Succeed) project. This trust-based partnership helps to spark innovative entrepreneurship among young people, by matching them with companies who share their knowledge and experience. Through specialised training, mentoring programs and financial support, they offer young people the tools to take control and change their lives. And that's exactly what they do! Here are some of their stories:
- Participant: Chiara Bruzzese from Italy
- Previous Occupation: None
- Current Occupation: Working for an insurance company
- Expert Partner: Microfinanza Srl
- Support: Online courses & personalised coaching and mentoring
Chiara Bruzzese from Turin, Italy, has always been interested in local sustainable development issues. Despite having work experience in the cultural field, she found herself without a job or education when the COVID-19 lockdown period hit. Not wanting to sit still, she decided to follow some courses, provided by Microfinanza Srl: Digital Marketing and Selfemployment and Entrepreneurship.
She immediately learned to use her skills in an idea competition to develop the social media strategy for the municipality of Savoca in Sicily. This formed the basis for the design and implementation of a real communication plan that was drawn up by the municipality in the following weeks. After completing the courses, Chiara followed a personalised coaching and mentoring path. Not only is she currently working for an insurance company, she is also collaborating with an organisation on European project design.
- Participant: Roger Obiols from Spain
- Previous Occupation: Journalist
- Current Occupation: Owner of a web portal for video games
- Expert Partner: Autoocupació
- Support: ‘Start your own business’ Training
As a journalist, Roger Obiol specialised in institutional and business communication, but at the start of the COVID-19 quarantine he was unemployed. He decided to look into new ideas to shape his future. He started with the ‘Starting your own business’ training by Autoocupació, learning more about what it takes to become a successful business owner. Together with his business partner, Roger learned how to turn an idea into a proper plan - resulting in a brand new web portal for video games. They hope to be able to execute their business plan in 2021. Watch Roger’s story on YouTube.
“The truth is that they helped a lot, to have a more global vision and to know how to schedule important needs for the company. We learned how to draw a financial plan and an easy methodology for when the company grows - which is our aim.”
- Participant: Triamouras Stefanos from Greece
- Previous Occupation: university graduate
- Current Occupation: Wine Expert, still looking for stable employment
- Expert Partner: Anka
- Services: Training NEET’s in the winemaking sector
Triamouras Stefanos was an unemployed university graduate, working the occasional job in the food and beverage industry. He followed the training ‘NEETs in the winemaking sector to acquire specialised knowledge in his field. This provides him with the expertise he needs to find a stable job, with an adequate salary to help him move forward in life. Watch his video here.
- Participant: Kasia Récko from Poland
- Previous Occupation: None
- Current Occupation: Independent dietician
- Support: Business development workshops and 6-month mentorship programme
It's a good thing that Kasia Récko promised herself to always try things out - because she did not really believe her workshops would make a difference. The opposite was true: in a short time, she learned how to set-up, improve and give direction to her company. She decided to continue with a 6-month mentorship programme, which has helped her to finetune her brand and communication to her target audience. She is currently running her own practice and webshop as a dietician.
“An invaluable aspect of the YES are people. Wonderful organizers, experienced lecturers of individual workshops – no theorists, only practitioners.”
Eight public and private institutions have been engaged to share their knowledge and experience to help underserved youth start and grow a business or find a job. Participants benefit from dedicated, highly specialised financial and non-financial business development services, including training, coaching, access to finance, and mentoring.
Yes! In short:
- Yes! Young Entrepreneurs Succeed
- Trust-based partnership model to provide business development services
- Promoting entrepreneurship among youth (25-30 )in Greece, Poland, Italy, and Spain.
- Public and Private institutions form Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Spain, and the United Kingdom
- Services include: Training, coaching, access to finance, mentoring
- Peer Learning Platform with information, ideas, solutions and practices
- € 2,3 m grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment
- Functions as a scale-up: after the first tests, the model will be improved and expanded
- Microfinanza in Italy
- Agricultural University of Athens (AUA) in Greece
- Development Agency of Karditsa (ANKA) in Greece
- Autoocupació in Catalunya
- KIZ in Germany
- Munich Business School in Germany
- Youth Business International (YBI) in the United Kingdom
- Youth Business Poland
This is just one of many projects funded through the Fund for Youth Employment, brought to life by EEA and Norway Grants Programme to contribute to sustainable and quality youth employment in Europe. Do you want to learn more about our projects? Visit our programme page here. Or read about YES! on the project website or in the Youth Employment Magazine