Be Social!

Be Social! is a youth exchange aiming to create awareness about social enterprises and support young people in order to appreciate the role of social entrepreneurship. It will create a learning space for personal development of the participants, focusing on improving their skills and competences needed to get a job or establish their own social enterprise or business. This project is also aiming on empowering young people in turning their innovative ideas into action. The project will bring together young people (16-25 years old) from 5 EU countries with high youth unemployment
rate: Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Croatia.

To safeguard democracy, the EU must improve the lives of young people. The financial crisis of 2008 has eroded the confidence of people, especially the young, in the EU. The crises and events that followed the European debt crisis, the huge refugee and increased immigrants flows that occured from 2015 onwards, the threat of terror-related attacks and Brexit have all affected the confidence of young people for the reliability of the EU institutions. The three major youth groups that are mostly affected by EU crises are the working poor, young unemployed and the NEETs.

Youth unemployment in EU (15-24 years old) has been in general on the rise since 2008. Based on Eurostat 2019, Greece is still the country with the highest youth unemployment rate, 40,4%. Spain, Italy and Croatia are the EU countries with the second (31,7%), third (30,5%) and forth (20,6%) highest youth unemployment rate. Portugal has the 6th highest youth unemployment rate in the EU (18,7%). Based on the same statistics, only 6 EU countries (out of 28) have a youth unemployment rate less than 10%. It is undeniable that the EU should focus and work on the reduction of
these high unemployment rates.

In 2018, European Commission recognized youth as a priority for the future of Europe by announcing its commitment to a stronger youth focus. The EU Youth Strategy for the years 2019-2027, recognises that young people have a specific role in society and face specific challenges. The need of development of the soft skills, communication and collaboration skills and competences, the stimulation of an entrepreneurship spirit among young people is more urgent than ever, as it can lead to the creation of more entreprises, either social or classic ones and therefore to more job opportunities. The empowerment of youth employment and youth entrepreneurship, is a defining factor in improving the living conditions of the youth in Europe.

The project’s objectives are:

  • To raise awareness about the unemployment of young people within the EU, specify its causes and try to find possible
    solutions
  • To provide participants with mentoring and support regarding their individual project ideas and to equip participants with
    tools to evaluate and develop ideas into successful projects, focusing on social entrepreneurship
  • To develop young participants’ personal skills (soft skills, entrepreneurial skills) and giving them confidence and
    motivation to turn their ideas to action
  • To gain understanding on how social entrepreneurship can be relevant for the needs of young unemployed and the
    NEETs
  • To equip young participants with the relevant skills of how they can form a high quality resume, motivation letter and
    social enterprise business plan
  • To inform participants on the Erasmus+ Youth Programme, giving special focus on European Solidarity Corps

Profile of participants:

  • young people between 16-25 years old
  • personal interest in social entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship
  • have the chance to multiply the outcomes of youth exchange
  • have at least a basic knowledge of English / they are able to communicate and work in English
  • they want to work in an international team
  • they want to learn more about the Erasmus + Youth in Action programme, and the opportunities it offers to young
    people

Project Partners: I Participate (Applicant Partner – Greece), Agrafa Municipality (Greece), ARTE M (Madeira – Portugal), Elios (Sicily – Italy) and OCEAN of Knowledge (Zagreb – Croatia)

The project will take place in Agrafa, a pristine mountain municipality in Greece, in Summer 2020.