imagine_EYE_Y_IncubateThe Enabling Youth Entrepreneurship Support Group Project (or EYE) is a 24 months research project to uncover the potential of young entrepreneurs across Europe, rethinking the incubation and support processes that could lead them to design, implement and run sustainable ventures.

The project is financed by the Erasmus+ Programme  – Cooperation and Innovation for Good Practices that involves four European countries including Romania, Macedonia, Italy and The Netherlands and it will be officially launched at the first international meeting in Amsterdam between the 16th and 22nd of March 2015.

The application has been developed by CROS, the Alternative University in Bucharest (Romania) in partnership with Team Academy Netherlands, a leadership and entrepreneurship programme in Amsterdam, BSC Bitola, a business incubator in Bitola (Macedonia) and Impact Hub Siracusa, a centre for social innovation and entrepreneurship in Sicily (Italy), part of an international network of co-working spaces.

Rethinking Incubation programmes, spaces and processes to engage, encourage and support young entrepreneurs across Europe. We are building a shared platform to enable support organisations from different sectors to boost a new generation of entrepreneurs.

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The aim of the project is to map, compare and disseminate the best practices about youth incubation around the world, ranging from incubation programmes within universities and educational institutions to more traditional business accelerators and incubators. The partnership developed will help each organisation to gain expertise, building on their engagement capacity, becoming more sustainable and scalable by developing a joint innovative and replicable methodology for youth incubation, to be shared with other organisations across Europe.

The Incubation-outside-the-Box toolset will be the final output of the project, a creative approach to youth business incubation built based on the experience of the four participating organisations and the current state-of-the-art of youth incubators but also tested within important European entrepreneurship hubs. The toolset will be disseminated across European universities, business incubators, foundations, investors and governments who are willing to design and develop youth entrepreneurship enabling programs.

The current socio-economical situation in Europe suggests an urgent societal need for youth employment and new value creation models. The Europe 2020 Strategy indicates that the youth unemployment reached an historical rate of 23,5% in February 2013, more than double as the same indicator for the adult population (affecting over 5,7 millions of young people).

This is posing serious problems to the social cohesion, raising political instability and economic turmoils.

Also, The Europe 2020 Strategy recognises entrepreneurship and self-employment as key for achieving smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

How to encourage young people to believe in their entrepreneurial ideas, beyond unemployment rates and economic crisis? How can institutions and other support organisations accelerate and incubate these processes more effectively? What are the specific methods, tools and guidelines that can help young people to move from ideas to projects and then to feasible enterprise models?

These are some of the research questions that the Enabling Youth Entrepreneurship support group project is currently exploring, starting from what has been done so far, experimenting and testing new approaches and designing a replicable strategy to better incubate the entrepreneurs of the future.

We invite you all to follow our news and findings, starting with our first event in Amsterdam – Y Incubate.

***This project is financed by the European Commission under the Eramus+ programme. CROS is responsible for the contents of this publication. The European Commission is not liable for the usage of the contained information

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