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Bees Inspired: A Hive For Female Entrepreneurs
Start date: May 1, 2016, End date: Apr 30, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The project Bees Inspired exists in order to make a positive contribution to a major problem youngsters from disadvantaged background have - high unemployment rates. The project looks for solutions in the domain of entrepreneurship and creativity, i.e. to create learning opportunities for the youngsters to meet, exchange knowledge and generate new ideas about how to start their own business. The project is gender specific due to the difference in the social, cultural and economic challenges young women are facing across borders. Equally important, the proposed project also has a personal dimension and meaning for our informal group. It is the first undertaking of Bees Empowered and as such it will capitalise on our complementary skills. Furthermore, this project is a reflection of the accessible nature of the Erasmus + programme which gives equal chance to organisations and youth workers from various backgrounds to participate. Our motivation to carry out this project stems also from the enriching experiences the Erasmus + programme has provided us with so far and our desire to give back.The objectives of the project are to combat economic exclusion of female youngsters from disadvantaged background by giving them the opportunity to learn from each other, from the facilitators and the guest facilitators about female entrepreneurship. The activities in the project are designed to encourage young women to prepare and start their own business and a major goal of the project is to create a long-lasting support group for each young woman. All participants will have the opportunity to learn from the invited guest facilitators, who will all be successful Dutch entrepreneurs. Thus, by seeing it is possible to create a successful business, the project aims to increase the young women’s self-confidence and self-esteem to give it a try. The youth exchange is going to include 42 participants from 8 different countries. There will be at least 25 participants from a disadvantaged background - social, cultural, economic or geographical. There will be 4 main facilitators and each country will have a group leader. The youth exchange is going to be preceded by a short Advanced Planning Visit where a total of 10 group leaders and facilitators will plan the exchange programme in detail and will get to know each other and the background they are coming from. The main methods the project will utilize are non-formal and informal learning as they will fit best with the target group. The planned activities will use methods which suit the variety of learning styles within the group: interactive brainstorming, work in small groups, hands-on assignments, games, role-play, presentation and creative expression. Throughout the whole youth exchange we will offer the space for reflection and sharing about the learning process (de-briefing moments). The most tangible results the project will produce are the digital booklet and the personal learning opportunities for the participants. Bearing in mind their fewer opportunities, they will have a rare chance to travel to another country for a youth exchange where they can learn about entrepreneurship as a tool take their own lives in their hands. Another result of the project will be the intensive dissemination activities - the promotion of both female entrepreneurship and the results of the project. The goal is to reach highly relevant organizations who work with vulnerable target groups, and consequently improve their knowledge about female entrepreneurship. The greatest impact of the project will occur on individual, local level and within the partner organizations and their networks. The project will be considered successful when the participants in the youth exchange learn about the opportunities female entrepreneurship holds and decide to start their business. The produced digital booklet, the successful stories and the overall promotion of the domain of female entrepreneurship will hopefully inspire the local communities of the partner organizations to look deeper into entrepreneurship as a means to improve their lives and local environments. The longer term benefits of the project lie within the wide accessibility of the produced digital booklet as it will be uploaded online for anyone to download. All the materials - articles and blog posts, will also be accessible online, thus, enabling anyone to read about the project, the participants and the results. On an organizational level, the longer term impact will be increased knowledge about female entrepreneurship and the challenges women face, new potential partnerships and the digital booklet available for future reference and resource.
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