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Start date: Aug 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

More than five years since the start of the current recession, youth unemployment remains high, and many young people are seeing self-employment as a chance to break the cycle of joblessness. Since the start of the economic crisis, Europe has witnessed an increase in the number of self-employed young people, and according to recent research, this figure is deemed to rise even further, as young people seek alternative ways to succeed in a tough job market and come to recognize entrepreneurship as a key for reviving the economy. However, there are several barriers to entrepreneurship, including inability to access capital needed to get a business up, lack of the knowledge and/or experience needed to run a small business, overall concerns about how to overcome the current external obstacles and sustain a business in the given socio-economic conjuncture and almost few mentors from whom young people can learn. Therefore, the issue at hand is how to teach people enterpreneurial thinking in an effective and timely manner, given that it is a struggle for the majority of young people to understand how to manage a mere idea into actual existence. The CreativeLab training course aims at instilling entrepreneurial thinking by training youth workers about helping young people learning to think beyond themselves and to analyze the environment around them, to lead their own steps instead of following in the footsteps of others, to unlock their potential and gain the skills, knowledge and networks needed for achieving their ambitions. The participants of this training are 30 youth workers, trainers and facilitators from the UK, the Netherlands, Greece, Germany, Poland, Italy, Spain, Slovenia and Serbia wishing to further their knowledge and training skills regarding entrepreneurship and social innovation . The specific objectives of the CreativeLab project include: - creating a platform for sharing experiences, best practices and knowledge in entrepreneurial and social innovation activities based on non-formal learning methods; - developing attitudes and practical skills regarding creativity and entrepreneurial thinking; - raising awareness and developing capacities of youth workers and trainers to foster young people's entrepreneurial and innovation skills; - understanding and following the needs of young people in training for personal development and entrepreneurial thinking; - providing practical experience regarding the promotion of creative ideas, projects and ventures; - building an international network of youth organisations focused on youth entrepreneurship and social innovation, young and potential entrepreneurs and social enterprises. To attain the above goals, a series of three international activities/mobilities is planned to take place which are thematically interconnected; the first activity takes place from 6 to 13 November 2015 in Dresden and in Berlin; the second activity is planned to take place in Thessaloniki, Greece from 11 to 18 January 2016; and the third activity will be held between 25 and 28 Febuary 2016 in Dresden. The methodology of the CreativeLab project is based on non-formal education tools such as workshops, presentations, team-building activities and games, round-table discussions, reflection and evalutation meetings, study-visits and group work on the following topics: i) creativity and entrepreneurial thinking; ii) examining the trends and the needs of society; iii) taking initiatives and risks; iv) design thinking; v) using existing resources; vi) using social media effectively, vii) fundraising, viii) building and sustaining an international network, ix) working on a specific project idea which can be turned into a venture, x) designing the follow-up project; xi) exchanging entrepreneurial and social innovation experiences by visiting co-working spaces, creative and social enterprises in Dresden, Berlin and Thessaloniki; xii) cross-sectoral cooperation with different stakeholders. The expected results of the CreativeLab project are that certain attitudes will be developed that will help young people taking action and responsibility for their own learning, careers and life by enhancing their self confidence and self-motivation. In this way young people become more adaptable and creative individuals having a more positive attitude towards risk taking as well as enhanced business and management skills. In turn, this shall lead to a greater active citizenship, a more creative and adaptable work force and more potential entrepreneurs. The loger term effect shall be enhanced social cohesion and innovation and an increased initiative to start-up social and creative enterprises, contributing towards tackling youth unemployment. Finally, the CreativeLab project is expected to have a positive impact on the entrepreneurial mindset of young people, their attitudes towards entrepreneurship, their employability and, finally, on their role in society and in the economy.

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