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New Innovations for New Areas: Empowering women in vocational training into entrepreneurship (NINA)

In the new globalized economy there is a need for innovative thinking in all sectors of society. This project aims to produce new ideas addressing vocational training programmes. Most vocational training programmes have been unexploited as entrepreneurial arenas and this is most true in the programmes that traditionally are female dominated. This project proposes to develop a European model for inspiring new categories of students to become entrepreneurs. By offering students in these fields the tools to discover their competencies and professional interests they will be able to perceive themselves as potential entrepreneurs within their future sectors. Furthermore they will be better at evaluating their own professional qualities and will thereby achieve a higher level of employability. There will be groups of vocational training students in Estonia, Italy and Sweden. They will attend workshops where they will get motivational and inspirational coaching as well as a basic overview of entrepreneurial realities. The students will also make an inventory of their competencies and professional interests. The participants will be attached to mentors, both from the relevant branches and entrepreneurs. In addition to this the NINA website will be a helpful resource for the students. Individual outcomes of the project will be that all participating students will be aware of their own competencies, have started a professional network via their mentors, have outlined their business plan and learned basic facts about entrepreneurship. As a result, they will be apt to join the local incubator and be better prepared for making good career choices. Their employability and future mobility will have radically improved. General, structural outcomes will be that vocational training programmes will have obtained the tools to make the necessary changes in curricula, and otherwise, to be adapted to the realities of the world today. A more visionary result would be that since the participants represent entrepreneurially unexploited sectors, the output in the form of ideas, business plans etc. will be new and innovative and as such could open up new business sectors in society. Organisations in five EU countries participate in this project, Austria, Estonia, Italy, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Sweden will be hosting the project. Three countries (Estonia, Italy and Sweden) will host a workshop programme. Austria will be managing IT issues and administrating the NINA website. The United Kingdom will be in charge of constructing the focus group system and also, of putting together the quality plan.
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