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YouNG Goes Euro
Start date: Dec 31, 2015, End date: Aug 30, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The European Union promotes entrepreneurship as a key factor for competitiveness and has highlighted the importance of advancing a European entrepreneurial culture by fostering the right mind-set and entrepreneurship-related skills. The need to improve the entrepreneurial and innovative capabilities of citizens is also underlined in three of the flagship initiatives in the Europe 2020 strategy for jobs and sustainable growth: "Innovation Union", "Youth on the Move" and "An agenda for new skills and jobs". Enhancing creativity and innovation, including entrepreneurship, at all levels of education and training is also a long-term objective for 'Education and Training 2020', the strategic framework for European cooperation. The YouNG group was established by Rushcliffe Borough Council (RBC) in September 2012 as a legacy from the 2012 London Olympics. The Council wishes to support young people so they can improve their skills, network with other young people and with adults at work, get business and employment experience and earn money. The board has a representative from each of the 7 secondary schools operating in the area. An initiative of this group was YouNG Market which in the words of Josh Bates (Aged 15) from YouNG; "We want this new market to boost business and help young entrepreneurs get real life experience of selling their produce. The market is aimed at young people aged 13-21 who live or study in Rushcliffe.” Young people at the first market held in West Bridgford, July 2013 sold food and craft items alongside small businesses from the wider area in a farmers food market, with live entertainment from talented local performers as an added attraction. This was voted an overwhelming success by all involved and received significant support from a host of stakeholders including local traders who provided on the job coaching and mentoring of the young people. Subsequent markets at Xmas time and during 2014 in two other locations have also been highly praised and have resulted in a number of young people taking their first steps into the world of commerce and a number of young fledgling businesses. Our objective is to develop Enterprise qualifications by developing a unit of learning for 'International Enterprise'; within programmes that encourage students to set up a business, produce a good or service and then sell it in a ‘real’ environment, the focus is national. We will introduce a programme that encourages students to take it one step further, where they market their good or service for sale within the European Union. Therefore they must consider different markets, different routes to market, business culture, language and currency. This reflects today's reality, global markets and the need to think beyond our national borders. The project will essentially do three things; (a) It will share and develop further the best practice established and led by Rushcliffe Borough Council; (b) Develop further innovation, in this case introduce an international element to the work by getting participants to develop further their business by providing an opportunity to trade in the European Union; (c) Finally given the background of increasing reductions in public funding; develop a sustainability strategy so that YouNG becomes if not completely self sufficient, then largely self sustainable. Primary participants will be young people as these will be directly involved within the project activity, however the project will have additional direct and indirect impacts upon the following groups of people and organisations: Teachers; Local Business People; Parents; Market Traders; Local Enterprise Partnership; Local Councils; Schools and Local Communities. The YouNG project will have impacts on participating young people, on schools, deliverers, key partners and stakeholders and wider community groups. At its heart however, the key impact is intended to be the provision of opportunities for young people to help them improve their skills and introduce them to a real, professional working environment and to generate vocational and entrepreneurial spirit and opportunity. It will develop links between young people, schools and local businesses. As a result of the project activity young people will develop a greater awareness of their abilities and entrepreneurial skill set as well as the way they can use these abilities in the workplace and to aid their career development. Teachers and deliverers will develop their professional knowledge and will be able to adopt new approaches to their curriculum delivery. Local communities will widen their horizons experiencing different cultures and build a better understanding of European development policies and actions. Furthermore the project will create the materials and resources required to increase the entrepreneurial education of young people and improve their entrepreneurial skill set.

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