22 September, 2014

New Youth Exchange Opportunity: St'ART

Following up on the findings of research on "Stimulating Youth Entrepreneurship: Barriers and Incentives to Enterprise Start-ups by Young People"  and the 2013 report on the Global State of Youth Entrepreneurship , there is a growing variety of awareness and promotion programmes (in formal as well as non-formal education) facilitating the development of youth entrepreneurship. The driving force behind these initiatives is the strong hope and expectation that the programmes will contribute to the creation of youth employment opportunities by supporting entrepreneurship training specifically geared towards young people. All this against the backdrop of weak economic recovery and escalating youth unemployment.

Becoming an owner of a small enterprise can be an alternative career choice for young people who have an entrepreneurial mindset and also possess the skills, knowledge and confidence to become a successful young start-up.  This is the issue that the upcoming ST’ART youth exchange programme intends to address.

The ST’ART project is a 7 days youth exchange programme to be held in Caltanisetta, Sicily (Italy) next month and will involve 42 young people from a diversity of EU countries, such as Italy, Lithuania, Romania, The Netherlands, Latvia, Bulgaria and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

The thematic focus is on traditions in the field of art and culture and thus the programme will entail an exploration of the possibilities to develop entrepreneurial initiatives in this field. The exchange programme will offer a creative space for intercultural dialogue among the participants in order to experiment together how arts education and artistic expression can be effective in empowering young people and engage them in active citizenship around heritage issues.

These are the three major objectives for the youth exchange:
  • To share different experiences and practices in the field of art & culture among young people from different cultural contexts and backgrounds in the EU.
  • To raise awareness among young people of the potential of artistic and cultural traditions as a catalyst for inclusive and sustainable growth.
  • To foster international entrepreneurial initiatives focused on the heritage value of traditions in the field of art and culture.

The project leadership is in the hands of the Italian organisation  PRISM-Promozione Internazionale Sicilia-Mondo, who initiated this exchange week and involved the following partners: Sirvintu Meno Mokykla (LT) , Fundatia ACTIVITY (RO), JASMA (LV), Association "Professional Forum for Education" (BG) , SAM, Republic of Macedonia (MK) and our School of Social Work at Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences (NL).
By joining this initiative we have paved the way for a small delegation of young people from our social work department to participate in this intercultural and international adventure. They will be joined by our staff member Marianne Lindhout who will also take an active part in the programme by leading a number of activities in the programme.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained there.