Between 21-23 of June 2021, Men and Boys for Gender Equality host the official launch of the two years international project “Start-up Lighthouse”, in partnership with not-for-profit organisations from France, Madagascar, Nigeria, Romania, Italy, and Bulgaria. During the project an active network of 32 educators, youth workers and trainers interested in cultural heritage, rural development and entrepreneurship education will be created and trained to guide more than 500 young people from 7 countries to prototype their cultural start-ups. The project is co-funded through the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission.
The kick-off meeting is the first phase of the project and will continue with three international training courses – The Explorer, The Incubator, the accelerator – in Madagascar, Reunion, and Romania. During the learning mobilities, 28 youth-workers and educators from the consortium organisations will acquire the know-how, competencies, and educational tools to offer guidance to more than 500 young women to be engaged in the cultural heritage preservation and promotion from Europe and Africa and prototype cultural start-ups, using digital maps with national opportunities and a collection of 3 pocket sets with cards which contains step-by-step learning processes and activities. All the participants will receive an international Youthpass certificate that will certify the know-how, attitudes, and skills acquired during these 20 months.
Cultural heritage represents the richness and diversity of our cultural traditions. Our shared cultural heritage is to be understood, cherished, and celebrated. Yet cultural heritage is not only a legacy from the past. It also helps us forge the way ahead and design our future. One of the largest challenges we are facing nowadays is that the digital generation is slowly losing contact with its roots, identity, traditions. The cultural heritage remains the foundation on which any society is built and can represent an engine for growth and business opportunities. Therefore, this project funded by the Erasmus+ programme is an opportunity to re-connect the young people with their own heritage and prototype start-ups to preserve and promote their natural, tangible and intangible heritage.
The representatives of the consortium discussed about local challenges of young women from seven countries, their role in preserving the cultural heritage through entrepreneurial initiatives, as well the current opportunities for empowerment, learning, and mentoring. Together they will screen and identify national and international opportunities and ongoing programmes that the young people could have access to and integrate them in 7 digital maps with entrepreneurship hotspots to be distributed further in youth centres, universities, municipalities, co-working spaces, women, and youth associations.
The project will end with a 2-day simultaneous “The cultural challenge”, during which 140 young people will enter an incubator to prototype cultural start-ups ideas, and 21 local dissemination workshops during which the young people can test the educational tools created during the project.
The project is carried out between 01/12/2020 and 31/11/2022, coordinated by Au Carrefour De L’Europe (France), in partnership with Monomyths Association (Romania), Mine Vaganti NGO (Italy), Paralel Silistra (Bulgaria), Men and Boys for Gender Equality (Botswana), Society for the Improvement of Rural People (Nigeria), Ong Crafters For Corporates-Toera (Madagascar).