Entrepreneurial activity is seen as an important driver for employment recovery and growth, strengthening economic dynamics, and innovation in European countries after the Covid19 crisis has thrown a harsh spotlight on a range of sustainable development challenges. The choices our communities make now in their path to recovery will shape the trajectory of sustainable development for years to come, and the usage of digital technologies will become crucial in this green transition.
The European Union aims to become climate neutral by 2050 through a series of initiatives that will protect the environment and boost the green economy. The plan is ambitious and will affect nearly every aspect of the EU’s economy and policy areas (clean energy, sustainable industry, building and renovating, sustainable mobility, biodiversity, sustainable food systems, eliminating pollution and climate neutrality). Several SMEs companies with green and circular business models have shown rapid growth over the past 10 years and can serve as inspirational sources for other young people. Youth NGOs have the ability to play a meaningful role in raising awareness and cultivating an elemental shift in the mindset and attitude of the Z and Alpha Generation. Through local and European projects and training courses, youth workers can stimulate among youth sustainable values (ethical and sustainable thinking-ENTRECOMP Framework), a green business mindset, pro-environmental behaviour, while answering the question “how does my start-up prototype help solve environmental and social problems?”.
In the right learning environment, with proper mentors, and inspiration sources, young people can succeed in combining creativity, technology and innovation, to design new prototypes that can save energy, solve existing problems, and of course predict future issues that might occur. Education and awareness-raising are the key elements in developing the pro-environmental behaviour of entrepreneurs and society as a whole in order to reduce the environmental impact.
The rapid innovations currently developed in response to the Covid19 crisis can offer rich case studies and wisdom to youth workers engaged in delivering entrepreneurship education and for the future generations of youth on how to prepare for and build a business to a less fragile global economy, in a sustainable way. Education plays a crucial role in fostering the eco-entrepreneurial consciousness of future green innovators, entrepreneurs, and employees in the circular economy. The need for new green skills and attitudes is growing with growing consumer interest in clean, ethically sourced products, while at the same time appropriate educational opportunities for young people to develop green skills are limited. Youth entrepreneurship can be an avenue for young people to act on their concerns for society and their desire for a meaningful present and future. Many young people are apprehensive about their futures and understand the need to take the long view on issues such as the global climate crisis, placing a high priority on environmental sustainability.
The main aim of the project Ideas Ark – 2nd edition: to expand the current network Ideas Ark (https://www.facebook.com/groups/ideasarkcommunity) of European NGOs and youth workers (over 150 members), and guide them to develop appropriate tools, skills, know-how, and attitudes (SKAs) to provide green entrepreneurship education services to young people interested to become “greenpreneurs”, through an intensive 8 days training course and 9 topic related webinars and workshops.
- To train 27 youth workers from 9 Youth NGOs to improve specific SKAs to deliver green entrepreneurship programs locally for young people during an 8- day TC in February 2022.
- To raise awareness about Green Deal and sustainable entrepreneurship among European young people through 1 social media campaign “Green100”: a digital map with 100 European
green/sustainable start-ups launched by youth under 30 years old and their top 3 advice/lessons for a greener and sustainable Europe.
- To develop with the consortium one digital playbook in English which includes a collection of NFE activities and available resources (eg. Sustainable business model Canvas, EntreComp framework etc) for youth NGOs interested to offer local sustainable entrepreneurship education activities in an interactive and practical way, available Monomyths Learning platform (https://learning.monomyths.ro/) and test them during nine 1-day workshops/webinars for European youth workers (total: 135 participants for 9 workshops) and nine 1-day workshops for young people (total: 180 participants, min 40% with fewer opportunities).