This is the first time ASECU Youth was invited to form a consortium and submit a project application for a two-year Erasmus+ project.

Project Title: Youth Regenerating Social Enterpreneurship by Design

Project acronym: YouthDesiRE

Programme: Erasmus+

Key Action: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices (KA2)

Action: Strategic Partnership for Youth

Submitted:  24September 2020

Consortium members (in the alphabetic order of the participating countries):

1.  Demola (Finland)

2.  ASECU Youth (as part of ASECU) (Greece)

3.  Business and Cultural Development Centre (KEPA) (Greece)

4.  Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi  (Romania)

5.  Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra (Slovakia)

Project summary:

The proposed project aims to promote co-creation methods and innovation tools in order to enable more young people to become Social Entrepreneurs or/and engage in social innovation activities. Young people hesitate to work as social entrepreneurs or to become members of a social enterprise due to many factors. Most significant are: 1) Lack of information and lack of awareness of best practices and good examples worldwide, at national level or even at regional level, 2) Lack of awareness of the economic benefits of being an active employee in a social enterprise /a social entrepreneur, 3) Lack of entrepreneurial/professional competences as well as innovation skills specialized to social entrepreneurship sector.

YouthDesiRE aims to:

-Engage young people in participating in social entrepreneurship practices by using co-creation and design thinking techniques as well as digital learning tools under a social innovation perspective.

-Improve social entrepreneurial skills, social innovation skills and digital skills of young people

-Promote international collaboration of young people, business and social entrepreneurs (trilateral network) with the help of digital technology

-Engage young people from different countries in co-creation processes of proposals-solutions for increasing the participation of the youth in social economy.

The above will be achieved via:

-Work Packages of activities that follow the steps of the Design Thinking Methodology: Εmpathise, Ideate, Prototype and Implement,

-Research and need analysis on State of Art in each participant country.

-Design Thinking Workshops with transnational teams of young people. During the workshops the participants will be taught how to apply the Design Thinking methodology to solve social entrepreneurship/& social innovation challenges.

-An Innovative digital platform that will facilitate international working teams of young people to work on a real social entrepreneurship/&social innovation challenges via Design Thinking methodology and interact with young social entrepreneurs from different counties.

– Creation of an EU Action Plan by young future social entrepreneurs based on the results of the project.

The consortium of the proposed project is comprised by the Business and Cultural Development Centre (KEPA) (Greece), the Association of Economic Universities of South and Eastern Europe and the Black Sea Region (ASECU) (Greece), Demola Global Oy, the AIC University of Iasi and the Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra.

During the project, young people with an economic/business profile (members of ASECU Youth) as well as young social entrepreneurs will be given the opportunity to participate for the accomplishment of project’s results as well as later to be the main receivers of its beneficial outcomes. After their participation to a Design Thinking Workshop young people will have access to all open e-training material (e-modules, e-books etc.) having the opportunity to up-grade their entrepreneurial and management competencies as well as other transversal skills (e.g. problem solving, understanding customer needs, process for innovation and concept development, applied creativity, prototyping, experimentation etc., intercultural skills, digital skills). Furthermore, they will have the opportunity to collaborate and work on solving real social entrepreneurship challenges under transnational digital environment and in collaboration of social business/ social innovation experts. Best case solutions under the criteria of innovation, feasibility, effectiveness, sustainability, and transferability, will be presented during the second Design Thinking Workshop. There the selected young participants will have the opportunity to develop and finalize their prototypes in a multicultural environment with the help of Design Thinking Practitioners, social business experts and academic staff from all the participant countries.

The project will result in the creation of an EU Action Plan with all proposals of the young participants in the previous activities that will be presented to policy makers during the project’s final forum.

By the end of the project, two main results will be achieved:

  • Young people will acquire Design Thinking Skills to confront real social entrepreneurial challenges.
  • Young people will have active involvement in EU policy making by co-creating an EU Action Plan (Action Plan) for bringing closer the youth with social entrepreneurship /& social innovation actions as well as the concept of social economy.

If ASECU Youth together with its consortium is granted funding, the project will be realized from February 2021 to December 2022.